How to Start Your Own Onboarding Academy
At Aptera, we’ve taken a unique, customized approach to onboarding new team members. We call our process the Aptera Academy and, in a nutshell, it is a learning and mentorship ramp up period to help new hires get caught up on any hard skills they will need as an Aptera developer. The Academy has grown and evolved over the six years since we started it, and it has proven to be beneficial to our team members. If you’re thinking that you need to formalize the training process for new developers at your company, here’s our guide to starting your own onboarding academy.
Identify Your Need
Create Your Curriculum
Take Time to Individualize
Even though you’ve made a complete curriculum list, not every developer who joins your team is going to be starting from the same place. To determine what each developer’s individual plan of action through the Academy will look like, we suggest conducting interviews to see which topics they already know and where their interests lie. Through these interviews you can then create a checklist personalized to each team member.
With this checklist in hand, students can then be sent out to learn on their own through tutorials, blogs, videos, and exercises. When a student feels they have mastered a skill, we have them check back in with our agile coach, who is the facilitator of the Academy, and teach the topics back to him or to other Academy students to demonstrate proficiency to get that skill checked off their list.
Set Up Your Academy to Scale
Move to Apprenticeship
Not everything that is helpful for developers to know can be learned through tutorials—there’s often no substitute for real world experience. You’ll need to have a way to bridge from your Academy to the real code of a project. For us, after a student’s personalized checklist is complete, we move them to an apprenticeship. In this phase of the Academy, the student will join a high-performing team working on a real Aptera client project. They also meet on a regular basis with our agile coach to give feedback. After three or four sprints of checking in, a developer is officially considered finished with the Academy.
Ultimately, we see the goal of the Aptera Academy as creating a habit of learning that team members can carry into their career here with us and even beyond. It’s basically building momentum for the continual learning they will get on every project they work on, and the value of learning is an incalculable asset.
If you’d like to build a culture of learning at your organization too, you should invest in an Academy onboarding set up. Want to learn more about our onboarding process? Download our onboarding checklist to make sure your new developers are set up for success.