I've been working at a bigger tech firm for about 7 months now, and I am the most junior person on my team at 26 and only programming full-time for a year. My colleagues are all in their 40s and 50s and are all senior to me.

I'm tasked mostly with maintaining the system and developing scripts to automate tasks. The thing is, I know I'm not the best coder, and when I hand off my code to others (whether to use or maintain it) it shows. I had to hack out a script to perform a certain function two months back, and I was already under pressure from another deadline, so I didn't fully think it through in terms of Object Orientation and extendability. Now I have to hand it off to someone else, and there's no way they are going to be able to maintain it.

Tomorrow is my second performance review. I plan on asking my boss how I can further progress in my role (to obtain a promotion). I am now thinking that I should also ask if we can do some sort of mentorship so I can be more productive. How would I go about asking?

2 Answers 2


I would go to the project manager or whoever is overseeing the developers and ask them if it's the responsibility of the developers to mentor the junior staff and if that has been communicated to the seniors. If it has been communicated then you just gently remind them : " X manager mentioned that it is part of your duties to mentor junior staff so I am seeking your advice about XYZ." If it hasn't been communicated then set up a quick meeting with all of them to talk about it. If they still won't help you then you need to tell the boss. If they aren't interested in mentoring then they aren't really seniors - they are just kids with grown up clothes on and I would move on.

  • There may also be company mentoring programs, which would help you find someone interested in mentoring and make sure your mentor gets some credit when review time rolls around.
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 22:23
  • 2
    I largely agree, but instead of name dropping, ask your manager to make an introduction and ask them first. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 1:15

I have been able to ask for mentorships in non-work situations (like, for example, at company functions or company sponsored events.

I can give an example. My employer sponsored a maker faire. I was an attendee at the maker faire on my own and did not even know that my company was a sponsor until I walked upon their tent on the midway.

I did go in and introduce myself. I was wearing one of my many home made lighted clothing outfits (you can see them at www.allyn.com). It was a great conversation starter and I did end up with a two-way mentoring relationship there.

What helped me is that I had many things to offer the person as well as them having things to offer to me. I had given them advise on metal working and welding; they helped me on some electronics questions.

You have to look at all opportunities; not just those within the walls of the office.

  • 2
    Upvoted because, "You have to look at all opportunities; not just those within the walls of the office." Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 18:06

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