Pair Programming - Mentoring Tips, Techniques, & Benefits
Below is an article originally written by Jess Stodola, Developer published on March 11, 2021. This article is about PowerToFly Partner Headway. Go to Headway's company page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
What is pair programming?
Pair programming as a general practice is in its infancy, but the concept has been around for some time. It started with John Von Neummann in the early 1900s. He asked others to review his code, and since then there have been a number of research papers and books written on how to do it effectively.
Pair programming is often a topic that makes people shudder. It places people in vulnerable states as someone else peers over their shoulder as they work.
If you loathe the thought of pair programming, I can relate. When I first started pair programming, it was frustrating and stressful. However, after pair programming regularly with over 10 people for a number of years it eventually grew on me. And, as a result, I've experienced the long-term benefits of this technique.
In this article, we'll cover the benefits of Pair Programming, the different styles used, techniques to mentor well, and some helpful tips to set everyone up for success.
The benefits of pair programming
Here are some specific benefits of engaging in pair programming.
Prevents knowledge silos
When every member of a team has that few things they are really good at, it creates knowledge silos. Life happens - so if someone is ill, takes a vacation, or leaves the team, it leaves the other developers on a team with a large knowledge gap.
It is also important to understand how other parts of a project work together, as it can give better insight into how what you are working on affects the bigger picture.
Builds better relationships
When you work singularly on projects, it can be easy to isolate yourself from the people you work with. Add in the ever-increasing option to work remotely, and it's easy to go days (even weeks) without really interacting with your team members. Pair programming gets you involved with other members of your team, helping to build better relationships with one another.
Expands your knowledge
"You don't know what you don't know." There is so much to know in this industry that it is nearly impossible to know everything. Even when you think you have something completely figured out, boom - a new update. Sure, you may be the mentor…but there is also the potential for you to learn something from the junior developer.
When you explain how to do something out loud, you in turn learn there are things even you didn't fully understand. Plus, the learner may not understand the first way you explain something. So having to communicate differently in order for someone else to understand requires you to really understand the topic well…and to re-examine your understanding of it if you're struggling to explain it.
Two are better than one
On that point, two minds are better than one. Two sets of eyes give more opportunities to keep an eye out for errors, bugs, missteps, and refactoring opportunities. It really is helpful to have a second perspective.
When someone is watching you code, you are less likely to take shortcuts, which - no surprise - produces better code.
Pair programming styles
So what are the different styles for pair programming?
- Both parties have comparable skills and knowledge backgrounds
- Common practice is to pass the keyboard or screen back and forth
- Mentor is the driver, takes on a more of a teaching role
- Learner takes the backseat, and observes the mentor
- Mentor is the navigator, giving guidance to the learner
- Learner takes the wheel, doing more of the execution
Barriers to mentoring
Remember playing with legos? (hey, maybe some of you still do)!
Whenever we built our ultimate masterpiece, it took a copious amount of time and we beamed with pride at our creation. If anyone wanted to touch it or change it… no way! You were possessive of it. And if someone wanted to give input halfway through, it could feel as though it wasn't yours completely.
We've all had a thing that we don't want to share with anyone else in the world - our most prized possession. That thing we waited forever to get or the thing we worked really hard to make.
Why don't we want to share?
- We don't want others to break it
- We don't want others to change it - no longer feels like ours work
- We don't want to feel ashamed of how much we care about something
What does this have to do with the developer world?
Well, code is treated by developers like their most treasured possession.
- If someone changes it, it doesn't feel like ours anymore
- If someone is looking on while we are creating, we feel vulnerable
- If someone starts picking it apart before we've had a chance to parse through the logic...emotions rise up. We start to feel sad, angry, and even overwhelmed and panicky.
See the similarity?
Our code is really not all that different to our lego creations.
So how do we move forward, and overcome this barrier? Let's take a look at some techniques we can incorporate into our mentoring journey.
Techniques to mentor well
Many times, people mean the best. No one sets out to intentionally offend someone, or cause tension. But there's a lot that a mentor can do unintentionally in a pair programming duo that can negatively affect the learner. By making a few adjustments, mentors can improve the success of the person they are mentoring.
Have you ever noticed that you misspell words more often when someone is watching? Or trip over your words, or lose your place?
Be mindful that the person you are pairing with is nervous. It's going to take time before they are comfortable working with someone watching them. It can be especially nerve-racking if you've never paired before.
