How to Design an Engineering Training Plan

We’ve been exploring the tale of the startup and the engineer, and how their fates became entwined. First, we looked at the hiring wish list — the job description — drawn up by the managers of  WidgetCo, a company focused on Ruby on Rails. Next, WidgetCo met an engineer, and although they weren’t perfect for each other, they all took the plunge: WidgetCo hired a “trainable” Java engineer with a lot of skills with some differing technologies. WidgetCo knew they’d… continue…

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Summary: Next, WidgetCo met an engineer, and although they weren’t perfect for each other, they all took the plunge: WidgetCo hired a “trainable” Java engineer with a lot of skills with some differing technologies.

…There are many possible methods, from classes to books to online tutorials to one-on-one mentoring to throwing the trainee into the deep end of the pool and hoping he doesn’t drown.

…It’s not a good way to learn new concepts, because it’s hard for the trainee to get any feedback or to know whether he’s learning anything useful.

…This method suggests a series of tasks in increasing order of complexity: (1) fix a bug in a single area, (2) modify an existing feature to extend it based on a currently implemented pattern, (3) implement a new feature following a currently implemented pattern and (4) modify or implement a new feature using a new pattern or variation on a pattern.

A successful training plan considers what the trainee needs to learn and combines several methods to encourage the learning of concepts and product-specific or company-specific nuances.

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