since 1999


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3 Developer Onboarding Tips From My Recent Experiences

Christopher Choi

Starting out in a new job can bring about feelings of excitement and eagerness. Those emotions can also be accompanied with doubts about being useful, anxiety, and imposter-syndrome. Having experienced everything listed above, I’ve learned some strategies to help overcome the negatives and be proactive.

Working with the Rietta team has been an amazing experience with comradery and mentorship. This article briefly explores my experiences at Rietta to help equip new developers with a plan to synergize and grow with a new team.

Keep a constant feedback loop with your team.

When working on assigned tasks on or picked up issue ticket, have an open discussion about what you plan on doing. For anything non-trivial and non-obvious, having discussions can provide valuable feedback before proceeding with implementations. Having a paper trail for discussions can help not only you but the team as the application matures. This is all a part of having thorough documentation that can help answer questions that may take up time that can be used elsewhere.

Work with your team and help them help you.

“I need to prove myself” mentality was very real for me. Instead of consulting my team when stuck, stubbornness took over. This ended with wasted time and effort that could have otherwise been avoided. The more experienced developers are a treasure trove of experience! Ask for help when stuck, don’t fall to the same pitfalls they or others have gone through. Growth can be gained through struggle, but learning through other’s experiences sidesteps the struggle. Disciplining yourself to not be overly stubborn can be a challenge, I use Pomodoro to help combat my stubbornness. A Pomodoro chrome plugin called Marinara is what I use and can help point you in the right direction.

Assume good intentions in code reviews.

Watching your code get critiqued and picked at can be disheartening, but remember that the reviewer is only trying to help. Maintaining a clean and optimal codebase is apart of the job description for all developers in your organization. Take each code review as an opportunity to ask questions and learn the ways of code reviews. Reviewing code is a skill just like having the skill to write code. Learning this valuable skill can contribute heavily to the team’s common goal of a clean and optimal codebase. To get the entire context of what was discussed, I recommend watching “The Effective Remote Developer” by David Copeland. Although this talk has Remote in the title, all that is discussed can be applied to onsite work as well.

Closing thoughts

There are many resources that can help inform of newcomers of helpful methodologies and practices to build confidence. Take this opportunity and proactively look for ways you can add value to your new career, job, and team!