When ramping up new engineers, focus on the product!

Onboarding-Sign

When ramping new hires up, it’s very tempting to quickly throw them into the fire, fix bugs, start building features, etc.  After they’ve completed their orientation and filled out their paperwork, what better way for them to learn the system?

Stop!

It’s critically important that your engineers know how the business operates, who the customers are, their needs, and how your product fills that need.

The company I currently work for provides a SaaS offering that is VERY workflow intensive.  We have 20+ roles in the system with around 5 major different personas, across 3 different applications.  I made the mistake in the first paragraph and am now regretting it.  We were under high growth at the time, hiring as fast as we could, and our backlog was growing.

Now, these engineers have been on board for several months and know nothing about the product.  When building new features, they don’t have the customer in mind.

Bottom line, when onboarding new employees focus on the product and end users first, THEN have them learn the code.  This may take a week or more, depending on your product, but it will pay dividends down the road.

 

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