Hiring a new developer is like flying to a new planet – you never know how it will turn out, even if you are an experienced cosmonaut. Nevertheless, there are some tricks experienced “cosmonauts” can use to make the onboarding of a new developer as smooth as possible for both sides. The best thing you can do is to give a newcomer a test project. In this article, we will share easy tricks on how to choose this project right.

Tip #1 Select an isolated module

To begin with it is better to select some isolated feature or module for development. We mean the one, which doesn’t have any other functionality dependent on them. The logic here is pretty easy: in case the developer would fail – it would be easy for you to throw the code away.

Tip #2 Start from something small

It is better to start from some small tasks. Trust us, the pressure on first days will be hard enough – you don’t want your newcomer to be buried under tons of unknown business logic of a huge project. Besides, getting to know a big project requires a significant amount of time – and it is in your interest to test your developer as soon as possible.

Tip #3 Development of some additions also works

It might be a good idea to ask the new developer to code some additions or improvements of the existing module or feature. This way he will get acquainted with system faster and will be more motivated to develop the task.

Tip #4 Keep time short

We highly recommend fitting the project between 40 and 80 hours. This is the perfect time for you to get enough information about the developer’s professional level. On the other hand, 2 weeks is not extremely a long time so you will able to switch to hiring a new developer quicker if your new employee doesn’t fit.

Tip #5 Estimate all sides of work

Remember, that when you hire a Team member, it is not only professional skills that matter.

It is also important how well he communicates with other staff, whether he tries to understand business needs, etc. So it is important to understand all these sides during the test period.

Tip #6 Add specification

A well-written specification is important at any stages of development.

The onboarding process is not an exception. In order to save time and nerves, it is better to prepare a specification for the test project in advance, where you will provide all required details. As an experiment, you might leave out some non-critical details behind and see, whether the developer will come back for them or what solution will he choose himself.

We hope, these pieces of advice will help you make your onboarding process much easier. Feel free to contact us if you want to test our developers.

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Business Analyst at Rubyroid Labs

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