- March 2013
Your first day can tell you a lot about your new project. Specifically it will confirm if you truly joined a team or are you just a coworker? Yesterday we welcomed a new member to our FiveStreet team, Marius Pop. This post describes how we welcomed Marius.
What follows is a list of actions we took and a short description:
Sent README file
The days leading up to Mariu's first day we sent him a README. This file contains a description of how we work. In my opinion this should be a short read with just enough detail. Most importantly the writing should reflect your working style. In our case, we have a fun but get work done environment.
Don't jump straight into work
The very first thing we did when Marius arrived was sit down, have a coffee and just talk. Nothing directly related to work or first day stuff, leave that for later. This will not only start to build team chemistry but also make your new team member feel relaxed.
Set simple achievable goals for the day
Once you have a nice chat, set the goals for the day. Our goals are simple, get development environment setup and deploy to production. Deploying to production on the very first day is very important to us.
Setup development environment
This almost never goes perfect, but that is ok! This is the time for you to start working as a team. Problems will happen and solutions will be found, this is NOT the time for you to solve all the problems and prove how much more knowledge you have about the application. This is the time for you to start listening and exchanging ideas. Even if your new teammate is a junior developer, listen and exchange ideas.
Deploy on first day
Why do we love this? Not only because your teammate will see your awesome deployment process but more importantly because you will meet their expectations. They accepted this position because they wanted to be a part of a team, Marius is officially a part of our team and he has the pull request to prove it. This will not be a huge feature, it can be as simple as a text edit. In the days leading up to the first day try to find something simple your new team member can deploy.
In the end
Keep it simple and meet the expectations of you new teammate.