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An effective onboarding process is one of the first touchpoints your new employees have with your company. If a developer walks into their first day of work and is handed a binder full of printed onboarding documents, chances are they will doubt the company’s efficiency and technical prowess. While some onboarding documents need to be taught or completed in person, a majority of the process can be moved online. By streamlining your technical onboarding, you can get your new employees working on projects earlier.

Have important documents signed electronically

Having new employees fill out the typical legal and compliance paperwork is inevitable, but allowing employees to fill them out digitally can save a ton of time (and trees). Getting these important documents filled out early on in the onboarding process can save a ton of time, allowing the employee more time to get their work done.

A few documents that can typically be signed electronically include

  • W4
  • I-9
  • Direct deposit forms
  • Tax forms
  • Benefit forms
  • Background checks

Organize their onboarding tasks and update as they are completed

Having a handy checklist-type system set up is helpful in keeping track of where the new hire is in their technical onboarding. Instead of assuming that they have finished each necessary step or assignment, this type of system provides accountability.

These checklists are typically recorded through a task management system. Some popular examples include Trello, a combination of custom Word documents and Excel sheets, or even an internal onboarding website that is unique to the company. Whatever form it takes on, it should be updated on an ongoing basis for new hires as they come in.

Set up an online mentorship prior to their first day

If possible, allow the new employee to have contact with another internal employee who will be their mentor. On technical teams, new developers are often included in a pair programming mentorship, in which a more experienced team member works with them on coding exercises. By introducing the pair to each other prior to the new employee’s first day, you give them the opportunity to talk things out, ask any relevant questions, and be better prepared to start checking in code as soon as they start. It can be especially helpful for more introverted employees, as well as those who work remote. 

developer onboarding checklist


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