Tonight, I went to a great panel/workshop called “Devs Who Mentor Devs”. There were about 20 people there, I think ranging from students to intermediate developers.

The four panelists were all former/current instructors at RED Academy, the hosts of the workshop, and had also worked as devs at a various companies. There was about an hour of panel/questions/discussions, and then we broke into small groups to talk further. And then wrapped up with a brief practice exercise in coaching.

As someone who’s being asked to mentor/coach/support junior devs at my company and also still growing and learning in my own career, it was great to talk to other people at a similar stage. I think my biggest takeaways were:

  1. Being a mentor/leader/coach/teacher is important at any stage of your career, even when (especially when) you don’t feel ready. It allows you to reflect on how far you’ve come.
  2. Having a mentor in your career, whether formal or informal, is equally important. Especially as a junior – if they’re hiring you as a junior, part of that trade-off is that they support you in your growth.

Might seem obvious, but solidifying it in my head was a really great exercise. And I got to experience both sides of a mini coaching session – both super valuable!

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