"Need to Know", A Checklist For Developers

Whether you are boarding a new ship or taking on a new role in an organization, it is very important to understand the processes and tools that you will “need to know” to set you up for success. I have interviewed, trained, and managed many developers over the course of my career. I hope you find this list useful.

Understanding the role you play and setting the right expectations will help you excel in your new role. Process or operation management is very critical as each part of the organization typically have different tools, processes, and moving parts. A couple of great books that I read and highly recommend are called, The Goal  by Eli Goldrath and Friction by Roger Dooley.

The two most important parts are knowing how to collaborate amongst your team and knowing the best process to contribute to your team. 


ObjectivesUnderstand; ways to secure organization’s assets; engage with team members and partners in the most effective manner

  1. Securing Email - Enable the two factor authentication feature to improve security
  2. Instant Messenger Channel - Setup integration with development tools to get notifications e.g. Slack
  3. Secure Portal - securely share important documents amongst team members, partners, and customers e.g. schematics, feature design document, binary files, etc.
  4. Virtual Meeting Tools - I recommend Join.me and Zoom.us for screen share and interactive meeting 
  5. Team’s preferred way of communication - understand the best way to reach your manager, team, and development partners

Development and Process Management 

 ObjectivesUnderstand; the development cycle process within your organization; how to make your crafts visible to your team; important fields used and the events that will trigger a call to action for what happens next after a task accomplishment

  1. Project Management Tools e.g. Jira, Basecamp
  2. System Topology and Technology stack - Ask the architect for the system topology, UML and Sequence Diagram, System Architecture History / Legacy Information, API Documentation
  3. Source Control Management Tool - e.g. Git SCM - Understand the branching and release strategy. These handy git command I put together might help you. 
  4. Integrated Development Environment e.g. Visual Studio Code,  Netbeans, Sitecast IDE (Cloud-based)
  5. Debugger Tools e.g. For cloud-based development, you will need to get familiar with the search engine's developer tool 
  6. Build and Integration Documentation 
  7. Code Review Process 
  8. Continuous Integration Dashboard
  9. Qualification Dashboard 
  10. User Experience Feedback / Metrics  

By understanding the flow of the development process and communicating with your peers, you can easily understand the trend or pattern to help the team accelerate the development process. This will also help you excel in the area of your expertise. Optimizing and refactoring code would be much easier when making changes in your code base. 

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