279

Asking for help when you don't know something isn't weak - no one person can know all the details of each technology they will encounter. And assuming that it's not happening with every aspect of the job, but instead on specific things where you know a colleague has specific knowledge that will help, then it's actually the sensible and efficient thing to do. ...


234

There's a couple of things that I've found help a lot with the reception of code reviews: Don't say "you", or variations on it ("your code", etc). You're not ripping apart "his" code or "his" solution. It's our code, or this solution, and we need to do things to it. As soon as someone starts talking about "your" code, a lot of people's natural reaction is ...


220

I've explained the concept of "bus factor" to my manager (who is the CTO of the company; there is nobody above his head to go to) and to other senior people in the company, and their answer is "we need this done fast, you know how to do it, just do it and don't waste your time or company time teaching or coaching others". Does anyone have any ...


164

It's somebody else's problem. It is very considerate of you that you do not want to be the single point of failure for your whole organization. More people should be that thoughtful of their colleagues and that loyal to their company. But if your warnings fall on deaf ears, then you did what you could. So instead of wasting any more time and energy on ...


118

This junior developer has a flawed understanding of what a senior developer is supposed to do. A senior developer is senior, not because his technical knowledge overlaps everything a junior can do (it can, but doesn't have to), but because he can do things that a junior doesn't even understand. The senior developer can (should?) understand broad ...


110

You have done the number one thing that you can do to help the company: call it to their attention and give them the chance to get in front of this. They have decided not to take any action, with the statement "don't waste your time" they're trying to forcefully end the discussion. You are basically left with some things that you can do to help the company ...


108

You have to let your boss/line manager know. A mentor is someone who should be guiding your path in your first months in the company - not making your live harder, whatever the reason. Get together all your facts, sit together with your line manager and let him know about the situation. The possible solutions may be: You manager making clear to your ...


96

This sounds very much like he is crossing the boundaries of professional into personal. If you have the choice of taking him as mentor, I would urge you to consider this carefully. Asking you for personal details, to FaceTime on Saturday morning has well and truly entered "creepy" territory. What I would suggest is: Document, document, document. If ...


62

Did you ask those who complained about the way your code was structured about how they themselves would have structured it? You might as well look for mentors where you can find them - that is, right among your critics. Anyone who criticizes your work should be made to pay a price, the price being that you get to pick their brains. They would have to tell ...


47

Should I reject his mentoring? Doesn't feel entirely professional to me. We are due to meet near his office but he's acting very unprofessional and needy right now. I'm not sure if I should continue talking to him about mentoring. If you were my daughter and you felt this strongly (right or wrong, for whatever reason), I'd tell you to terminate this "...


39

I'm going to echo a few things others have said with a different emphasis: Having a low bus factor is good for you. Having a low bus factor is bad for the company. You are taking too much responsibility for the company. You have brought the issue up to your superiors, and that is good and honorable and you've tried to make the company more robust. If ...


38

Let your management know ASAP that your junior is five years behind and that you don't see a path where he is full fledged within five weeks. It's up to management to work out what to do next with your junior. In the meantime, do as much as you can training your junior. Let them know what the client's expectations are. Your junior will draw soon enough the ...


29

You have a number of options: Try to actually fix the relationship. Basically confront this mentor about his unprofessional behaviour and ask him to stop. The best way to put it is probably: "let's pretend nothing happened and start over from scratch. Hi, my name is Verver, and told me to ask you to mentor me. How do we start?". Frankly, I doubt this will ...


27

I have been in such a situation a lot of times. And the first thing I usually say is: sorry.... Yes, right... because if he did not get easiest things right, like naming conventions, that means that you (or whoever was responsible for him) did not make a good job in introducing them to him... So apologize for not having given him enough information to do a ...


25

If it makes you feel better, I helped a couple of senior techs when I was an intern. Not because I was better than them or even smarter (I am not), it was because I happened to know the answer because I had done what they wanted to do before. Asking for help is not a weakness. This junior doesn't know what he is talking about (probably why he is a junior). ...


25

I don't want the reason the interns I mentored to not be hired to be I did not give them enough work. I wouldn't look at it that way. Bob didn't meet Alice's interns because she assigned them too much work. He met them because it was a chance encounter. He could have very well walked by your area when her interns were all in a meeting and yours weren't. ...


23

It's a startup, so the rules of the game are very different. Most of the time, a high risk strategy of just do it without overly planning for all eventualities is absolutely the way to go. Typically there are loads of things that can only be done by one person - there simply aren't enough resources to hire for redundancy of skills. It's the nature of the ...


22

First of all, don't insist on a particular way of taking feedback and learning from it. In particular, not taking notes on paper is not necessarily a sign that the junior does not get anything/enough out of the code review. For most "programming style" code reviews I've never taken paper notes, because I rather focus on talking about the code and thinking ...


18

Trust your instincts. Trust your gut. Each red flag you've mentioned is definitely significant, especially at that level of a mentor-mentee relationship. Get the career center to assign you a different mentor. Don't ever meet this guy in person (not even for a mentorship-related appointment near his office). And tell him you've found a new mentor. If he ...


18

You're her mentor, not her friend. If this person has a hard time separating personal from professional feedback she's in for a world of hurt in her career. Have a list of hard facts and examples ready, and dive in. Don't be purposefully mean, however there's no need to sugarcoat things either. In fact, it might be better if you don't. In the workplace, ...


17

Ask questions instead of giving answers First, the superior needs to not give out answers or confirmation without the junior employee answering it. The conversation should go like this: Junior: "Hey I have a problem with X can you help me." Senior: "Interesting, what do you think the problem is?" Junior: "I don't know and was hoping you can help me" Senior:...


16

Hiding the bugs isn't going to do you any favours in the long run and has partly got you in this situation. There's a couple of avenues to go down potentially: Just outright tell him that there's a bug - The friendly approach may not work as he has noted you "meddle with his affairs". So if you say I have found a bug because of X, then he can resolve it. ...


15

Having a great Knowledge Management solution could help solve the problems you've mentioned. Your problem is less about professional mentoring and more about actual job training. A knowledge management solution could involve an editable Wiki, Google Site, Google Docs, or other platforms where you can document procedures. A good knowledge management ...


14

Run an Audit on the Audit team. Give them the results, and recommendations. This should be an annual event at minimum.


14

You basically have 2 solutions to chose from: Go to HR and complain. This makes sense especially if you have anything to prove the harassment, e.g. emails or any other sources in writing or witnesses (although these can be unreliable and are probable not to support to you to avoid problems) Avoidance. There's this great book by Robert I. Sutton about ...


13

When someone messes up badly at the beginner level, it just means they need to grasp the basics. I don't analyse their mistakes and try and teach that way. I already solved those, and there was a probably a bit of cursing going on so old news. I just run through the basics in detail. By that I mean the conventions, procedures, etc. Importantly I teach him ...


12

I would go with something like: Hey boss, not to ruffle any feathers here but mentoring is out of my comfort zone. I'm fine doing Q&A sessions of helping out in general but I find arranged mentorships to be kind of awkward. I see my career path as being a long term individual contributor so developing the management skills that mentoring builds ...


11

What you do is plan the teaching time into the work estimate. This is real work and you should not be scheduled for more than 30-40% of the time for actual development if you are expected to mentor and manage interns,


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