Can you guess what automated OSS testing and OSS new starters have in common?
Both are best front-loaded.
As a consultant, I’ve been a new starter on many occasions, as well as being assigned new starters on probably even more occasions. From both sides of that fence, it’s far more effective to front-load the new starter with training / knowledge to bring them up to speed / effectiveness, as soon as possible. Far more useful from the perspective of quality, re-work, self-sufficiency, etc.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. For a start, new starters are generally only required because the existing team is completely busy. So busy that it’s really hard to drop everything to make time to deliver up-front training. It reminds me of this diagram.
Front-loading of automated testing is similar… it takes lots of time to get it operational, but once in place it allows the team to focus on business outcomes faster. Same goes for automation pipelines of all forms.
In both cases, front-loading leads to a decrease in efficiency over the first few days, but tends to justify the effort soon thereafter. What other examples of front-loading can you think of in OSS?