Mentorship

Rocky Warren
Rocky Warren
December 29, 20202 min read
  • Productivity
  • Book/course recommendations
    • Learning How to Learn course
    • The Pragmatic Programmer
    • The Effective Engineer
    • Clean Code
    • Code Complete
  • Personal finance
    • A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
    • Each dollar in a tax-advantaged account is like a bonus
    • Save aggressively to reach financial independence, especially with ageism in tech
    • In this order: create budget, pay off debt, 6-mo emergency fund, IRA then 401k, rollover 401ks from previous jobs, HSA, 529 for children, taxable investment account
    • Betterment, Wealthfront, Vanguard, Index Funds (Warren Buffett's bet against hedge fund managers)
    • Roth vs Traditional IRAs
    • Retirement calculator
  • Other topics
    • Work from home challenges, clarity of communication
    • Testing (unit, integration, functional, load, UI)
    • AWS services
    • Architecture
    • SQL/NoSQL
    • Monitoring, logging
    • CLIs, tooling
    • Project management, prioritization
    • Advocate for yourself—only you know what you want
  • 1:1
    • Set expectation it's temporary, what are you hoping to gain? Where would you like to grow?
    • Always be on the mentee's side, no judgement (you're not their manager)
    • Start with questions that help you listen, "What's on your mind?", "What are you struggling with?", "What are you working on?" "What are your goals for the week?". Listen, think about areas you might be able to help, and end with encouragement
    • Mentorship is not about solving problems, but helping so they can solve them, delay sharing solutions as long as possible. Ask questions, offer alternatives, hold back telling them what to do. Taking a patient, coaching-first approach empowers mentees and accelerates their learning.
    • Help them come up with multiple solutions to their problems and articulate tradeoffs themselves. Explain concepts over solutions and help them understand there are rarely black or white answers.
    • Keep shared document
      • Follow up on action items/guidance/discussions from last time
      • Key happenings since last time
      • Challenges or items you want feedback on
      • Recent successes
    • Mentoring retros (mentorship is about growth, it's voluntary, both enjoying/learning?)