The first day for a new hire is a busy day of orientation. The goal is to get them set up and comfortable with all of our systems, policies, and processes.
First, they get reintroduced to the whole team and educated on everyone’s roles. They learn who to talk to for specific issues, and who will be guiding them through their training.
They start with the administrative side of things. They sit down with our office manager to sign their employment contract (which they receive in advance so we can answer any questions), fill out forms, talk about payroll, benefits, employment policies (lateness, time off, overtime, external work), and general office polices. We put a lot of emphasis on the core clauses of their employment contract surrounding NDA and IP considerations.
Next, they get set up on all of our systems, and receive training on each. This includes:
- Our network, dev PCs, and connected devices.
- Software, what’s available, how to request serial numbers, etc.
- Our email system, webmail, and signatures.
- Instant messaging.
- Basecamp, project tracking, and writeboards.
- Subversion, checking out / in, branching, creating projects, etc.
- Tracking time, and why it’s so important.
Next we walk them through all of our processes. We outline the full training program they will be going through, including informing them of the internal project they will be building (part 5 of this series). We give them a high-level introduction to our process for delivering projects and doing quality assurance. QA receives a lot of emphasis – what are the processes for testing, identifying bugs, resolving issues, and communicating status back to the project manager. We also talk a bit about our policies for using open source libraries in client projects (ie. usually only MIT licensed or equivalent and only with prior client permission).
Finally we remind them of their NDA, and introduce them to all of the current projects we’re working on. This can be a quick overview, or a more in-depth dive into each project depending on the time available.
Before the end of the day, they are asked to enter all of their time into our time tracking system, and are expected to keep this up to date going forward.
The next article in this series, “Training“, is up.