When new hires are also new graduates, orientation takes on a special significance. Not only are we introducing people to our company, but we’re introducing them to the professional world and building a foundation for their long-term success.
This August, we launched “NewTS”, a month-long immersive orientation and training program for new software engineering hires. Our inaugural NewTS class included 24 exceptional undergraduate and advanced degree recipients from 14 universities.
With over fifty sessions led by thirty internal and external presenters, NewTS was designed around four key themes:
- Company, Context and Culture: Foster an understanding of what Two Sigma does and how engineering fits and functions in the organization.
- Technical Productivity: Present the theory behind Two Sigma’s approach to software development and provide a hands-on introduction to our engineering tools and practices.
- Networking: Introduce this year’s class to early career hires from previous years and to senior leaders from across the company, creating opportunities to develop lasting relationships.
- Career: Conduct workshops around practical business skills, including time management, business writing, public speaking, and giving and receiving feedback.
The cornerstone of the program was the group programming project, where small teams tackled real-world problems under the guidance of senior developers. These projects gave our new engineers direct experience building and shipping software at Two Sigma, and the results were outstanding, with several products already in regular use.
Our ‘NewTS’ had a great experience focusing on real-life skills and, as you can see below, having a lot of fun along the way. Two months after the program’s end, we see the camaraderie and bonds participants built during the program are as much of a fixture in their time at Two Sigma as the work itself.
We’re already thinking about NewTS 2017 and are looking forward to working with our 2016 participants to build an even better program.