Though it’s counterintuitive, sometimes you need to go slow in order to go fast. “Managers want their folks to start working. And engineers want to get their hands dirty, not sit in a classroom,” says Jennifer Silbermann of VMware. That said, software developers and IT professionals need a formal introduction to your company-specific terminology, technologies, workflows, business processes and tools. In the absence of this nuanced information, they may act based on their historical knowledge—what they’ve learned at other companies and in other industries. This can lead to on-the-job mistakes and expensive rework.
Technology immersion introduces employees to the actual type of work they will be doing for your organization. Ideally, it allows them to practice in a no-risk or low-risk way, where they can learn from mistakes before jumping into live projects. You want new hires to become comfortable with your tools, tech and use cases before they start tinkering with your code.
Of the developer onboarding best practices, this element tends to require the most time and resources. However, it enables employees to become productive more quickly. Both short and long term, this can save you money and headaches. It also helps employees feel more confident as they step into their new roles.