Think back to the very first time you did pair programming. It may have been challenging to work with someone peering over your shoulders - watching your every keystroke, commenting when you misspelled something or forgot necessary punctuation. If it wasn't fun for you, it's not fun for them.
Let them drive
As developers, we are makers of things - we are doers. And as doers, it is hard to take a back seat and take on the role of the teacher instead. Because in order to figure out a solution to a problem, we typically figure out by trying, failing, trying other things, and finally (hopefully) succeeding.
As a mentor, it can be difficult to convert your thought process into words. It seems logical to make yourself the driver, and figure out the problem so you can show the learner how to do it, right?
But when we do this, we take control of learning out of the learner's hands.
It slows the entire process down, for a few reasons:
- By introducing multiple screens, it can be hard to keep track of all the steps
- If you take over and start trying to explain, the learner may not get everything you are saying - everyone processes words at different speeds
- It's hard for the mentor to know if what they are teaching is actually being understood, because people do not feel comfortable speaking up when they don't understand something
Yes, it takes longer. Yes, they will take the wrong turns. And yes it requires a lot of patience. But…letting them make the mistakes, even though it's a bit like watching a train wreck happen, is exactly how they learn for the long haul.
Have you every wondered why sometimes it's so hard to speak up? To ask questions?
One explanation is that it's an automatic confession that we don't know something - we view asking for help as a sign of weakness. Everyone else seems to know how to do it, so why don't we? Or maybe we're afraid someone is going to think less of us for not knowing. In our industry, our knowledge is often seen as our status.
A simple approach to combatting this is by encouraging questions.
- "Do you have questions?"
- What questions do you have?
- Do you remember how to do…?
- Should we go spend more time going over the background for...?
These encourage dialogue and further learning, rather than putting someone on the spot to come up with a question, or to bury their insecurities by asking no questions at all.
A big step is to also lead by example. Don't being afraid to let others see you ask questions or research things when you don't know something.
Give good directions
As a mentor, there is a lot of internal logic happening - but it isn't always shared.
Do I go right?
Do I go left?
Do I turn around all together?
So when the mentor is driving, it can be difficult for someone who is not knowledgeable about the subject to follow along and understand all that is going on and why.
Think about getting driving directions - how difficult is it to follow someone's directions when you are unfamiliar with an area? Now imagine the person giving directions changes their mind halfway through, and says to take a different way instead. Talk about disorienting…odds are very high you are going to get lost.
Now change the scenario to an area you are comfortable in, like your neighborhood. If someone starts giving directions and then changes their mind halfway through, you can easily reconfigure the path.
Explain the why
Laying out the path from thought conception to completion is vital in teaching problem-solving. When that is hidden from the learner, they don't know how you got from Point A to Point B. For instance, when we sit down to figure out a problem, a lot of paths are considered, most of which are wrong. But we don't discuss these wrong paths, because…what is the point?
But being wrong is half of the learning process.
It's helpful to ask:
- What was it that initially made you think that path was a viable option?
- How did you determine that it was actually the wrong path?
It is difficult to go back and explain that thought process afterward. Because all of these steps and turns are important to solving problems, developers need to know why certain decisions weren't a good idea - so when it fails, they understand why.
Strengthen their confidence
Here's a scenario - the mentor and learner run into a code problem. But instead of working through it together, the mentor figures out the problem on his/her own then tell the learner what to do. How confident will the learner feel, being cut out of the whole process? Not to mention, it feels a bit like cheating - being given the answer, without doing the work.
No one wants to call something their own when someone else did it for them. And frankly, it feels pointless for the learner to duplicate the work that the mentor just did. You can build the learner's confidence by letting them problem-solve alongside you.
It's not always easy
Have you ever used these phrases when teaching something new?
"It's really quite simple."
"All you have to do is…"
"Just go here and do…"
"It's pretty easy."
The word "simple" is defined as something that is easily understood or done or composed of a single element. However, when we do something for the first time, rarely is it ever simple. It's easy to use this description in an attempt to make something less intimidating.
But when you've been told that something was easy - and it's actually not - that is even more intimidating and can make you feel like you're not capable. It also feeds into Imposter Syndrome that is prevalent in the developer industry.
Have you ever been given a task that you know very little about - and suddenly feel like you know nothing in comparison to those around you? Thinking things like:
- "I should know this...why don't I?"
- "What if someone finds out that I really don't know that much about this?"
Or have you received a compliment about work you've done and felt like you just didn't deserve it? As if there are others out there that are more deserving? Did you chalk it up to timing, luck, or maybe that you had secretly conned those around you?
