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Channel your inner Jason Bay: How to be productive on a new Team

by Ashish Dixit


You've landed a great opportunity to work with some of the smartest people in the industry. You can barely contain the enthusiasm to learn and contribute to the team. You may not have all the required technical skills on day one, but you are confident that you will get there with the support from your team. It's exciting & stressful at the same time because you need to start contributing right away.

A lot of developers find themselves in these shoes, just as I did in not-too-distant past. This talk offers specific strategies developers of all skill levels can use to start making an immediate impact. These strategies have enabled me to contribute quickly on a new team and I want to share it with you so that they can help you on each new project or team you work with. I also want to share specific gotchas and share some tips on how to adapt and continue to improve once you have become productive member of the team.

The talk will primarily focus on:

  • Techniques for quickly learning a new codebase
  • Finding ways to have a significant impact quickly
  • Ways in which you can continue to be more awesome

Additional Notes

Anything in addition to the abstract the choosing committee should take into consideration.

Intended Audience

While this talk is from the perspective of someone new to the team, I am confident that it will help experienced developers better understand the mindset and needs of new team members necessary to help them onboard new developers quickly and effectively. In fact, anyone who is starting on a new team or on a new codebase can learn a few things from this talk. Furthermore, this talk will explain the mindset of new developers to their more experienced counterparts who are interested in creating a nurturing environment within their company, their city or the greater Ruby Community.

Why I want to give this talk?

In response to the scarcity of technical talent, there have been numerous initiatives to train people with limited or no programming experience so that they can be employed as an entry-level developer. However, there is very little conversation going on about what challenges these people feel when they find themselves on a new team. I hope that by talking about my experiences on boarding on a new team and lessons I learned since, I can start a conversation with others who are going through the same thing as well as members of technical community who find themselves mentoring new hires with limited experience.