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How can you support early-career engineers to become tomorrow's leaders?

As engineering leaders, finding the time to mentor junior folks isn’t easy. But mentorship is an important investment for your company’s work and culture, and will save you time searching for more experienced (and expensive) engineers. So, how can you help to grow the most junior talent in your org to build the next generation of software superstars?

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Episode 01: Mentoring your junior engineers

Starting out as a junior developer is nerve-wracking, but mentoring new folks can feel daunting too. In this roundtable discussion, our panelists shared different approaches and best practices for nurturing new starters.

Featuring Katie Wilde (VP of Engineering at Buffer), Tanisha Barnett (Director of Engineering at Mailchimp), Emma Burstow (Developer Advocate at Umbraco), Johnny Ray Austin (CTO at Till), and Phil Toland (Software Development Manager at PepsiCo), the panel explored:

  • How to identify the challenges and needs of your junior engineers that you can match to your organization’s growth
  • How and when to provide junior engineers with the right tools
  • How to apply techniques that you can adapt to different learning styles
  • How to plan long-term schedules dedicated to mentoring

Episode 02: Understanding the mentorship mesh

Effectively onboarding new engineers is one of the most important aspects of leading a team. But leaders rarely have enough time to do it alone. In this article, Daniel Peck shares how you can solve this problem by distributing the workload across a group, or creating a ‘mentorship mesh’.

Daniel explains the benefits of the mentorship mesh and outlines the different roles within it, from peer developer and senior engineer to domain expert and team lead. By giving junior engineers a dedicated team they can rely on, you can provide them with a resilient support system and a more effective, proactive environment.

Episode 03: How to be an effective mentor

Effective mentoring can speed up your new engineers’ transition to becoming confident and productive members of the team. In this article, Jayesh Kawli explains why mentorship programs are beneficial for everyone, before sharing his tips for being a great mentor.

From building training programs for mentees and keeping folks motivated to identifying objectives and providing timely feedback, Jayesh shares the key factors to consider when building your mentorship roadmap.

Episode 04: Why being a mentor benefits you too

It’s common knowledge that getting a mentor is a great way to fast-forward your personal development. But did you know that becoming a mentor yourself can help you to improve your technical and core skills too?

In this article, Jo Franchetti shares why anyone can become a mentor, and outlines the many benefits, from cementing your own knowledge and reigniting your excitement for learning, to building your confidence and gaining a deeper understanding of others in the industry.

A final takeaway

As a leader, finding the time to mentor will always be a challenge. But as Daniel Peck notes, having a ‘culture of shared mentorship builds organizations that are reliant and resourceful, while giving junior engineers a clear understanding of how to grow within them.’ By taking time to understand your junior engineers’ needs, leaning into other members of the team for support, and thoughtfully laying out a mentorship roadmap, you can make sure junior folks have everything they need to succeed. And perhaps you’ll learn something yourself along the way.

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Why being a mentor benefits you too
Episode 04 Why being a mentor benefits you too
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