Imposter Syndrome (aka Fraud Syndrome) is feeling like you:
- Are a fraud
- Don't deserve the success you've achieved
- Know so little in comparison to those around you
It's surprising the number of people who relate heavily with imposter syndrome - especially senior developers and engineers who don't feel like they deserve the recognition for the things that they have achieved.
Yes, our work is challenging. But be mindful not to downplay the complexity of it. It can go a long way in reducing the imposter syndrome that someone may be feeling.
Don't be afraid to tell them when something is challenging - to tell them that it took you years to understand something fully.
You did not learn everything in one day, one month, or even one year. It was a process to get to where you are now. It can be comforting to know others have struggled with the same concept and it can go a long way in relieving any stress or anxiety that they may be feeling.
When a learner is able to do the work from start to finish - how to get from Point A to Point B - they are given an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. When no steps or hidden logic paths are left out, they have everything they need to make an informed decision.
Think about how empowering it is to be able to finish something that you started, to learn from your mistakes, to see progress, to learn new tools, and to become more independent and confident in your skills. As the mentor, you can make that happen.
Tips for a successful pairing session
Send materials in advance
Send some helpful articles or tell them what to research before pairing up if you can. Having some base knowledge will make the learning process go much smoother - not to mention you will have less to explain, making the time together more effective.
Plus, providing materials in advance will make them feel more confident in having some knowledge of the new thing they are learning.
It is easy to burn out - for both parties. Mentoring takes an immense amount of patience, and learning takes a lot of brainpower.
It's helpful to aim for at least 1 break every hour, to keep everyone fresh and focused.
Let them make mistakes
While it is hard to sit there and stay quiet when you know why something is broken, making mistakes is pivotal to the learning process. Try to give them the opportunity to figure it out on their own.
If you need to, write it down so you can get it out of your system or refer to it later.
As the mentor, it's on you to take the lead on communication. Ask if they are struggling to understand something. If you sense confusion, try rewording what you are saying. Sometimes simplifying a concept or relating it to something they already know can help.
And realize that there are a lot of words that a junior developer has not heard or does not understand yet. Using overly complex terminology can make a concept that is already challenging to understand seem nearly impossible.
Keep it simple. There will be time for the industry jargon later.
Set realistic goals
While it's tempting to have big aspirations, try to get through smaller chunks of logic. This gives more time to explain why you are doing something and allows time for questions or extra practice.
Understand their learning style
Knowing how a person learns is important when teaching new skills. Many of us are likely a combination of these styles, but we all lean toward one as our dominant.
This group learns best when they able to reference images, videos, articles, etc. An example of this would be giving materials for them to review ahead of time.
This group learns best through listening to the information - think podcasts, lectures, and one-on-one conversations.
This group learns best through note-taking and going through the motions of a particular task. For them, these activities help the knowledge stick.
"You don't know what you don't know." Simple, yet true. As the mentor, you don't know if they don't understand something unless they tell you they don't know. Building the habit of encouraging questions at the outset will help provide a transparent environment.
Have them do their own research
At the end of the day, you can only teach them so much.
If they are going to be successful engineers, they have to be willing to go out and find the answers for themselves.
- Point them to Google, StackOverflow, or GitHub research papers and articles. If they struggle with finding their own, trying giving them links in the beginning. There is a treasure trove of information out there.
- Encourage them to mess around with the code, to make changes. Let them know, as long as they are on their own branch in development, they can't break anything.
- Encourage them to look at the Source code to see how it works.
And if you have special tricks you do to learn something new, share that with them - you never know if it may work for them too.
Pair programming tools
Here are some good screen sharing applications for pairing remotely or between desks:
No lagging issues, and you can use multiple screens for camera image, screen sharing, and chat.
Offers chat/video conference, and can be integrated with Google apps like Calendar or Drive.
This platform is all about integration, streamlining meetings and creating fewer emails for all.
In this tool, both people have the ability to control the screen at the same time.
Become better together
Pair programming isn't just about the coding - it's also about building relationships with your team members and learning how to work together. If we can empower our team members by making them more successful, we help build a stronger, more cohesive team.
More pair programming resources
What makes one pair programming session better than another? Check out these discoveries and observations.
Working remote is the norm now, but mentoring from a distance can still have a big impact.
A lot of the techniques covered here can be applied and implemented during future retros.
January is National Mentorship Month— the perfect time to focus on growing and building important relationships with mentors that will positively affect your professional career.
Research shows that mentorship greatly improves career outcomes by providing professional guidance, skill development, and support through major work and life transitions.
