How to Design an Engineering Training Plan

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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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