Onboarding and Ramp-Up

This paper summarizes research at Google to better understand the onboarding experience for developers, and measure the impact of specific interventions to improve.

Oct 6, 2023

In our column thus far, we’ve focused on understanding and measuring productivity in a human-centered manner. Along the way, we have noted that the productivity of less senior and less tenured developers is, at least in some cases, sensitive to different pressures (or differentially sensitive to the same pressures) as that of their more senior and more tenured colleagues. This finding is intuitive: developers that are earlier in their career are typically assigned different tasks, they have less variety of experience to draw upon when faced with technical or organizational obstacles, and they may be less familiar with relevant tools, infrastructure, languages, libraries, and processes when compared to their more experienced fellow engineers. But how does a developer go from a rookie to a veteran? What facilitates or hinders developer onboarding and ramp-up? How can one assess interventions aimed at speeding up or otherwise improving developer training and education so that new engineers are enabled to hit their productivity stride quicker and more easily?

  • Collin Green
  • Ciera Jaspan

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