We asked some of our partner companies to tell us about the mentorship opportunities they offer. If you’re ready to unleash your full potential by joining an impactful mentoring program, keep reading to hear what they said. (Plus, they’re all hiring—check out their open jobs under each entry!)
“Clarus Commerce has been running a mentorship program for the last 9 years. Here is how it works:
- Senior leaders nominate mentors within their department.
- The program lasts for about 6 months.
- Those who are interested in being mentored provide 6 topics that they’d like to discuss in mentoring meetings, which help us pair people up. Mentoring topics should focus on topics such as: leadership, how to manage up, presentation skills, communication, work life balance, etc.
- We leverage our Insights and Discovery profiles that each employee has to help better understand each other’s communication styles and help facilitate great discussions.”
Learn more about Clarus Commerce here.
“PwC professionals are provided learning opportunities, supportive career growth and unique mentoring opportunities to help them to fulfill their potential. The firm has several programs that include intentional mentorship and focus on building representation, inclusion and development of their people. For example, the firm launched Enrich, an experience designed to support the development and leadership skills of high-potential female and racially and ethnically diverse senior managers and directors. There is also Thrive, an innovative two-year experience for Black and Latinx entry-level new joiners that helps lay the foundation for a successful career through culture workshops, networking, connectivity and leadership engagement.”
Learn more about PwC here.
“At CallRail we have a program called Connection Point where individual contributors are paired with members of the Senior Leadership Team. Each pair is together for a full quarter and are given topics for their meetings, topics range from; career stories, situational advice and feedback, etc. At the conclusion of the quarter the individual contributors that have been in the program have a round table lunch with the CEO. This has been a great way to foster deeper connections within the organization, demystify senior leadership and help individuals see a path forward.”
Learn more about CallRail here.
“Automattic’s Design Mentoring program is a mutually beneficial partnership providing development opportunities for all. Mentees pick up new skills or get guidance with a project. Mentors practice communication, leadership, and knowledge sharing. The organization benefits from more engaged, productive employees, who have increased job satisfaction because mentorship encourages meaningful work that aligns personal and professional goals. In our distributed work environment, mentoring provides a human connection and a trusted space to grow. Tapping into all of the design experience and skill that our organization has is a powerful way to grow individually … and collectively."
Learn more about Automattic here.
“Relativity Women of the Workplace (RelWoW) Mentorship Circles is a group mentoring program that brings together women at varying stages in their careers and from every department at Relativity. The program sessions are curated by our team and include materials, talking points and action items to help create open dialogue, build connections and develop skills for personal and professional development. The program runs around six months, and includes a kickoff, mid-point event exclusive to program members, and a closing celebration. Relativity also plans to pilot a new mentoring program with broader reach across the company in 2022.”
—Yvonne Frazier – Executive Assistant
Learn more about Relativity here.
“CDW Business Resource Groups are a key source for networking and mentoring opportunities. In 2019, our BeU BRG launched a formal mentoring program through their Project IMPACT initiative aimed at recruiting, retaining and promoting Black coworkers. It has been a successful program that has brought coworkers together across departments and roles, sharing new experiences and perspectives for both mentors and mentees.”
Learn more about CDW here.
“BRIDGE is Kinesso's reverse mentoring program bringing together senior leaders and future leaders globally. Our program pairs employees with Kinesso's Senior Leadership Team, but rather than leadership mentoring employees, our employees mentor our senior leaders!
Through mentorship programs like Bridge, Kinesso's brings together employees across generations, cultures, territories, and job levels. Giving our future leaders the opportunity to share fresh perspectives and innovative ideas allows our current leaders to look at inclusion, capabilities, collaboration, and connectivity from a completely different lens.
"(Bridge) is immensely important for many reasons, but most of all, it shows that no matter where you are in your career, you should never stop learning and growing."
—Arun Kumar, CEO at Kinesso and Global Chief Data & Marketing Technology Officer at IPG”
For more information on Kinesso, please visit Kinesso.com/careers.
Learn more about Kinesso here.
"At SoundCloud, one of our core behaviors is to embrace the challenge- but that doesn’t mean that you go at it alone. We encourage SoundClouders to ask for help and to give help to those who it need along the way. Over the past few years we have offered a mentorship program that connects rising SoundClouders with under-represented identities (gender/race/ethnicity) with more senior level employees around topics of professional branding and career growth, influencing and emotional intelligence, and strategic thinking. In 2022, we aim to launch 2 cohorts of mentorship/coaching targeting different ranks of women of color."
