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The Complete Onboarding Guide For Software Engineers: Succeeding When You're New

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Rahul PandeyTech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
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Course Overview

Onboarding is the critical period when you first join a new team or company. The impression you create in the initial months has an outsized impact on your future opportunities. The best engineers leverage this time to put their careers on the fast track, while poor engineers miss expectations and end up PIP'ed or terminated.

There's a lot to do as you ramp up: learn the codebase, build relationships, and start working on impactful projects. So it's no surprise that joining a new company can be overwhelming and stressful.

This course presents a roadmap to ensure your success while onboarding. We cover the importance of onboarding as the foundation for your job and career, why companies generally suck at it, and the correct mindset to adopt when you're new.

We'll then share tactics around three key pillars for Software Engineering onboarding:

  • 🧠 Asking for help
  • πŸ’» Learning the codebase
  • πŸ™‹πŸ½ Building relationships

Most importantly, this course will share the principles behind the advice so you can navigate any situation you're in.

We'll also cover specific tips for success in common situations:

  • Junior engineers
  • Senior engineers
  • Joining a small company (whether VC-backed or indie business)
  • Joining a large company

Here's what you'll gain by the end of the course:

  • ✊🏽 Build serious respect with your manager + team

  • βŒ›οΈ Quickly become productive in a new codebase

  • πŸ‘¨πŸ½β€πŸ’» Learn from coworkers (even if they’re not helpful)

  • ❌ Understand failure modes (+ prevention)

If your anxiety is coming from looking for a job instead of onboarding into a job, you're in luck! Take this course and come back when you're gainfully employed: [Course] Ace Your Tech Interview And Get A Job As A Software Engineer

Meet Rahul Pandey

Rahul has been "the new engineer" seven times in his career: four internships and three full-time jobs. He's been an engineer for most of his career and directly shaped the onboarding experience for new engineers on his teams as a manager. Most recently, he worked for 4.5 years at Meta as a Staff Software Engineer and Manager.

Rahul: The Frequent Noob

Rahul has personally onboarded across a variety of companies and levels of seniority. His first job after university was as a founding engineer (employee #3) at a Stanford startup. Onboarding in this company was as simple as "Here's your laptop, good luck!"

This startup was acquired by Pinterest, which was a Silicon Valley darling undergoing hypergrowth at the time with ~400 employees. Pinterest had more process than the startup, but the product and company were changing rapidly. The onboarding was frequently incorrect or outdated.

Rahul then onboarded as a senior engineer at Facebook (now Meta), the classic Big Tech environment with tens of thousands of employees. Facebook is famous for a very structured approach to onboarding through Bootcamp: a multi-week program to get engineers up to speed.

This doesn't count the "mini-onboardings" that happen within a company: switching teams or moving around due to a re-org. The tech industry today moves incredibly fast, so the ability to adapt and ramp up quickly is essential.

Years Of Learning In 3 Hours

Rahul is now the cofounder of Taro, designed to accelerate career growth for engineers. In this capacity, he spoke directly to 100s of engineers who have onboarded at dozens of companies. This course condenses the collective wisdom from these engineers about the successful (and unsuccessful) traits of new employees.

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