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Rethinking the onboarding experience

artiden profile image Grace Lam ・2 min read

Onboarding can be tough. It's hard to know when to ask questions or who to ask, when everyone is so busy. There's a lot of tribal knowledge and scattered docs so a lot of teams rely on knowledge transfer sessions.

A 1000-person survey conducted by BambooHR suggests that 90% of employees decide whether to leave or stay at the company, within their first six months. Respondents have said that “receiving clear guidelines to what my responsibilities were” and “more effective training” would have influenced their decision.

We created CodeTour to improve the experience of onboarding and sharing knowledge within a team. It's an evolving knowledgebase walking through different parts of the codebase.

Here are a few ways that CodeTour addresses onboarding challenges:

Important information never leaves the codebase.

Any dev can record important information inside the codebase.

Mentors won’t repeat the same brain dump sessions to each new dev who joins the team. Instead, new devs will get the fundamentals from walking through a code tour at their own pace.

CodeTour

New devs will come to mentors with specific, scoped questions.

They will already have background knowledge about the codebase, from the code tours.

There will be fewer questions that feel “stupid.”

CodeTour Onboarding

Learn what you need to know, at your own pace.

When we’re told to “explore the codebase,” we don’t know where to start. Code tours give a solid starting point and guide you step-by-step throughout the codebase.

CodeTour Onboarding

Here is the CodeTour prototype.

We envision that tours will move beyond onboarding, into code reviews or other areas. I have spoken with hundreds of devs to research onboarding and knowledge sharing to understand the different challenges.

What are your thoughts? What are your challenges to onboarding new devs or onboarding into a codebase?

Posted on Apr 2 by:

artiden profile

Grace Lam

@artiden

I build developer tools for collaboration, at Microsoft. I play piano and I have ticklish fingers. And I write a music blog. (She/her)

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