Our team is finally getting some new members added. We have been struggling with a limited staff for what seems like a whole year. Now we got some new blood. The challenge is to get them up to speed as soon as possible.
In my opinion, we should throw some bugs their way. You learn a lot about our system when you fix the bugs. That's how I learned most of my domain knowledge. You really don't learn as much when you add a new feature here or there. The only problem with this is that we don't have laptops for the new folk to use yet. So fixing bugs is out of the question.
The current plan is for the new peeps to pair program with experienced developers. This has worked well in the past. One of our bright stars spent the first few weeks shadowing me on some new development. He says he learned more during those few weeks than he has his entire time being here.
I got one guy shawoing me at the moment. So far I have gone through development of one of my scripts with him. I also reviewed some requirement changes with him so we could help another developer on the team. The only difficult part of this arrangement is that my new guy lives far away. He has a massive commute to get to my office. We worked out a deal where he spends two days a week at my office. Let's hope he learn a lot.