In the last nine months, I mentored 20+ software developers on their journey. During this time, I experienced massive changes in software demographics.
Crunching some numbers from my mentoring activity:
- roughly 54% of the developers I tutored identify as female
- 62% were older than 30
- 18+ countries were present
Comparing these numbers with official figures* regarding the current IT workforce confirms it. Software professionals of tomorrow will be nothing like the ones of today.
A highly diverse crowd is entering the industry.
Meanwhile, startups are becoming corporates, and corporates are becoming conglomerates. Inclusion and professionalism are critical in absorbing this new workforce. This is*not a bunch of dudes**and a web-app. It is a multicultural and highly skilled workforce.
And that's our challenge. The current leadership and middle management layer don't match these demographics because of systemic and structural reasons. We will have to bridge this gap to keep attracting the best talent.
We are missing the opportunity of a lifetime unless this reality is acted upon by C-levels and managers. This directly impacts business results.
Employee loyalty translates directly into profits in an industry with such a high turnover*.
We need to change mindsets, structures, and processes to serve these new kind of professionals. Mentorship is a bridge between leadership and the new workforce it is mentorship. It shows the commitment of companies to the success of this new and diverse generation of developers.
Mentorship enables performance and inspires action.
With hundreds of fresh developers seeking advice, strong initiatives are taking off. My advice for tech companies? Some mentorship programs already started in non-profit setup*. Approach these non-profits and start a conversation.
Make mentorship a central part of your employee development program.
At Mister Spex, we have already begun.
The clock is ticking a late hour and as I write these lines, I can only smile. I smile because I feel proud to be part of such a dynamic industry. We are pioneers of change.
I am confident that we will reinvent ourselves as we already did countless times in the past. And to the "new-comers':
You are the future of software. Make us proud!
Do you already have a mentorship program in place? Does it extend beyond on-boarding periods? Are C-leves actively involved?
Disclaimer: This article is dedicated to the wonderful persons whose life I was able to touch in the last months. Hristina, Edenilton, Marina, Pablo, Ana, Saul, Danielle, Sabine, Kharan, Daria, Asghar, Dasom, Richard, Vesna ... and many others.
*referring to the "typical" startup founders team in the last decade.
*no numbers on this one, ask any C-level in Berlin about turnover and try to hold your tears