A Work in Progress

A

Being a mentor

My thoughts on being a mentor to more junior developers

I have always considered myself a good and willing mentor for younger engineers but I have never been a formal mentor for anyone. Recently I was offered the opporunity to formally mentor a promising younger engineer and I was happy to accept.

After I accepted my first thought was “ok, now what am I going to do?” I thought back to my earlier days as an engineer and what my mentors taught me as well as what I wished I had from a mentor. A few of the things I came up with were:

So the first time we met my goal was to get a better understanding of their career goals. Where did they want to be in a year? Where did they think they wanted to be in 3-5 years? Thinking this far out is challenging and I wouldn’t expect someone to necessarily know that at this point in their career but it is good to understand someone’s vision of the future. I myself have wavered throughout my career between taking a management position or continuing on a technical track. I ultimately landed on the latter but this took some time to figure out and I expect that it may be the same for my new mentee. They are currently leaning heavily on the technical track which is great for me because I feel like I can be a sherpa for them in this regard.

I don’t know yet if I will be a good direct mentor. It certainly requires more forethought than just being an “in the moment” mentor when the opportunity arises. I’ve already asked some of my mentors for their advice.



email icon github icon medium icon stack-overflow icon twitter icon