I came across this tweet from a couple days ago and it really struck a chord with me:
Adrienne Domingus@a_domingusWe hired an engineer a few weeks ago who initiated a 1:1 coffee with a different person every day, until she’d met with the whole dev team.
I thought this was an awesome idea, that I will definitely try next time I start a new job, and pass the idea on to you!16:24 PM - 11 May 2019
Trying to get to know your new team as quickly as you can, and helping them get to know you at the same time, seems like an amazing idea. It's awesome that this person took it upon themself, and it probably would be even better if it was implemented by the team as a normal part of onboarding. The top reply was actually someone saying that their office did exactly that:
Mads Toftum@quasi42@a_domingus Last job, we'd have every new employee taken to lunch by a new person every day until having had lunch with everyone in our office. About enough to cover 4 weeks.17:57 PM - 12 May 2019
This is such a cool notion. Feeling like the new person in the room has often been one of the big barriers for me when I've joined new teams, especially when I was a younger dev on a team full of older and far more experienced people. Being the person in the room with the least experience is already intimidating, and when you don't know anyone on top of it, asking for help can be hard. Plus, no one else in the room knows what your skill level really is, where you need the most help, how they can assist most effectively, all that good stuff.
All that to say, this seems like an awesome idea, and I hope I'll be able to use it myself. It looks like I'll be taking on a lead developer position soon, and will be building up the team from mostly outside hires in the next 6 months or so. This will be my first team lead position, so stuff like this is exactly what I need in my face right now, while I'm thinking about how to be effective in that role.
Since reading this tweet, I've been thinking, and I bet there are plenty of other super cool ideas like this out there, ways to help new team members feel like a part of the group quickly, to integrate both with the people and the work painlessly. So who's got one for me? I'd love to hear them!
Soft skills are as critical as technical skills for a software engineer. No one works in isolation. Each person has to deal with teammates, colleagues, managers, etc. Therefore team interpersonal skills are essential too. Soft skills include things like good communication, honesty, teamwork, integrity, organization, empathy, etc.