Monday, January 28, 2008

Day 1, Project 1

I've been hiring a lot recently - we've gone from 1 to 4 people in less than 6 months (yipes!). One thing I'm slowly learning is how to deal with a person's first day.

  • Give them a project. This is the most important thing. It provides focus and a way to learn. Make sure it's not a dull backwater project, but it should be something that can take a few days.
  • Do the HR stuff. They'll be worried about their benefits, etc., if they don't just get it out of the way.
  • Tell them to "just read the manual". BORING.
  • Have them "play with the product". Also kind of dull and directionless. Useful, sure, but hard to do without some sort of map or guideline.
  • Ask them to "settle into their computer". For some people, this is a real project. For most testers, though, that means finding email, IM, the defect tracking system, the test plans, and source code. Done. This won't really take long.
If you expect people to hit the ground running, they will. So turn the treadmill on for 'em.

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