coaching and training, recruting strategies

related to .net projects. posts on coaching, training and recruting for teams. generally, program management related tasks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Preparing a team for a productive year on 2.0 (personnal experience) to be continued
this summer, starting June, I had the responsibility to do recruting for our company, as well as the responsibility of preparing a framework, for developping and communicating this year. one of the challenges is giving up summer vacations (for startups, that is a good idea when possible). In this post, I wish to talk about the following points:
  1. recruting (this post).
  2. preparing the team for integration (next post).
  3. preparing the framework (next post + 1).
  4. setting an end date for such a project (next post +2).
Recruting :
for recruting, the count is 4 persons, here are the persons I found:
  1. Developper (2 years of experience, (Microsoft Certified) Name: Tems
  2. Systems engineer and Trainer (4 years of experience training. Microsoft Certified) Name: Nejm
  3. IT Student (work experience as a stock manager), and a thirst for developing great solutions and research on latest technology. Name: Adnane
  4. IT Student (beginner in the world of programming), but great learning speed, and good discipline. Name: Ouarda
Now this may sound too good to be true for any small company with a great number of projects coming in. Ok, it is, yet the effort it took to get such a team all together is through a long term relashionship with these persons. In fact, for two years, I have always kept a tight relationship with the two experienced professionals, this way, in the case I get a chance to build a team, I am assured trustworthy people.
Now for the students, I had the chance to give training to a group of students during a summer vacation. Then, with one of the students, who was so interested in the .net framework, and seemed to know where the technology was shifting, we started sharing some of our personal projects. After a month of sharing, I was amazed at how technically high level was this person. so I kept his contact information, hoping to meet him again, and have him with me in a team, if i get the chance to do so.
After a few months, I had integrated a company, with which it seemed I had found a great work environment; moreover, it seemed that they pushed (with great agility) towards a role I always dreamed of, which is .net specific technical management (especially
with Adnane, one day I logged in to yahoo messenger, only to find him connected at 1AM (serveral months later). we talked a little, especially about 2.0, when he informed me that he was still studying focused on 1.1, and that 2.0 was still not ready to be used for production.
At this moment, at our company, we were in the final stages of an 2.0 project, so i showed him some of it, and other examples, until he got convinced it is time to shift over to 2.0. Then after checking with my manager, I informed him, that if we stick together, we might have a interesting project, as well as the chance of working together in the same team; agreement was done, we were on for 6 months of sharing.
In the mean time, Tems asked me if i could assist 3 girls in a project, for their last year at an IT school. at that time, my wife had just given birth to my daughter (Lilia), which let me hesitate a lot, especially about the work load. after 3 days, I accepted to take the responsibility. From this group of three girls, one seamed to be oriented towards communication, another towards graphics design, and Ouarda, towards programming.
Now, the situation is, Tems is already in My team, Nejem not yet (furstrated at work), Adnane getting closer and closer, and Ouarda on the way, surprising me with her determination each time we work together.
Work Load: January until August, 3 2.0 projects, projects with the 3 girls, project with Adnane, and another project of a person I forgot to mention. 5 projects in total, plus training the students in many different aspects of work, without forgetting the baby :) . this took about 6 to 7 days a week of work load.
In other words, this is quality focused recruting, which has the following advantages:
-assurance about the students accepting the mindset of the company.
-assurance of trust
-enough time to determine the techical abilities.
this sounds like a lot, but the results are just great. by July, Tems was already a confirmed developer in the company; Adnane and ouarda are with me, working a on a project i get to manager technically.
Basically, with Adnane and Ouarda, I did more training and guidance than development, which is partly the goal, ease the work load so we can handle more projects at once.
at this point, Nejem, finally gets in with the section regrading his specialty. Team complete.
after 3 months of training, moral guidance, and helping the guys get setup, with the help of all team members in the company, we got to set up the new recrutes, well integrated to work and start to be productive.
Here started another project, which is, setting up standards of coding and application development, which went well. This is the framework subject.
Now, this type of recruting is costly, yet in middle of they year, we can still do regular recruting of one or two persons, if the need arises, based on resume, experience, and a few references.
The team is now well set, we are almost done with our framework, and are ready for any type of applications in