A simple way to improve your technical onboarding

May 23, 2021
Somewhere, long ago, I learned of a technique I like to employ when onboarding new team members

Somewhere, long ago, I’ve long since forgotten where, I learned of a technique I like to employ when onboarding new team members, especially into technical roles. It works really well for setting up a development environment, for example, and it goes something like this:

Welcome to our team! Here’s the onboarding README, which will tell you how to install all the dependencies for your local environment.

Then in the README, you spell out every step needed to set up the environment, with one additional, final step:

As the last step, edit this README to improve something for the next person who joins.

Related Content

The hidden costs of hiring too fast

I was making really great progress at instilling a culture of quality until the pressure above from to "hire more people!"

Core skills vs. company-specific skills

Why are new joiners often quick to offer unwanted advice on how to improve things? Many "newbies" can't distinguish between core skills and company-specific skills.

Taylorism is dead. Long live Taylorism!

Taylorism has gotten a lot of flack for being inhumane at worst, and ineffective at best. But DevOps is about applying Taylorism to computer systems.