Buddy Program:
Some NCGs felt their buddy would have been more impactful had they been on the same team.

  • 97% of NCGs had a buddy
  • 100% of managers assigned a buddy
  • Buddies help NCG get up to speed - providing feedback / guidance / process & tool mentoring.
  • Buddy program is good, and provides value to NCG.
  • Check the assignment of buddies, and whether it is typical to assign buddies from the NCG’s team.
Continue buddy program, however, provide more guidance and resources for buddies and managers.

Create Job Aid for buddy assignment and mentorship (Job-Aid for buddy asg to include preferred matchings for QA and Dev sections)

Onboarding Training:
Written in comments about intensity and length of training

Job Skills:
NCG's top 5 skills:
94% choose Communication
88% choose Programming skills
72% choose Testing skills
70% choose Networking
68% choose Time Management

NCG Least valuable skills:
44% choose Navigation of sites
44% choose Project Mgmt
40% choose Presentation skills

data captured in Competency Dictionary
100% understand how their work directly contributes to the overall success of NetApp.
96% are proud to say that they work
for NetApp.
94% feel comfortable asking others
for information.
93% feel their opinions are valued.
93% feel their manager
provides timely feedback on
project tasks and status
90% say the overall work environment is positive for NCGs
83% say the team has a great "go beyond" attitude.
83% feel their manager cares about them as a person.
80% have a good network of "go to" people.
80% believe my manager cares
about my current development and
future role at NetApp.
74% agree that the challenges I
face at work are interesting, technical challenges.
70% believe their salary is
comparable to others they graduated college with.
62% have the opportunity to do
what they do best every day.
63% felt the information
and resources provided during
the ramp-up period enabled him/her to begin work immediately.
60% I have excellent opportunities for professional growth at NetApp.
44% socialize with coworkers outside of the office.
26% agree that roles and performance expectations were clearly outlined during my first few weeks.

Add to existing process a standardized communication of onboarding job expectations.

Recommendation that clear roles and perf expectation be given during initial 90 day development period.
NCG BEM:Resources/Information category
93% feel manager provides timely
feedback on project tasks and
90% have the tools necessary to be
successful in my job.
64% believe formal (college)
education adequately prepared me for my current role at NetApp.
63% believe information and resources provided during my ramp-up period enabled me to
begin work immediately.
  • Formal education only, was not enough preparation for roles.
  • Additional resources required for on-boarding.


NCG Responses (30 total) (evenly divided):
15 QA Engineer
15 Software Developer

Location of NCG respondents:
57% responses (17) - Bangalore, India
30% responses (9) - Sunnyvale, CA
13% responses (4) - Research Triangle Park, NC

Average length of service at NetApp:
11.5 months

Most important hard/technical skills:
(28 responses)
Operating Systems knowledge (file systems, kernel, OS, Unix, Linux, Windows, networking, data structures) -- suggested 15 times
Programming skills (C, C++, coding standards, OOP/OOD) -- suggested 13 times
Scripting skills (Perl, Python, VB) -- suggested 9 times
Problem solving skills and implementing a solution -- suggested 3 times
Debugging skills (gdb) -- suggested 2 times
Storage concepts -- suggested 2 times
Computer Science/engineering concepts -- suggested 1 time
Bug tracking (BURT) -- suggested 1 time
Testing (NATE, Unit Test, automation) -- suggested 1 time
Version control (Perforce, P4)
IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
Simulator (Vsim, 7-mode, cluster-mode)
Other comments:
  • Understanding and browsing through lots of kernel code is hardest of skills because at school one is not used to browsing through and understanding thousands of lines of code.
  • Ability to understand the existing code quickly and adapt to the coding standards followed in your group. As a NCG, you will see a lot of difference in coding styles.
  • Industry exposure through 6 months internship prior to joining NetApp
  • NetApp coding style
  • ability to read code as a story book
  • ONTAP administration (where should these 2 go?)
  • Basic knowledge of ONTAP

NCGs are completely unaware about the extensiveness and depth in the field of storage.
  • valuable experience developed through working regularly with code, (this skill was stressed less in formal eduction)
  • internships were valuable to skill development
  • valuable to have resources to build NetApp specific storage knowledge
data captured in Competency Dictionary
Most important soft/interpersonal skills (write-in):
(27 responses)
Communication/Listening skills - suggested 15 times
Interpersonal Relationships/Teamwork - suggested 12 times
Work Ethic - suggested 8 times
Problem Solving skills - suggested 3 times
Presentation Skills - suggested 2 times

data captured in Competency Dictionary
Training or professional development sessions attended in last year that have helped you succeed:
(23 responses)
Programming (Perl, C, C++, Python, .NET, M-Host) -- suggested 17 times
New hire training (Eng 101, eTOAST, NCG, NHO, PDE, SAN Bootcamp) -- suggested 13 times
Peer information (VOD - video on demand) -- suggested 1 time
communication skill class
management of time

Product development education as a part of New Hire training helped me to understand the big picture of NetApp storage system and the underlying subsystems. I would encourage having team specific trainings in the early months of ramp-up

data captured in Competency Dictionary
NCGs Tools (top 5 tools):
# 80% Bug tracking tool
  1. 70% Team meetings
  2. 70% Email
  3. 60% Simulator
  4. 57% Test Structure (NATE)

53% Test Scripts
50% Debugger
27% Build tool
23% Version control tool
10% Other (code review, code analysis and IDE)
3% Web conferencing
Top two items were the same in both lists (bug tracking tool and team meetings)
data captured in Competency Dictionary
NCGs Processes (top 5 processes):
# 83% Bug tracking
  1. 80% Team meetings
  2. 73% Debugging
  3. 60% Test automation
  4. 57% Unit testing
43% Version control
40% Software lifecycle
30% Release process
10% Other (design discussions, research, building and using simulators in 7 and 10 modes)
Bug tracking was also at the top of the managers list for both processes and tools (although tied for the top with several other processes)
Recommend that these items are focused on during mentoring and the weighting is captured in a mentorship Job-Aid