Decreasing Developer Ramp Up Time

posted on 10/09/07 at 09:50:16 pm by Joel Ross

Dave Donaldson has a great post about ways to decrease the amount of time it takes to get a developer up to speed on a new project. The post has been up for almost two months now, but I'm just getting around to writing about it.

Anyway, he lists out a few tips that are all great:

  • Explain the problem
  • Review the architecture
  • Maintain a Wiki
  • Provide good equipment
  • Get latest and run it
  • Run tests
  • Pair up

This works great for an Agile approach to development, which isn't surprising coming from Dave. If you're doing what you should be on your project, none of these should be a big deal, and getting a developer up to speed shouldn't be that hard.

There's one other thing that I would add to this list, but it's mainly because of the way I do development - a virtual PC disk that can be copied and given to the new developer. It's not a substitute for ensuring that you have all of the tools and source code documented and readily available, but if you have a brand new developer with a brand new machine, all they need is an OS and Virtual PC and they are ready to go. You can pre-configure all of the tools, source control access, and the initial source code. I do this anyway for my own virtual disk, so I'd just copy it off once it's ready, and now any new developer coming onto the project no longer has to install and configure their environment - this could save a day or more, depending on the requirements.

Anyway, go read the rest of the post. He's got more details for each bullet.

Categories: Consulting, Development