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
“BlackRock has nine employee networks and four professional networks – all of which offer mentorship programs or opportunities.
Our employee networks: Mosaic; Ability & Allies Network; Asian, Middle Eastern & Allies Professional Network; Black Professionals & Allies Network; Families & Allies Network; Out & Allies Network; SOMOS Latinx & Allies Network; and Women's Initiative & Allies Network.
Our professional networks: Analyst Alley, Associates Arena, Global Administrative Initiative Network, and VP Village.”
Learn more about BlackRock here.
“Having both formal and informal mentors is crucial to elevate any career. At Lockheed Martin, mentoring is the development of meaningful relationships to transfer valuable knowledge and understanding from one person to another. It is a personal enhancement strategy through which one person willingly facilitates the development of another by sharing known resources, expertise, values, skills, perspectives, attitudes, and proficiencies. Our mentoring program is tailored to the individual employee to give them the right tools, the right resources, at the right time.”
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
“Autodesk is a place where you can shape your future and help others do the same. The Autodesk Mentorship Program empowers employees to take ownership of their careers and build on a mindset of learning from each other by offering mentorship opportunities for professional and personal development, peer-to-peer learning, and focused networking. The program helps you identify your goals and recommends matches for a mentor or mentee to help you accomplish them. Through the Autodesk Mentorship Program, employees can make connections, grow their skills, explore opportunities and build their career paths.”
Learn more about Autodesk here.
“Cummins Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) focuses on a mission to create the right environment by advocating for equal representation, empowering women, and fostering inclusion for every employee in all work assignments at all levels.
As part of the work to achieve such a mission, WEN focuses on mentoring and development initiatives designed to foster mentoring relationships, broaden employee networks, and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. Initiatives include Speed Mentoring Sessions, Personal Development & Networking Events and WEN Mentoring Circles Program. This annual Mentoring Circles Program provides a monthly opportunity for exempt employees to participate in a forum for open discussion, explore new perspectives and learn from peers and leaders.
Within the Europe region we also have the Cummins Business Services mentoring program which is open to all employees at all levels.”
Learn more about Cummins here.
“Meet a pairing in Millennium’s Mentorship Program: Cari Smalley, Co-Head HR Business Partners, Americas, and Jasmin Zirino, Operations Specialist. They say, "The mentorship program is a fantastic experience for anyone who wishes to join. It allows you to meet someone you do not directly work with and grow your network. It is invaluable to have the ability to work through solutions to problems, use one another as sounding boards, and occasionally just blow off steam in a supportive space."”
Learn more about Millennium Management here.
“Mentorship is about stepping out of our comfort zone, taking charge and acting upon our ambitions, opening doors for others and learning more about the skills that make our own success.
Expedia Group has a volunteer-led program allowing every employee to have an equal chance to grow and succeed. The program has brought together a group of 1,700 Expedians from all over the world who believe in skills development and the power to elevate others while creating Inclusion at Expedia Group. Through a self-service marketplace platform and organized meetup sessions, EG’s Mentoring Program enables all employees to ask for help and embrace their own identity while belonging to a community that thrives through diversity.”
Learn more about Expedia Group here.
“At Equinix, our employee connection networks (EECNs) play an important role in bringing together communities for learning and growth opportunities, including mentoring. While mentees gain much from mentors, we often find that mentors also discover growth opportunities.
By asking these questions, we instill best practices for a successful mentorship:
What does each party want from this experience? How often to meet? Confidentiality: What’s shareable and what isn’t?
Feedback: What are the expectations around giving and receiving feedback?
And remember, a mentoring relationship is like any other relationship—it takes time to develop. Build trust by getting to know one another.”
Learn more about Equinix here.
"At Unstoppable, it is our commitment to having a crypto forward culture. Every new team member is matched with a Crypto Buddy who acts as their first point of contact outside of their direct team, guides them down the crypto rabbit hole, and welcomes them into Unstoppable’s culture. As a fully remote company, making cross-team collaboration a key part of onboarding strengthens our community. This is also an opportunity for the buddy to hone their mentoring and teaching skills. When the new hire has been with the company for six months, they will then become a mentor themselves, driving a continuous cycle of mentorship."
Learn more about Unstoppable Domains here.
“Mentoring@Uber connects employees who are passionate about helping and up-skilling others with those who are seeking guidance and development. It is a way of connecting and sharing challenges on a mutual and reliable relationship —and trying to get another perspective from an unbiased source. It’s also an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, or collaborate together to come up with a solution to professional problems that arise. People with mentors perform better, advance in their careers faster, and even maintain more work-life balance. And mentors benefit, too.”
