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A Swim or Swim Approach


Radial Development Group

February 8 · Issue #49 · View online

Our thoughts on running a company, tech insight, news, and nerd life.

Hi Friends,
On Richie’s second day on the job, he ended up in the depths of a murky code base. I know. I was there with him. 
We had to manage 14 open files, a large and sometimes flaky test suite, multiple database migrations and a side of quirky Javascript.
It was probably (no, definitely) overwhelming for his first week as a professional developer. 
We don’t treat new developers any different from those with years of experience. It’s worked for us so far. Our new hires see and do a ton, quickly. 
The ways we support this are:
  • Having a help channel where anyone can ask and get support, usually within minutes if not hours
  • Requiring pair programming and shadowing for the first two weeks on the job
  • Assigning mentors to every new hire
  • Scheduling weekly one-on-one check ins with supervisors
  • Encouraging collaborative working every day
  • Requiring code review for all code going into production
Some might describe our approach to throwing new devs directly into code as “sink or swim.” And while Richie was certainly in the deep, the support we offer him and other new hires mean the only real option is “swim.”
It doesn’t matter if you need a lifeguard, a rescue boat, or a pair of swimmies. We got you. 

Sparking Genius
From our friendly neighborhood nerd Ariana F., at Rosabella Consulting
Uncomfortable but safe
Many years ago I participated in a high ropes course. My palms were sweaty and I was nervous the entire time. I was way outside my comfort zone but since I was harnessed in, I was safe.
This is what it’s like creating a safe space for difficult conversations. Feeling safe doesn’t remove feelings of discomfort. And feeling uncomfortable doesn’t mean you should avoid the situation. Unfortunately, our society has trained us to confuse comfort for safety.
Part of creating safety during times of heightened emotions and conflict (the two go together like peanut butter and jelly) is fostering a sense of connection. It helps to get clear about the needs of the individuals involved while encouraging everyone to be curious and open minded.
A sense of connection, awareness of everyone’s needs, and an open mind are three of the most important ingredients for effectively navigating misunderstandings.
What steps can you take to ensure these ingredients are present the next time you’re navigating a conflict or misunderstanding?
Want to learn more about how to have healthy conflict? Read more online here.
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