Please Turn Your Cameras On: Remote Onboarding of Software Developers during a Pandemic

May 1, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way that software development teams onboard new hires. Previously, most software developers worked in physical offices and new hires onboarded to their teams in the physical office, following a standard onboarding process. However, when companies transitioned employees to work from home due to the pandemic, there was little time to no time to develop new onboarding procedures. In this paper, we present a survey of 267 new hires at Microsoft that onboarded to software development teams during the pandemic. We explored their remote onboarding process, including the challenges that the new hires encountered and their social connectedness with their teams. We found that most developers onboarded remotely and never had an opportunity to meet their teammates in person. This leads to one of the biggest challenges faced by these new hires, building a strong social connection with their team. We use these results to provide recommendations for onboarding remote hires.

  • Paige Rodeghero
  • Thomas Zimmermann
  • Brian Houck
  • Denae Ford

Explore more research

View research index