Thelangdatyagi in  
Software Engineer a year ago

How to mentor your juniors effectively and efficiently?

I'm a senior Dev who was promoted to lead and now I lead 3 different teams.

I have not worked with those teams before and don't know much about the work they do, or the business logic behind most of the stories they're assigned. I'm however expected to pick up quickly and lead them, technically as well as from a delivery perspective (stable for the main part).

I get that I have to do the above, and that's a challenge I can take up, but I also want to be a good mentor to the devs and was wondering how I could do that given how new I am to the teams and lack the business knowledge.

From tech perspective I already do
- pr reviews
- clarify doubts the managers and the teams have
- help with the approach the devs need to take to solve the issue
- help estimating stories (only help because devs need to decide this for themselves)
- stay available for them whenever they need me

I was wondering if there's anything else I could do that I was being oblivious to like 1-1s but that's mostly something my manager would do.

Bonus - the "promotion" was without the official title or salary hike - not sure how I feel about that still, you guys can let me know your thoughts on that as well but what I was told was that's how it works in our organization. Manager had to do the same thing i.e. was lead and took on managerial duties before being officially promoted a year later. So I'm sucking it up for now, but I personally think that's a horrible way of rewarding your employees.
Aspirant2023Technical Program Manager a year ago
Others have commented on your promotion situation; so I will keep it to your original question - mentoring. I have had some experience building, leading and mentoring 100+ teams, so will share my thoughts and inputs

Actually I do not think your lack of business knowledge will hurt. On the contrary, it is an opportunity to build trust by asking them to give you a walk through.

1. You need to decide whether you want to be a tech lead - in which case, there is only a bit more you need to do than what you have outlined, or grow as a people leader

2. Assuming you want to build yourself as a leader, the first thing to remember is all of your team is not equal, so you need to use different methods for different people.

3. Assess who can grow with you. While you want to optimize and want everyone to perform, you need to identify people who you can rely on, who will learn quickly and attempt to create the next level of leadership, even if informally. You want to be ready for growth by creating replacements for yourself

4. Conduct 1:1 to understand people, their motivations, aspirations better. It’s not just for people managers. It is for everyone who collaborates with other people and need other peoples help to make them successful.

5. People will become better at what they do if they understand the domain of what they are doing, application of technology and empathizing with users experience. In my experience, there are too many syntax writers

6. Some people will not or cannot learn. Recognize this fact. You want to ensure that you set the right expectations and do not risk your deliveries by relying heavily on them

7. Never write code for someone else because you have a deadline. This becomes a habit and you will deal with a crisis every single sprint

8. Draw up a KRA plan assuming you have direct reports, besides meeting their velocity. Learning goals, presentation goals (even on topics unrelated to work)

I can go on a bit more but this should give you enough to get your thinking



Software Engineer