About a year ago I created a few posts on the topic of Developer Ramp time and how companies can help the process as well as why different developers ramp up at different speeds. Developer ramp time and how companies can aid in speeding up this time is critical not only to a new employee's success, but also that of the team they are joining.
This is why I was so shocked to hear a story from a buddy of mine about his company and their philosophy on developer ramp time.
The story goes something like this:
My buddy (we will call him Will for this post) has recently been put in charge of the maintenance team at his company. Currently there are a total of 5 people on this team, 4 developers and him. Because his team is rocking and getting things done the company decided to hire on 2 more developer and put them on his team. Because Will is one of these guys that believes in doing things the right way and because he sees the value in trying to speed up/aid the ramp time for new developers he decided he would like to put together a plan of action for these new developers.
So Will spent a little time putting together a high level list of things he thought a new developer would need in order to become a upstanding member of the team. However, because he did not want to spend too much time on this with out getting buy-in from his boss (should be a walk in the park) he simply put together a outline of what he wanted to do and sent that to his boss.
Along with sending the outline to his boss, he also provided a summary of his intentions and goals for his training. Will was looking for his boss to give him the thumbs up on moving forward with this training and figured he would start putting together the materials in the next day or so.
Will was shocked when he received the reply from his boss that simply stated the following
'The new developers are both professionals and adults and should be able to learn all they need to on their own.'
Needless to say that when Will received this reply he was not a happy camper. How is he meant to help his team succeed if he is not allowed to help them ramp up?
The moral of the story here is that training new employees is painful, it is hard and it can be expensive. However, not training them can be even more painful and more expensive because they will be less productive and potentially make more errors.
Any company that does not see this or does not value this is not a place I would like to work, and keeping me around may be hard.
Till next time,
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06-30-2008 7:42 AM