How to Mentor a Junior Developer
Some of the senior developers are not willing to become a teacher for junior developers. This is an ugly truth that we need to take into account and change it as soon as possible.
Be a mentor is a great benefit for both of the two parties – the junior developer and the senior one. They can learn each other during the task and how to work smarter than solos.
Benefits of become a mentor for junior developers
Everyone can take advantage of getting a mentorship program without exception. This is because both teachers and students have to learn and review something. Learning and teaching is a good way of interaction.
Most mid-level engineers and juniors often get benefit from having mentors. The top engineers always have someone to support them step to another level. They could have senior co-workers or real teachers in software development.
Seniors still have more rooms to develop and you ought to find someone knowledgeable about specific topics. However, several senior developers stop their positions in the company, where they help juniors and no one supports them.
Senior engineers at one company are truly good, but each of them is not excellent by themselves. Therefore, it would be smart if these developers mentor each other and sharing their experiences. Or they can find other mentors from other firms. Then, all of them are mentors for each other and junior developers.
The influence of a mentor-mentee relationship has two main things – the difference in knowledge and experiences among them, as well as how great a mentor is at conveying knowledge.
In fact, the main duty of a mentor is transferring knowledge and experiences. They are not teachers like we are seeing at schools. This is because they give facts, techniques, opinions, and habits for mentees to choose from only. They do not provide lessons or units.
Mentors should have more experiences than juniors in a field as well as the number of programming years. Nonetheless, if they have different domains, they will learn from each other.
How to become an excellent mentor for junior developers
Make them more confident
All of us often have imposter syndrome. As a senior, you should become a person who is easy to talk to when a junior developer feels uncomfortable with their abilities. A good senior may help them bounce the game back.
Show them a career growth
Along with knowledge, you should discuss the career growth to them. Talk about goals and ways to reach out to their future jobs. They could become or a front-end developer or a back-end one, but they are still not sure. Tell them the differences between these fields and details.
Be willing to share resources
I do not know why some seniors do not share resources and book names for juniors. Both junior developers and seniors always update their knowledge, skills, and other related domains.
Particularly, a senior should share with others when they are browsing the Internet or screening something in social networks. Articles and content may benefit to seniors and juniors. Share freely!
Provide working coding examples
In general, we need to practice to learn. For developers, they have to do more in their domains through coding examples. This is because they could see how they are dealing with codes in a particular situation.
Decrease the feedback cycle
It is crucial to set some plans and methods to help your mentee can grab. Thus, you probably change the course and adjust something through the projects. This is the reason you should discuss your mentee regularly.
Do not keep a ship by making a course and going to play somewhere. Keep your eyes on the ship, watch how good or bad it is, and make small things on the go.
Common methods of mentorship
Mentorship might have different forms and the best methods are various among people because each has different styles, abilities, and preferences. Generally, seniors can choose one of four basic ways – organic discussions, code reviews, pair programming, and learning during the lunch time.
Organic discussions are the most widespread form of mentorship. People organize them every day at various companies, where one senior is talking to others in a large or a small room like a seminar or a workshop. Teaching, sharing, and playing are common approaches in these sessions.
When a junior developer has completed their codes, you can make a code review. This is a good way to review old lessons and learn something new through their incorrect codes and correct ones.
Remember that do not tell them they did wrong codes. They do not know the reason behind the system. Ask them how did they think at their codes and inspire them to think different ways to solve problems.
When running a pair programming, one developer write codes while the other observer and review all codes. It has different forms such as in-person time, online, etc. How it plays in practice will depend on seniors.
Sometimes, the role of the observer is a sounding board. They even are more proactive in giving feedback. This method will help a junior developer find out bugs, how to solve performance issues, and maintain codes.
Learning during the lunch time
Learning during lunchtime is a traditional way to discuss something. Nevertheless, it is never old because we can make it in any situation. A mentorship program in software development is a tremendous example. It is simply face-to-face learning between two or more persons.
Mentorship possibly gives an effective solution to improve someone to the next level. As a junior developer, you should find someone you admire and make sure that they can help you better. Ask them for guidance and become a mentor.
I hope that this article has supported you get more information about the mentor and related topics. You can share your opinions about doing a mentorship program and share mentors to other juniors. These details may help them a lot!
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