Today I will showcase how Cassava can help to streamline the onboarding of software developers to a new organization or a new team within the same organization. So without any further ado, let’s jump into this one.
Minimize Context Switching
The field of Software Development decries the evil that is context switching for its detrimental effect on productivity, yet, the first day and weeks in the onboarding cycle are marked by a mixed bag of tasks, all seemingly competing for equal attention.
First in line is Human Resources, with their list of required training, including everyone’s favorite Compliance Training.
The team that welcomes the new prospect arrives with their prerequisite modules documenting development philosophies and sprint cadences alike.
And amid this stream of activity is the ongoing provisioning of access to various platforms, including Git, Slack, and Jira, to name a few.
When left unchecked, these competing tasks can quickly become burdensome and send the wrong cue that task completion is more important than seeding long-term organizational traits.
What’s Wrong with this picture?
Stand back, and let’s assess what is happening. We are asking Software Developers to hit the ground running and quickly become productive, yet on day one; we are already fragmenting their attention, a pattern which only seems to grow for the worst.
How you do anything, is how you do everything. — Jack Canfield "The Success Principles"
Most teams employ some form of asynchronous communication, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, and rave about its productivity gains. Yet, when the time comes to impart the culture of the organization to the new member, we fallback on approaches of the past.
Developers are forced to leave the one area where they are most at home and productive to fulfill a requirement that often feels to be a game of checkbox completions, and no, this is not how to gamify onboarding.
Your role with Cassava is an author, where you create an Experience (i.e., training module) and have it delivered to the new team member where THEY ARE, making for a smooth integration.
Today, this delivery target is Slack. Tomorrow, it is wherever we take the platform with your input, and the best part of it is that the same Experience you design today will be forward compatible.
Faster Insight through Pattern Recognition
We learn best when we can formulate patterns from what first appears as seemingly disparate pieces of information.
However, most training follows the model of exhausting one topic to completion before advancing to the next.
With Cassava, we apply Pattern Recognition to your programs by interweaving content smartly.
What does this really mean?
The new team member encounters the same high-level concept intermixed with that of others throughout the Experience’s lifetime.
For example, on day 1, you might see a Principle on Data Privacy interweave with one on Agile Methodology, followed by another Principle on Data Privacy on days 3, 5, and 7, interspersed with those of even more disciplines.
This distribution pattern continuously reinforces content from previous days and helps to build connections across the various Disciplines in the program.
Knowledge is not power, it is mere potentiality.
Non-linear modes of learning are how we work best, and Cassava plays to this strength.
Experience, not knowledge, is the true source of power, a fact lost to many a Knowledge Base.
It is what one does with information that matters!
Foster Long lasting Cultural Change
Anyone can check a box, and most LMS systems seem to thrive on this fact.
However, actual, long-lasting cultural change comes from upfront engagement, adoption, and retention.
Don’t believe me?
This is fine. But think about how you approached your last round of seasonal Compliance Training.
I do not believe that I would be too presumptuous to assume that your approach was a protracted bout of procrastination followed by a mad rush at the end to meet a deadline.
In this regard, your approach is not uncommon but indeed the norm.
A big reason for this lackluster engagement comes from the heavy-handed nature of the training and the requirement that the developer must routinely interrupt their rhythm of work to jump here, there, and beyond to complete a seemingly unrelated task.
With Cassava, we keep the developer dancing in rhythm by delivering the content where they are rather than asking them to go to a seldomly frequented neighborhood. This inversion leads to higher engagement, reinforcing adoption, and boosting retention.
Everyone wins when training tasks are not easily distinguishable from the myriad of daily asynchronous notifications, such as a pull request review from a teammate.
So there you have it, three ways in which meeting your Software developers where they are can help streamline onboarding and a host of other training in your organization.
And best of all, the same Experience you design today will be compatible with other distribution channels as they come online, putting the power of which channel bests fits in the hands of your audience, the way it should be.
Do you lead a team? Do any of these points resonate with you? Share what works for your team with the community.
Your feedback is welcomed as always.
You no doubt have an opinion bubbling to the surface.