Developer Reviews are done to assess the working form of a team member. While the first one is scheduled automatically at the end of the onboarding period of a new team member, it can be request anytime by any team member.
The developer reviews will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Technical skills.
Team members must demonstrate development and devops abilities on basic and complex tasks.
- Time management and spillovers.
Newcomers must have at least half of their sprints clean during their onboarding period (2/4) and at least 75% of the sprints clean afterward.
See Roles: Communication for the expected response times, and the additional expectations for Newcomers.
Team members should respond gracefully to changes in task requirements and scope, communicate concerns and issues, and allocate effort appropriately across the current or follow-up tasks.
- Potential for growth.
Team members should demonstrate an enthusiasm for learning and improvement across all aspects of their work.
The developer review is not meant to produce a yes or no result like a trial project review, but provide helpful feedback for the team member.
The developer review should
- Follow the general structure as the one below, skipping sections only when there is nothing to note.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
## Positives Technical Skills * ... Time Management * ... Communication * ... Adaptability * ... ## Improvements Technical Skills * ... Time Management * ... Communication * ... Adaptability * ... **Rating:**
- Have one of the following as the Rating:
- Issues to solve
- Below team standards
- Include links to relevant content like JIRA or GitHub comments. These are important to see what the reviewer is trying to communicate and also useful when sharing feedback with the developer.
- Adhere to the deadline mentioned in the ticket when submitting the review, as they are usually in the middle of the sprint, unlike other tickets which are usually worked on until the end of the sprint.
Tips to ace your first developer review¶
Avoiding spillover and delivering on schedule is really important in an environment where we make direct promises to clients about deliverables. Our reputation as an organization is on the line when we cannot deliver as we promised, so it matters tremendously to us to see a newcomer making deadlines consistently. It's required that you communicate explicitly when you feel there is going to be spillover, as soon as you can detect it, and try to find someone else who can complete or help you complete them. It’s totally ok to do this, and even welcomed by people who have time left in their sprint. We are a team, and we work together to avoid spillover.
As an international remote team, there is little progress we can make if we don't constantly communicate (with respect to not being interruptive if it isn't necessarily urgent). We promise you that we didn't recruit any mind readers! We won't magically figure anything out unless it's been talked about, through any of our multiple modes of communication. You should be communicating with your reviewers daily or every 2 days minimum on what your progress on their task is (by commenting on the JIRA tickets). Even if they have no questions, just stating status is important and can give reviewers/mentors somewhere to jump in and help. On the other hand, when blocked in a task, make sure to reach the reviewer for help. If the reviewer isn't available, you can reach for the sprint firefighters.
Show your skills¶
It's important to take tasks of progressive difficulty, and make sure to take reviews on too. It's much easier for the core team to review your onboarding if you have picked varied tasks of different complexity and skillset. We’re looking for a cross-section of tasks across all our required work areas: full stack dev, devops, and ops.
This point is in quotes because everyone obviously likes being around other nice people, so you'd assume this was obvious. But of course everyone believes, "Yeah, I'm nice!", but it goes a long way to being deliberately nice with your colleagues, and not just believing you are; they will simply enjoy working with you more.