Save 37% off PRO during our Black Friday Sale! »

Multiplying Your Impact Through Mentoring

C7393b7ba7ec9c8890dd77d209fbb3c9?s=47 maltzj
February 05, 2017

Multiplying Your Impact Through Mentoring

Talk given at GDG DevFest MN 2017. Links from the additional resources section.

How to Ask Good Questions -
Your Brain's API:
Power of Habit:
Software Lead Weekly:



February 05, 2017


  1. Jonathan Maltz / @maltzj (github/twitter) Multiplying Your Impact Through

  2. Yelp’s Mission Connecting people with great local businesses.

  3. Yelp Stats As of Q3 2016 97M 32 74% 115M

  4. Hi! I’m Maltz! • Full-Stack at Yelp Eat24 • Previously:

    Yelp Consumer App • Mentored 6 new engineers over 2 years • Big fan of cheesy grins
  5. What Am I Here To Talk About?

  6. What Am I Here To Talk About? Mentoring New-Hires

  7. Why?

  8. 1. Most powerful lever to improve your team

  9. 2. Multiplies your own impact

  10. 3. Helps you hire and retain great people

  11. But NO ONE talks about it

  12. Let’s change that!

  13. What will we talk about? • Preparing for onboarding •

    The first couple months • Handling your mentee’s questions
  14. Preparing For Onboarding

  15. None
  16. What does this mean? • Understand what makes a great

    engineer on your team ◦ Technical skills ◦ Non-technical skills ◦ Understanding of team processes ◦ Cultural things • Write these down so you can reference them!
  17. A brief sample of ours (don’t worry about reading it)

  18. But I Don’t Have Time!

  19. But I Don’t Have Time!

  20. But I Don’t Have Time!

  21. Next: Design a ramp-up process • Aim for breadth of

    topics + velocity of completion • Add complexity gradually • Create a script for this as much as possible
  22. Don’t Forget About Numero Uno

  23. Don’t Forget About Numero Uno • Set expectations with external

    stakeholders • Be willing to give up your own productivity for a few weeks. ◦ It’s better in the long run!
  24. • Understand the engineer you want them to become. •

    Define a ramp-up process • Don’t forget about numero uno Summary: Preparing for onboarding
  25. The First Couple Months

  26. Goal: Make them the engineer you want ASAP

  27. How NOT To Do This • Forget about them •

    Throw them in the deep end and hope they swim • Do your own work instead of helping your mentee • Delegating helping to someone else
  28. How TO DO This?

  29. Start with a High Standard

  30. Check-in Frequently The First 2-3 Weeks

  31. Celebrate The Successes

  32. Schedule 1:1s and Use Them!

  33. Don’t Give Answers Give Tools

  34. • Don’t forget about them • Start with a high

    standard • Check-in frequently • Celebrate the successes • Schedule 1:1s and use them • Don’t give answers, give tools. The First Couple Months
  35. Handling Your Mentee’s Questions

  36. Handling Your Mentee’s Questions

  37. 4 Step Process

  38. 1. Figure Out The Path To The Answer

  39. 2. Take a Ranging Shot

  40. 3. Find What They Can Learn From This

  41. 4. Help Them Get To The Answer

  42. Scale of Gaining Knowledge Given to you Self-discovered

  43. Be Like This Guy

  44. • Figure out the answer first • Take a ranging

    shot • Figure out what they can learn • Help them get to the answer Handling Your Mentee’s Question
  45. The 3 Things To Take Home • Take time to

    understand the end goal of mentoring • Build good habits, especially high quality, early on • Give tools, not answers
  46. Additional Resources • How To Ask Good Questions - Julia

    Evans • Your Brain’s API: Giving and Getting Technical Help - Sasha Laundy (PyCon 2015) • Power of Habit - Charles Duhig • Software Lead Weekly (an awesome newsletter that touches on these topics)
  47. Thanks! • My email - • My twitter -

  48. Questions

  49. @YelpEngineering