Learn more about Uber here.
“MongoDB has offered two pilot mentorship programs to support underrepresented groups. One program focused on promising first-line managers and ICs from underrepresented groups and the other focused on providing executive mentorship to women & nonbinary leaders at the director level and up. In both programs, participants were matched with a mentor with who they regularly met to discuss career planning and personal development. Feedback from both pilots was hugely positive with participants indicating that they received helpful support from their mentors. Members from our ERGs have also served as mentors to our summer class of interns.”
Learn more about MongoDB here.
“Our Black and Latinx ERG, Array, offers a mentorship program pairing individual contributors within Array to C-Suite and VP level mentors, including PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada. Dedicated to leveling the playing field for Black and Latinx employees, the program is structured so everyone can learn from each other. Mentees are paired with mentors from within or outside their department for a nine-month term, which includes check-ins, themed discussions, and monthly one-on-ones. Bri Solorzano, an Array mentee, explained that this mentorship program allows her to build bonds with higher level executives, and share her personal experiences as a Latinx employee and individual contributor at PagerDuty.”
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
T. Rowe Price
“Due to the highly collaborative culture at T. Rowe Price, the firm understands the value of relationships and the opportunities strong mentorship can provide. It is committed to not only developing talent within its walls but developing the next generation of talent within communities.
The firm will launch a new global mentorship program in 2022, which will offer associates the opportunity to connect with colleagues, agnostic of location or business unit. T. Rowe Price also provides leadership development to youth in the community through strategic partnerships such as the Baltimore Ravens Leadership Institute, a program aimed at high school students.”
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
“At Pluralsight, we take growth seriously. Which is why we offer a six-month long mentorship program for all of our employees. Our mentorship program is facilitated bi-annually by Women@Pluralsight, one of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and aims to empower participants to recognize their full potential. We intentionally pair mentors and mentees to create connections that encourage the development of skills crucial to success, and foster personal and professional growth. In our most recent cycle we paired nearly 200 participants and have plans to continue growing that number. Because at Pluralsight, your growth is our growth, and vice versa.”
Learn more about Pluralsight here.
“At Yelp, we value and actively foster an environment focused on learning and development. There are a variety of mentorship opportunities available, such as:
- New Hire Mentors — new employees are paired with a team mentor to help them onboard and get settled in.
- Engineering Mentorship Program — any IC engineer can sign up to become or get a mentor within Yelp Engineering.
- Manager Mentorship Program — new engineering managers or proto-managers can get support from experienced managers at Yelp.
- Awesome Women in Engineering — This employee resource group’s mentorship program helps AWE members find mentors or mentee within the group.”
Learn more about Yelp here.
“At Turo, we help each other. We collaborate. We challenge each other. And we create the tools to succeed independently and as a team.
When you join Turo engineering, you’re assigned a mentor, a reliable, single point-of-contact to help you set up your environment, navigate the codebase, and acclimate to Turo’s culture and workplace. Mentors have a great responsibility to ensure new Turists feel welcome, offer encouragement, and provide advice and guidance on complex matters of systems and architecture. Engineers who demonstrate our core values of efficiency, pioneering, and being down-to-earth and supportive have an opportunity to mentor new engineers. Mentoring engineers is a great way to build the skills necessary to further your career at Turo.”
“Mentoring has allowed me to deepen my technical understanding and team connections.”
– Lauren Kroner, Senior Software Engineer
Learn more about Turo here.
“In the US, Moody’s has an intergenerational mentoring program, our Pride BRG members coach youth in the Queer Coders program. Our Women’s, Veterans, and Multicultural BRGs have a variety of mentoring programs, including summer intern mentorship, our Asian Leadership Initiative and our ConectaMos Hispanic/Latinx 1:1 mentoring program. Our Women’s Group Mentoring Program just celebrated its 10th anniversary with over 800 mentor-mentee participants over 10 years. In EMEA, Moody’s offers Power to Act reverse mentoring, mentoring through the Women’s and Pride BRGs, and a parental leave mentoring scheme. In APAC, Moody’s has various cross-BRG and cross-department mentoring programs.”
Learn more about Moody’s here.
“At Condé Nast, we are focused on providing positive career development opportunities. We recently launched a Global Mentorship Program as an option for employees to connect and learn from one another. For six months, employees participate as a mentor and/or mentee to develop their careers, grow their skills and guide one another. The structured framework creates and sustains an inclusive experience that empowers everyone’s growth.
