It takes developers a long time to get to “Hello, World!”
Mature platforms have a short path to get users to their first “Hello, World!”, meaning that developers can quickly get up and running with a basic application with minimal (or even no) human intervention. If the time to first “Hello, World!” on a platform is long, it usually means that startup tasks like account creation and resource provisioning require manual intervention of some kind. This friction compounds over time, forcing the platform team to wrestle with manual tasks from an ever-growing backlog of product teams struggling to get started.
Mature platforms automate the account creation process, and let developers self-provision the resources they need to deploy a basic application. Sometimes platform operators will task the team doing manual onboarding with automating their manual steps, using the logic that this team will have the clearest sense of the steps that need to be automated. Bear in mind, however, that if the group charged with manual onboarding is also the group charged with automating onboarding steps, they may face challenges in supporting both sets of tasks unless sufficiently resourced.
- Look for opportunities to improve developer onboarding documentation. One way to do this is to look for questions that are repeatedly asked by different users, and ensure that these onboarding steps are clearly documented.
- Where possible, replace live orientation or training sessions with recorded sessions. This makes it more convenient for platform users to review these sessions at their convenience, and takes the burden of repeating the same information over multiple sessions off of platform staff.
- Look for opportunities to automate onboarding steps and highlight those that have the largest potential return on platform staff time saved.
- Ensure onboarding automation efforts are adequately staffed and funded.