How Venn covered all documentation bases for onboarding new developers

Venn, the innovative mobile app that connects neighbours, communities and businesses, has been driving human connection across neighbourhoods, and even more so after the first wave of Covid-19. With $40 million raised in 2019, Venn committed to expand its R&D capabilities. Now, they’re tripling their 10-people engineer team and needed a solution that would help them share their tribal knowledge with newcomers.

Barak Drechsler, Engineering Manager at Venn, shared how he scaled developer onboarding with Swimm (and quickly!)

“We realised how much knowledge was undocumented, and that soon it will start to create a gap we won’t be able to bridge anymore.”  Venn uses a sophisticated and complex stack, consisting of Graph QL, Node, React and React Native. Onboarding to it is no easy feat.

"We wanted to scale our team, but we understood it would be very difficult to onboard new engineers without the right tools and methodology. We needed to find a solution that would help us quickly start documenting our knowledge and then optimize it in the future.”

All aboard: a documentation hackathon!

Venn heard of Swimm and saw our Twitter feed, and decided to start with a PoC for Continuous Documentation. “We decided to go for it, and found out Swimm was everything we needed in a continuous documentation platform.

“We started out with what we called a “Docu-thon” (documentation hackathon) because new developers were starting to get onboarded and we needed a solution for them fast, one that will grow with our codebase without becoming absolute. We made a team event out of it and devoted two days to complete the initial phase.

“Each team member decided which code area they wanted to document. It was a team effort. After the Docu-thon, each team member demoed their documented area to get everyone up to speed.”

A successful experience for a promising documentation future

Venn was very happy with Swimm and decided to expand the PoC and integrate Swimm into their development workflow.

“New onboarded developers are already enjoying the results of the Docu-thon. Our onboarding process has become a lot better following our implementation of Swimm and we’re planning to streamline the process so we can continue documenting incrementally as our codebase evolves.”


Check out more resources on getting started with Continuous Documentation at the Swimm Community Arena or sign up for a free Swimm demo.