The MentorcliQ platform we use lets us create mentoring pairs based on their interests, experiences and personality compatibility. To date we have had 473 active mentorship pairs.”
Learn more about Condé Nast here.
“Thornburg Small Group Mentor Program was created to bring employees of various tenures and experience levels together in order to cultivate organic relationships and opportunities for influence in a low-pressure environment.
The program consists of six small groups comprised of one mentor and three to six mentees. These groups meet for one hour every month for six months. The series concludes with a virtual event where all participants from every group can meet and share takeaways from their experiences.
- Small group format (not one-on-one)
- Low cost, low maintenance, light structure
- Flexibility for mentors to lead through individual style"
Learn more about Thornburg here.
“Women@Okta’s upcoming mentorship program:
W@Okta’s vision for the year is to empower, develop and support women-identified employees in order to ultimately improve gender diversity at Okta. One of our key methods is to empower the next generation of female leadership by providing a platform for women to connect and learn from one another through group and 1:1 mentorship opportunities. Our Professional Development branch is launching a pilot mentorship program with an initial cohort of 32 mentors and mentees.
Goals: Career, personal and organizational
Share your needs, desires, goals, and challenges; career choice and mobility.
Explore people, resources, information, expertise you need – but don’t have – to speed up, enhance, and ensure your results.”
—Professional Development Lead Christina Gallagher (Senior Sales Development Representative) & Partnerships Co-Lead Sarah Schiff (Senior Manager, Customer First Recruiting)
Learn more about Okta here.
Cloud computing has seen huge advancements in the last couple of years as the pandemic has forced companies to keep up with productivity, reduce costs, and stay connected. Instead of using in-house servers and computing power, “the cloud” offers the flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness that companies need.
So it’s no surprise that cloud computing has been rated as one of the most sought-after tech skills by LinkedIn and Indeed this year. With ever-changing technology, the demand for certified cloud computing professionals has soared. The shortage of qualified professionals in this domain presents a golden opportunity for those who are willing to learn the necessary cloud computing skills.
And that’s why we’re excited to announce that PowerToFly is collaborating with the Microsoft U.S. Developer team to bring you FREE Cloud Skills Challenges all year long. Participants can develop new, highly-sought after skills by enrolling in three new challenges every quarter and get the chance to earn a Microsoft Cloud Computing Certification once the challenge has been completed. Those who take the challenge through PowerToFly have the opportunity to take the exam for free!
Cloud Skills Challenge
The challenges consist of completing a series of modules on Microsoft’s learning platform and benchmarking progress against other participants. After completing the challenge, participants can take an exam to earn an official Microsoft certification (paid for by PowerToFly!).
PowerToFly hosted our first Cloud Skills challenge in December 2021, where over 1,200 participants completed a Microsoft certified online course focused on Microsoft Azure and DevOps-related cloud computing skills.
We were blown away by the quality of students who participated in the challenge and walked away with new, marketable skills and an official certificate. It went so well that we are pleased to announce that we will be offering more Microsoft challenges exclusively for the PowerToFly community.
We are currently offering the following challenges:
Learn to design and implement strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.
Azure AI Engineer Associate
Learn to analyze solution requirements; design solutions; integrate AI models into solutions; and deploy and manage solutions.
Azure Data Scientist Associate
Learn to manage Azure resources for machine learning; run experiments and train models; deploy and operationalize machine learning solutions; and implement responsible machine learning.
These courses have been hand-picked by PowerToFly’s Customer Success team because they cover some of the most in-demand, high-paying skills companies are looking for this year.
PowerToFly will reimburse the first 50 people who successfully complete the challenge coursework and the certification exam!
Don’t miss your opportunity to level up your tech career! Click here to earn a FREE Microsoft Certification exam.
💎 Looking for some tips and tricks to prepare for your job interview with CallRail? You’ve come to the right place! Make sure to watch the video until the end for some valuable insights.
📼 Watch this video to get some tips that will help you prepare for your interview with CallRail. In this video, you’ll meet Kristin Marsicano, Director of Engineering, and Jon Cyprian, Talent Acquisition Manager at CallRail, who will tell you about the application process and give you some tips and tricks to crush the interview!
📼 Tip #1 for your interview with CallRail: Based on Jon's personal experience as a recruiter, he shares there isn't a "moment" when he knows the candidate is perfect for the job. That said, some vivid indicators naturally give recruiters a better feeling about a candidate, including the research they've done and just their genuine honesty! Transparency about skillsets and what you are looking for in your career journey matters!
