Newcomers and Latecomers

April 04, 2018

Every single week at Code for Boston we do two things for the new people that show up. The first is we have an introductory slide show with project pitches so that the new members know what is going on. The second is we hold an orientation session to familiarize them with Code for America and Code for Boston. These two things work very well, but not for the latecomers.

Sitting in my orientation session it inevitably happens about half way through. After everyone has introduced themselves and I have explained what we do another leadership team member walks into orientation with a group of stragglers. Each time it happens it is different. It might be one person. It might be a group of five. Either way the late arrivals have launched a nuclear bomb into all the hard work we put in to make sure they have a good first experience. I have yet to figure out a great strategy for handling them.

The two options I see are the continuation and the reboot. In the continuation the new people show up, I let them introduce themselves, and then they simply miss all the content they were not here for. They are likely less clear about what is happening. I am not even sure they will want to return. If I reboot and start anew, it is both boring for me to have to repeat what I said and disrespectful to all the folk that showed up on time. It does not feel like there is a winning choice here.

If you click this post title there is in fact a comments section where you can share your ideas for how to tackle this, and I would appreciate those ideas.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.