You can determine how good your documentation is by how fast a new developer is up to speed with your projects. Making sure a new developer feels at home and gets brought up to speed requires time and effort. This can be especially hard in remote times. How can you make sure a new hire does not get lost in the remote onboarding? Simple! Use the buddy system.
What is an onboarding buddy?
An onboarding buddy is a person that is the first point of contact for the new hire. Their primary goal is to make sure the new hire gets all the information they need.
One of the most important parts of the buddy is being the first point of contact. As a new hire, you have no idea who to contact for what. If you are at the office you can take a walk through the office and meet people. This is more difficult in a remote setting. The buddies goal is to help the new hire with this struggle. Point them to the right people.
The next part of the duties of a buddy extends from being the point of contact. Making introductions is the next step here. If you have not met any coworkers it can be quite challenging to schedule a meeting with them. As a buddy introduce the new hire to all coworkers they will collaborate with.
Every business has its own context. For an outsider, some decisions that were made will make no sense. At my current company, we have some terminology that can be quite confusing. New hires usually struggle with this if someone did not explain it properly. Luckily as a buddy, you can provide the business context on why things are the way they are.
Even if you have the best documentation, new hires will still have questions. Make sure you can explain how the project works. Help them set up their local environments. And guide them towards a beginner-friendly bug ticket to pick up.
Onboarding during a pandemic is more challenging than usual. An onboarding buddy is a great way to make sure a new hire gets all the help and support they need. Or as we say in the Netherlands “A good start is half the work”. With an onboarding buddy, you make sure your new hire is set up for success at your company!
If you are interested in more of my blog posts, check out the 5 stages of conflict and how to resolve them blog post.