If you are reading this, you have probably decided to create a mentorship program within your organization. I can not thank you enough for doing that. Creating a new program can be exhausting, and likely a reason why so many companies aren’t doing it. So here are a few tips for hiring junior developers and creating a mentorship program.
Write Better Job Descriptions
If you are willing to hire new developers, do not require experience, instead focus on personality traits, like desire to learn. During the interview ask them questions about how they would how they would approach a problem (not the code, the thought process), what excites them and why they want the job- give them the opportunity to show you their passion and excitement.
Create Strategic Partnerships
Partner experienced developers with new developers that share similar goals and coding interests. Consider hobbies and personality traits in this decision too.
Do Not Require Involvement
Some people do not enjoy teaching others. Be aware of your current teams interest before making any decisions. Be sure to give your employees an opportunity to opt-out of your mentorship program, at least until they are interested in joining.
Managers Are Not Mentors
Mentees need to have an open relationship with someone they can confide in and relate to. New developers may find their managers to be too intimidating and not actually be 100% transparent about what they need.
Open Lines of Communication
Ensure there are methods in which they can openly communicate with you and their mentor. Encourage recurring meetings or coffee breaks, mentor and mentee evaluations and tools to help them communicate, like Slack.
Track Progress & Goals
Make a habit of having regular check-ins. Do not just create partnerships and expect them to succeed without any follow up.
Build a Program
Your newly mentored developers will be excited to share the knowledge and skills they learned. Turn them into mentors.
This blog post is part of a series of blog posts called A Guide to Mentoring Junior Developers.