📼 Tip #2 for your interview with CallRail: Kristin reveals, “One of the most common hiring misconceptions is that you have to meet all of the criteria in order to even consider applying." That is not true! Being on the other side of engineering hiring for the past seven years, Kristin has seen so many scenarios where the company extended an offer to somebody, even if they didn't meet every single one of the criteria. She recommends that you directly call out how your existing experience matches the job requirements when you apply. Then, if and when you get through to the interview, be prepared to note specific examples that match your experience to the role's needs. Kristin is looking to hire people who can adapt, who have the self-awareness to know what it takes to learn on the job.
Resume Tips for your Interview with CallRail
Jon says there are really only two things to keep in mind when it comes to resume tips. First, a resume over two pages can be too much. But if you still want to present that extra information, Jon recommends doing two submission formats: a short-form and a long-form. The second thing Jon suggests is to submit your resume in a simple form, using either PDF or Microsoft Word. That's because many applicant tracking systems that recruiters use do not accept additional formats.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining CallRail? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get To Know Kristin and Jon
Kristin is an experienced technical leader, people manager, educator, and mentor with 20 years in the software development industry, including authoring Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. She excels at project and team leadership, and is effective at communicating with technical team members across disciplines and skill levels, as well as non-technical team members and stakeholders. She has experience seeing projects through from inception to implementation. Kristin builds buy-in with internal team members and stakeholders through transparency, collaborative ownership, and consistent practices.
Jon has been with CallRail for more than three years now, first as an Internal Recruiter and currently as a Talent Acquisition Manager. If you are interested in a career at CallRail, you can connect with Kristin and Jon on LinkedIn!
More About CallRail
CallRail is here to bring complete visibility to the marketers who rely on quality inbound leads to measure success. Their customers live in a results-driven world, and giving them a clear view of their digital marketing efforts is the first priority for CallRail. They see the opportunities in surfacing and connecting data from calls, forms, and beyond—helping their customers get better outcomes. CallRail has appeared on best places to work lists and are ranked #1 on G2, but they’re not done. They need savvy, innovative people like you to help their customers scale and grow. Are you game?
💎 Get some top tips before your technical interview with Uber! Don’t miss the valuable advice from a company recruiter. And get to the end of the video for the most important tip!
📼 Play this video to get three top tips that will help you ace your technical interview with Uber. You'll hear from Kelly Hay, Senior Technical Recruiter at Uber, who shares everything you need to know if you’re aiming for a technical role with the company.
📼 Tip #1: Communication Is Key. The first tip to nail your technical interview with Uber: You must articulate your approach to the various problems the interviewer will put in front of you. Also, you should demonstrate that you have the knowledge and the skills necessary to thrive in the role. So, think out loud and explain your thought process as you code! This helps fully communicate your solution and allows your interviewer to correct any misconceptions and offer high-level guidance.
📼 Tip #2: Share Your Experience. The second tip for a technical interview with Uber: Clearly illustrate your current role and projects to convey your efforts and accomplishments. Be able to describe how you've been managing various aspects of a project, from planning to completion, and how you've used your problem-solving skills to guarantee project success! Make sure that you focus on projects that had the biggest impact on the organization, where you’ve had a pretty large scope. Share all the details, including the budget timeline and why certain decisions were made. It's all about building and telling the story from the beginning of the project to the end: Why and how you got specific requirements, how you translated those requirements into engineering terms, what types of challenges you faced, and how you solved those challenges.
Tips for a Technical Interview with Uber: Be Prepared!
Take the time to read the interview prep that the recruiter provides. Also, focus on revisiting fundamentals. While it's great to impress the team at Uber with your in-depth knowledge, it's just as important to nail the basics! It may sound obvious, but Kelly highlights that recalling things you haven't revisited for a while can be incredibly tricky.
📨 Are you interested in joining Uber? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
More About Uber
We are Uber. The go-getters. The kind of people who are relentless about our mission to help people go anywhere and get anything. Movement is what we do. It’s our lifeblood. It runs through our veins. It’s what gets us out of bed each morning. It pushes us to constantly reimagine how we can move better. For you. For all the places you want to go. For all the things you want to get. For all the ways you want to earn. Across the entire world. In real-time. At the incredible speed of now. We welcome people from all backgrounds who seek the opportunity to help build a future where everyone and everything can move independently. If you have the curiosity, passion, and collaborative spirit, work with us, and let’s move the world forward together.