NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ923095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1366-5626
Learning to Be a Programmer in a Complex Organization: A Case Study on Practice-Based Learning during the Onboarding Process at Google
Johnson, Maggie; Senges, Max
Journal of Workplace Learning, v22 n3 p180-194 2010
Purpose: This paper seeks to analyse the effectiveness and impact of how Google currently trains its new software engineers ("Nooglers") to become productive in the software engineering community. The research focuses on the institutions and support for practice-based learning and cognitive apprenticeship in the Google environment. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses a series of semi-structured interviews with 24 Google stakeholders. These interviews are complemented by observations, document analysis, and review of existing survey and statistical data. Findings: It is found that Google offers a state-of-the-art onboarding program and benchmark qualities that provide legitimate peripheral participation. The research reveals how Google empowers programmers to "feel at home" using company coding practices, as well as maximizing peer-learning and collaborative practices. These practices reduce isolation, enhance collegiality, and increase employee morale and job satisfaction. Research limitations/implications: The case study describes the practices in one company. Practical implications: The research documented in the paper can be used as a benchmark for other onboarding and practice-based learning set-ups. Originality/value: This is the first research that gives insights into the practice-based learning and onboarding practices at Google. The practices are assessed to be state-of-the-art and the insights therefore relevant for benchmarking exercises of other companies. (Contains 6 notes.)
Emerald. One Mifflin Place Suite 400, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-576-5782; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A