Ramón Huidobro

Ramón Huidobro

Coding Instructor and Head of Open Source


New dev, old codebase: A series of mentorship stories

My aim with this talk is to inspire folks to try a hand at mentorship.

I’ll cover the example of peers having attended a Rails Girls workshop and then a few months later being a mentor at one. Mentorship is relative, and loads of initiatives are structured this way! That being said, I believe the intended audience can be relative newcomers to programming.

An outline is as follows:

  • Clarifications: Mentorship vs training vs teaching
  • Volunteering mentorship (Personal examples: Teaching children, Rails Girls Summer of Code, workshops)
  • Mentorship best practices
  • At the workplace (Onboarding a junior developer to a recent codebase)
  • Conclusions, further reading

Takeaways/topics covered include:

  • Responsibility in leaving an impression on a newer programmer
  • Encouraging good habits
  • Being supportive
  • Learning alongside mentees
  • Admitting when you don’t know the answer or the solution to something
  • Letting mentees voice their ideas
  • Starting out as a mentor (finding places to mentor)
  • Communities of practise
  • Showing mentees your problem-solving process
  • Sharing the joy of sharing knowledge