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Becoming a mentor, why and how?

Becoming a mentor, why and how?

I've been actively mentoring developers in the past few years, in this talk I'd like to go over how I went from a position of being mentored to being the mentor, what mistakes I made along the way and what I learned. We will also respond to the false statement of "mentoring is a waste of time" and look at some key points such as:
- mentoring, not micromanaging
- creating a safe space where it's okay to make mistake
- identifying areas that can be improved and coming up with a plan
- developing a culture around pair programming

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Florian Mierzejewski

October 22, 2021
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Transcript

  1. Becoming a mentor 
 Why and how?

  2. Florian Mierzejewski Senior Android Engineer @Trade Republic - Berlin, Germany

     2
  3. Trade Republic •We believe everybody should have easy, fast and

    free access to capital markets. •Save money and build your wealth with personal savings plans on ETFs and stocks – all free of commission. •We are a tech company with a banking license.  3
  4. What is mentoring •Learning relationship between an experienced person (mentor)

    and someone who wants to grow (mentee) •In software engineering it’s usually a more senior engineer that mentors a more junior engineer •Probably something you are already doing to some extend or received in the past  4
  5. Why mentoring?  5

  6. Why mentoring? • Mentees have a fresh outlook on the

    project • Helping the mentee by serving as a link to the rest of the team • Industry-wide lack of developers, worse at the senior level • Giving back to the community, remember when you started your career? • Building long lasting professional relationships  6
  7. Where do I start?  7

  8. First catch-up •Making the mentee feel at ease, joining a

    new company is stressful •Setting the expectations for the fi rst few months •It’s ok if mistake happens, it’s even expected •There is no such thing as a “stupid” question  8
  9. Going over the codebase together • What is the history?

    • What are some of the most important components? • What issues do we have at the moment, how do we plan on addressing them? • Depending on the questions that are asked (or not!) it is a good fi rst glimpse into where the mentee might lack knowledge • Asking about what they are interested to learn / want to get better at  9
  10. First tasks •Company onboarding, reading wiki and documentation •Going through

    the codebase, writing down everything they don’t understand / want to chat about. •Going through all open PRs and asking questions •Learning plan  10
  11. Keep it going  11

  12. Keep it going • A lot of pairing • Add

    pairing blocks in their calendar • Assign small bugs / maintenance tasks but nothing too vital / with a deadline on it • Time and patience  12
  13. Areas of growth •Solving skills •Soft skills •Organisational skills •Presenting

    skills  13
  14. Solving skills • Writing / refactoring code step by step

    that always compile • Simplicity over “over-engineering” • Finding the best solution to a problem while taking into account constraints • Taking a step back  14
  15. Soft skills •Bringing someone up to speed in a timely

    manner •Participating e ff i ciently to meetings •Avoiding following blindly  15
  16. Organisational skills • Timeboxing • Using tools more e ff

    ectively • Healthy working habits  16
  17. Presenting skills •Writing a good PR description •Self-review •How small

    is too small and how big is too big •Commenting etiquette  17
  18. Things to keep in mind • Delivering constant feedback •

    Celebrating successes • Guiding but not telling them what to do • Adapting the pace of the mentorship as you go  18
  19. Zusammenfassung  19

  20. Conclusion •Creating a safe environment where the mentee can grow

    •Pairing is the best tool you have at your disposal •Always keep an eye open on what can be improved / what has been improved  20
  21. We’re hiring! 
 https://traderepublic.com/careers  21

  22. Questions?  22 @ fl orianmski