6 Proven Steps to Successfully Onboard ASP.NET Development Resources
Oftentimes, organizations have a very real need to expand their ASP.NET development resources beyond their current capacity. Sometimes this involves hiring an individual programmer or enlisting the assistance of an outsourced ASP.NET development company. Regardless, you can't simply expect these new ASP.NET developer resources to perfectly integrate with your existing team without taking the proper steps ahead of time.
Businesses need to follow an organic "best practices" approach to help make sure your outsourced team not only ramps up quickly, but so that it also begins to deliver value to the organization just as fast. For the best results, examine your entire body of work and choose a small project to let the new team get started on. This accomplishes a couple of important things, all at the exact same time.
First, it lets the team get the development environment set up properly in a situation with relatively low stakes. Secondly, it also lets the team get as familiar as possible with the existing code set - all so that they can hit the ground running.
By taking this approach, your team or your individual programmer gets up to speed on the code set and the client immediately gets something in return - a small problem is formally solved. This builds client confidence, all while enabling the team to work their way up to more advanced problems in the future.
Of course, there are a number of other steps you can take to make sure you're handling ASP.NET developer onboarding in the best way given your needs.
Step #1: Mind Those Contracts
By far, one of the most important steps you can take during programmer onboarding involves making sure you have a solid contract in place that clearly spells out the relationship between the two parties.
At a bare minimum, this needs to include non-disclosure clauses that protect your private company information, along with that of your clients. Make sure that there are clauses that state that the person or team can be let go for any reason, at any time.
Finally, make sure there is a clause stating that all intellectual property rights of the software being developed belong to your company, not to the ASP.NET developer. This will prevent them from taking everything with them should you eventually decide to part ways. We have heard horror stories of unscrupulous developers selling their client’s software because they did not protect their intellectual property up front.
Step #2: Become Clear on the Company Rules
Another important step involves making sure that your new ASP.NET team understands any organizational rules you may have. For example, do you have a rule that all source code must be managed in a source code repository? Or do you have a rule that only certain people can engage with a client and others can't, this all needs to be laid out ahead of time to avoid misunderstandings.
Overall, you need to make sure that your company's existing standard for coding and best practices are being followed to the letter. Your new programmer should spend time with a senior programmer - someone who can act in a mentorship capacity - to understand what will be expected of them from a programming point of view moving forward.
Step #3: Focus on the Development Environment
You'll also want to make sure that any new programmer or outsourced development team you choose has a development environment set up as early on in your relationship with them as possible.
If you want them to start delivering value quickly, they need all the tools and access granted necessary for the successful execution of the project.
Step #4: Quality Communication is King
To say that the level of communication you establish between you and your developers is important is, as you will come to find out, a bit of an understatement. Poor communication is the number one reason for software development project failure.
You need to make sure that your new ASP.NET developer fully understands how you communicate important issues and problems among the team. This can include chat tools like Skype, email and even a project management application. So long as you let them know what your preferred method of communication is, it'll avoid a host of issues in the long run.
Likewise, if any of the developers speak any language other than English as their first, make sure that their workstations are equipped with spelling and grammar checkers. Grammarly is just one example of this kind of tool. It’s not a bad idea to have this on everyone’s machine because we all make occasional mistakes in grammar and spelling. This, too, will go a long way towards ensuring effective communication in the future.
Step #5: Give Clarity on Project Goals
Always make an effort to review the entire body of work that the extended team will be working on so that you have the most accurate information to work from as your relationship with them continues. At this point, you'll also want to select a subset of the project for them to get stated on immediately - all so that they're quick to deliver value and obtain relevant experience with the code base.
Letting them get started on something small also confirms once again that they understand what is expected of them and that their working style meshes with your own. If it doesn't, you can take steps to remedy the problem or even replace your programmer or development team without it impacting too much of the larger project (which is again why those termination clauses in the contract are so crucial).
Be sure to go over all the requirements and priorities of the project so that everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction. It is absolutely in your best interest to establish your expectations of how they are to work, which plays directly into when they are to deliver results.
Step #6: Reporting, Reporting, Reporting
Whenever you're working with a new team, you always want them to report each day. Don’t let a new person go a whole week only to find they are hung up on something. Have them outline what they were able to accomplish today, and precisely what they're going to do tomorrow. It's a great way to maintain as much visibility into their work as possible, all so that you can guarantee they're staying on track.
In an agile ASP.NET development process, for example, this daily reporting is typically handled by way of daily stand-up meetings. Eventually, when you have more confidence in your ASP.NET team, you'll be able to move this reporting frequency to once a week.
But by having them report daily as early on in the process as possible, you can begin to see where things may be going astray as soon after the issue arises as possible. It's much, much easier to fix a small problem today before it has had a chance to become a much bigger (and potentially more complicated) one several weeks or even months from now.
In the end, if you're able to handle all of these things, you'll have more than just an efficient onramp for your new ASP.NET programmer or outsourced ASP.NET team of developers. You'll have the rock-solid foundation you need to build a better and more valuable relationship with these development resources as your project continues.
You'll also have a framework in place that can help you eliminate many of the false starts that organizations often deal with, thus keeping your new programmer or team on a path to becoming as productive as possible. This in and of itself makes all the effort worth it, to say nothing of the other advantages of the approach as outlined above.
To find out more information about our ASP.NET software development outsourcing capabilities, or if you’d like to discuss your ASP.NET needs with Keene Systems CEO, Lance Keene click here to book a call with him. You can also download our great new eBook - Why ASP.NET Development Services Fuels Business Growth - to learn more about this essential topic.