Scott Porad - Web 2.0 Expo SF 2011

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Our on-boarding process at Cheezburger.

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  • Hello!My name is ScottPorad and I am the CTO at Pet Holdings, Inc. Pet Holdings is the company behind the hugely popular I Can Has Cheezburger? and Failblog.org. A quick show of hands: Who is familiar with our sites? Is it part of anybody’s daily “coffee break” routine? Okay, last question: has anybody actually created a LOLcat or submitted a FAIL to Failblog?Well, if you’re not familiar with these sites, let me give you a quick introduction:
  • Get some feelings from people.Who has a job?Okay, that means you had a first day. Think back to it…what was it like…what did you do?Do a show of hands…find someone with a recent first day…ask them how it was.If good, then say great.If not good, then find another person who had a bad experience.Okay, well let me tell you what some of my teammates had to say about their first day
  • Talk some more about this…emotions from the blog post.
  • That’s true…we do show them the bathroom…here it is…four sinks, two stalls, a shower in the back…it’s really wonderful…and this is the time for my shameless pitch: http://jobs.cheezburger.com
  • But, it’s also true that we make them commit code on the first day. And, for the remainder of this talk I’m going to explain to you why we do it, why you should do it, and how you can make it work.Let’s start with the reasons why. There are three.
  • #1. Now, why do we make them commit code?The first reason is like this slide…which is the Michaelangelo’s fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The seminal moment when G-do touched Adam.The seminal moment for a developer is when their code goes live. Until that moment, their work really has no value. Or, rather, none of the value of their work will be realized until their code goes live.So, if you want to get value out of a developer, then that developer must be able to get code from their finger tips out in front of customers. In other words, a developer is worthless if we can’t do that. I’m paying these guys a lot, so I want to get some value from them.Like I said, that’s the essence of the whole gig. So, on their first day we show them how do to the full-cycle…from fingers to customers.
  • Reason #2: It makes sense!
  • Final reason: you never get a second chance to make a first impressionThink of how they hit the ground running and how that’s motivating for the future days.Normally, you start slow and maybe hit your stride after a few weeks or months…with lots of bumps on the way because, in fact, there is a lot to learn.We shoot you out like a rocket and that blasts you right through the bumps
  • Have a well-documented procedure so that the developer can install a development environment on their workstation.
  • Let’s be clear: the point of the exercise is not to have someone show you their amazing coding chops. The point of the exercise is for them to learn the process for getting code from their keyboard into our software. It’s simply impossible for a developer to be productive member of your team if they don’t know that process, so that’s what we teach them first.
  • Even the best developers are not going to figure out how to follow your process and fix that bug on their own. It’s just impossible. On Day One, a new employee is still trying to figure out the location of the bathroom, for goodness sake!So, we assign them a mentor to coach them through the day. And, we don’t just say, “Oh, you can ask so-and-so if you have any questions.” No…I take another developer and have him sit with the new employee, side-by-side, at the new guy’s desk, for the entire day helping him through the process.Most companies don’t want to waste a second of developer time…they want developers pounding out code. Yet, we’re “wasting” an entire day of developer time, so that we can get a second developer up to speed much faster. In my view, that’s not waste because ROI on that day is spectacular!
  • CD’s for some software vs. downloading
  • Hello!My name is ScottPorad and I am the CTO at Pet Holdings, Inc. Pet Holdings is the company behind the hugely popular I Can Has Cheezburger? and Failblog.org. A quick show of hands: Who is familiar with our sites? Is it part of anybody’s daily “coffee break” routine? Okay, last question: has anybody actually created a LOLcat or submitted a FAIL to Failblog?Well, if you’re not familiar with these sites, let me give you a quick introduction:
  • Scott Porad - Web 2.0 Expo SF 2011

    1. 1. No Code = No Bathroom<br />Scott Porad<br />Cheezburger Network<br />http://scottporad.com<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3. How did your first day on the job feel?<br />
    4. 4. “Scary, and very good!” <br />– Eli T.<br />
    5. 5. “Most productive first day ever. It felt great!” <br />– J.M.<br />
    6. 6. “Best first day ever.” <br />– Dan<br />
    7. 7. We don’t show them the bathroom until they commit code.<br />
    8. 8.
    9. 9. http://jobs.cheezburger.com<br />
    10. 10.
    11. 11. http://jhelmassociates.com/managmentNotes-motivatingInHardTimes-v1p4.html<br />
    12. 12. while (chances < 1) {make_first_impression();}<br />
    13. 13. 1. Be Prepared<br />Let them know!<br />Machine and software on their desk<br />Accounts setup with access instructions<br />Development environment setup guide<br />Use downtime to fill-out paperwork<br />Bootstrapping Scripts<br />
    14. 14. 2. Control the Change<br />Specific and small task<br />Very minor bug fix or code change<br />It’s not about coding chops!<br />
    15. 15. 3. Assign a Mentor<br />Someone on their team<br />Mentor has no other tasks<br />Sit together side-by-side for the day<br />Waste?<br />
    16. 16. Kaizen<br />
    17. 17.
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21. KTHXBAI!!1!<br />http://scottporad.com<br />http://cheezburger.com/scottporad<br />http://cheezburger.com<br />http://jobs.cheezburger.com<br />

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