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Tech Lead Journal

66 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#24 - Best Practices for Your Developer Onboarding Process - Tanaka Mutakwa

“When you recruit an engineer on your team, you actually want to make sure from their first day on, you give them the smoothest entry into your company and help them and assist them in as many ways as you can to become productive as fast as possible."

Tanaka Mutakwa is the VP of Engineering at Names & Faces and the founder of the Tech Leadership community in South Africa. In this episode, Tanaka shared with me his best practices for onboarding new technical hires and developers into the team. We started off by discussing tech landscape, startup scenes, and tech communities in Africa (in particular South Africa). Then we dived deep into the onboarding best practices ranging from technical aspects (such as tools and technologies), domain knowledge, and importance of soft skills. Tanaka also shared with me a lifestyle brand/movement that he has been championing called “NoDaysOff”, which has a mission to inspire people to chase their goals and dreams consistently.

Listen out for:

  • Names & Faces - [00:06:06]
  • Career Journey - [00:07:31]
  • Tech Landscape in Africa - [00:13:13]
  • Tech Communities in Africa - [00:19:54]
  • Onboarding New Software Engineers - [00:24:26]
  • Pair Programming - [00:31:36]
  • Importance of Documentation - [00:34:15]
  • Domain Knowledge - [00:36:44]
  • Developers Lack of Interest in Business - [00:38:48]
  • Understanding Tech vs Business Constraints - [00:42:40]
  • Importance of Soft Skills - [00:44:36]
  • Tips for Improving Soft Skills - [00:50:01]
  • NoDaysOff - [00:52:31]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:57:12]


Tanaka Mutakwa’s Bio
Tanaka Mutakwa is the VP of Engineering at Names & Faces. His job is to make everyone in the engineering organisation successful by influencing architectural decisions, establishing best practises, setting work cadences and cultural norms and overcoming the issues that get in the way of the team’s success. Tanaka is also the founder of a lifestyle brand / movement called NoDaysOff and the founder / organiser of the Tech Leadership community in South Africa.

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