Onboarding Email: How I welcome new members into my team

Onboarding new members into your team the right way is crucial to them getting upto speed as quickly as possible. The sooner and better they are onboard, the faster they can contribute to the team productivity. And welcome emails play a big role here.

So here's the welcome email I designed for my new team members in one of my projects. I quite enjoyed writing this and it remains a favourite. So here I am sharing with a wider audience as an example of a Welcome Email to send out to new members.

I take care to build up excitement about the project through an overview of achievements and accomplishments. I give them not only a high level overview of the technical landscape but also the business context and roadmap. And I signoff again on an exciting note. I hope this gets my new team members all kicked to join our team!

Hi John,

Welcome to the largest multi-platform mobile project in Acme Consulting. You are now joining the team behind the featured Travel app on the iPhone App Store and the recipient of the Top Developer badge on Android. This is also the team behind the mobile web site which has been featured in Google's examples for best website design!

And yes, this is the team that created Calatrava, a custom cross platform javascript framework, that allows you to share code between iOS, Android and Mobile web, yet use native views, thus preserving the native user experience. Something very different from other tools like PhoneGap which just allow you to code in HTML/Javascript and package that HTML across platforms using webviews.

Mobile is a very exciting and fast changing space. And our people really love working on mobile technologies. Some of us love working on Android, whereas some of us are iOS fans. And of course we have those who can weave a Web of magic using HAML, Coffeescript and SCSS.

But mind you, our's is not just a client side project, we have a server side Anti Corruption Layer implemented using Jersey in a RESTful way with JSON and HATEOAS.

From Java in Android, to Objective C and Swift in iOS, to good old javascript in Mobile Web, we have a wide range of technologies for you to work on. If you love Ruby, then you would be happy to see Rake being used extensively to drive build and other tasks. Rake comes specially handy in integrating tasks across these wide range of technologies.

And ofcourse, there can't be a web project which doesn't use NodeJS today. Our's being a Single Page App though, we primarily use Node for build tasks like compiling Coffescript and running jasmine tests.

Such a large project requires a well designed CI system setup for fast feedback. And this is where ThoughtWorks GO has been indispensable. GO allows us to model the entire value stream from a code commit build to automated functional tests to automated uploads to the HockeyApp app distribution setup which allows our QAs to easily install and test the latest development version of the app.

Talking of CI setup, we have Ansible infrastructure automation in place to setup our Go agents, which also doubles up as a dev box setup script. Ansible is our preferred tool for infrastructure automation due to its low overhead and simplicity. Our internal development and test environments are also setup using Ansible.

QAs would like to note that we have automated functional testing using Calabash iOS, Calabash Android and Webdriver. And we have abstracted these different tools using our automation test framework which just requires a Single Page Object model per screen to drive automation across all three platforms. This means you have to write code just once and you get automation across all three platforms!

The airline industry is a fairly complex domain. Airlines were one of the earliest industries to get computerized way back in 1960s because there was no other way to manage this complexity. XYZ Airlines still continues to use this mainframe computer system written by IBM, which runs on a mainframe computer OS called zTPF.

XYZ Airlines has invested in adding many useful features to enhance the air travel experience, from things like flight notifications to track my bag feature to inflight entertainment options. One of the best things is the Today mode feature, where, on the day of your travel, your app user interface changes to a handy dashboard which presents all the required information from departure time to gate number to boarding pass, all at your fingertips, just one tap away.

Mobile is an area which has tremendous scope for innovation and we have looked to make good use of these innovations. After Apple launched the iBeacon technology, we demoed a PoC on how this technology can be used to automatically checkin the passenger when he walks through the gate and this led to a trial at the Atlanta airport.

Mobile revenue and traffic has been steadily increasing for us and this is now leading to increased attention being focussed on mobile. So we expect more interesting times ahead as we try to further enhance the air traveller experience.

Ah, how can I signoff without mentioning our recent foray into the world of wearables! Yes, we indeed are the team behind the Android Wear and the Apple Watch app! Both these products were launched with our app already available for them from day one!

Welcome to Project X!