Frustrated developer

How a poor developer onboarding experience is crushing your team?

There are many articles on metrics that organizations use to measure their team’s productivity and one common metric for developer teams is ramp time. Roughly defined that is how long does it take a new developer from the point of hire to become productive. Some tech companies, like Facebook, even embed into their onboarding process having a new developer to commit code and their first day.

According to a study conducted by Pluralsight, most developers take 6–7 months. The good news is this ramp time can be reduced by having a great onboarding experience.

Based on a study of 2,500+ engineers across 4 years, we’ve found that although the average time to productivity for a new engineer is 6 — 7 months, there are also clear, measurable ways to reduce that ramp time. The result? A 40% lift in productivity that occurs 2 — 3 months sooner.

Companies that do not invest in their onboarding experience will have a greater time from hire to first code commit.

In addition to this several other negative impacts can occur:

  • Culture: There is a missed opportunity to help build the shared culture of your team.

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants” -Isaac Newton

  • Strategic Alignment: The overall alignment to strategy and architecture standards reduces. Your company is being taxed by having new developers make decisions that have already been made but they aren’t aware of.
  • Employee Engagement: Developers become frustrated with not having the tools and resources needed to become proficient quickly. Frustrated developers become disengaged developers.
  • Retaining Talent: A poor onboard experience also leads to a lower developer retention rate. Higher churn reduces the overall team’s productivity due to drain on team resources to recruit, interview and onboard team members frequently.

Please share your best practices and lessons learned with your developer onboarding experience in the comments. I would love to connect with developer leads responsible for delivering the onboarding, as well as, developers that have recently been onboarded. I think this will be my focus for my next article.






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