DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» is a community of 963,503 amazing developers

We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.

Create account Log in
Cover image for What was your worst experience while mentoring a coworker? πŸ’©

What was your worst experience while mentoring a coworker? πŸ’©

Hello, users! πŸ‘‹

Today I wanted to share one of the worst experiences I had teaching a coworker, I was his 'mentor' when he joined the team. I was so excited but... It turned out so badly.

Presentations

I'll call this guy Davos. Davos joined our team with an evident lack of english knowledge and conversation. (We were all spanish so we could communicate with him, but our entire work and documentation was writen in english).

Our team leader decided that I could teach him about the technologies we were using, the structure of the project and our team's philosophy.

I collected our team progress, wrote some guides, documentation, exercises and step-by-step guides for him (all in spanish of course)... Which he totally ignored.

The smelly Davos behaviour

Davos did anything.

I noticed he opened the guides/exercises when I was around but closed all up when I walked away.

In our progression meetings I saw he was doing nothing, still he didn't had "any doubts to ask". He started saying "that the techs we were using in our project sucked, that the techs he knew worked better". He tried to do some tasks with those "better techs of him" and failed, but still kept on using what he wanted.

My team leader told me to sit with him and actually make him do something. I tried, he totally ignored me, so I just gave him a simple task and opened a tab with the step-by-step doing of the task, then left. He closed the tab and then asked another male colleague how to do the task... This collegue opened the same tab I opened and explained the same thing I did. Davos told him: "WOW man, thank you! You rock!". I was speechless.

This happened twice. And a third time. And a fourth time. And so on. He was constantly avoiding and ignoring my explanations, closing the Chrome tabs of documentation that I opened for him when I was away, and asking the same thing to male colleagues... Which explained him the same things and opened the same docs.

As far as I saw I was loosing my time, because he only listened to male colleagues. So I told my team leader that I wouldn't deal with him anymore.

What finally happened

After 2 months, Davos mentorship finished. He pushed a corrupted version of our project with +100 errors and destroying our 6-months-work.

I'm thankful to god that the commits were reversible and we got back all our efforts.

Davos was finally fired because of so many reasons plus some of the mentioned above.

In conclusion

This was by far the worst experience I had while teaching someone at work.

After that I had all good experiences, but I always remember Davos and I feel his behaviour in many aspects was totally out of any sense.

What about you? Did you had a really bad experiencie while teaching/mentoring someone?

Top comments (17)

Collapse
 
nombrekeff profile image
Keff

Crap... what an individual...

I guess sexism is still a thing in the Tech industry... although I haven't had any experiences in all my work experience 🀷

Collapse
 
lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan

Could be sexism, or could have just been he didn't like the OP?

Collapse
 
helleworld_ profile image
DesirΓ© πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ‘©β€πŸ« Author

Haven't seen this comment before!

I thought since the first minute he had probably some trouble with having a woman giving him mentorship, I was the only one in the whole office he avoided and ignored in purpose (in work matters only, for any other 'social' thing it was totally okay to ask me...).

Weird.

Thread Thread
 
lukegarrigan profile image
Luke Garrigan

Well I'm glad you don't have to deal with the bugger any more! πŸ₯³

Collapse
 
nombrekeff profile image
Keff

Yea, yea, definitely! It does not seem like it though

Collapse
 
hammtronic profile image
trav

sexism will always be a thing with random shitty individuals, doesn't matter the industry

Collapse
 
nombrekeff profile image
Keff

True!

Collapse
 
0ctavia profile image
Octa

I was working helpdesk and was mentoring a new hire.

Meta-professionally it went wrong almost immediately. We were inbound yet phone notification sounds were on, chronically late, messy inbox, paperwork disaster. Technical-wise, said she understood yet once asked to take a case flunked it. Always had an excuse. In the end she was let go when someone else from the team had to mentor her and backed my statements to the manager. Apparently the mentee had been complaining that I was the reason for her lack of progress.

What this taught me more than anything is that occasional defensiveness happens to the best of us, but I'll give a wide berth to people who are defensive as a rule and don't seem to want to learn. Tech requires constant improvement and if you are unable or unwilling to be taught by others, it's a bad sign.

Collapse
 
helleworld_ profile image
DesirΓ© πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ‘©β€πŸ« Author

Sorry you had such an experience!

Indeed the worst part of mentoring is noticing the unwillingness to learn of the other person...

Collapse
 
madza profile image
Madza • Edited on

I would rather take this experience as a lesson learned.
Good team leader would gather a meeting with HR and discuss the possible improvements of recruitment process to avoid cases like these in the future.

So ultimately it's a win in your side, anyways.

Collapse
 
devanghingu profile image
Devang Hingu

Moral.. be like DesirΓ©.. not davos....πŸ˜…πŸ˜…πŸ˜…

Collapse
 
rudolfolah profile image
Rudolf Olah

In our progression meetings I saw he was doing nothing, still he didn't had "any doubts to ask".

There seem to be a few different cultures within tech workers; some tech workers are very comfortable asking questions and being humble and knowing that they don't know. Other tech workers have a sort of bravado or a deep fear of being found out that they know nothing, something like imposter syndrome.

He started saying "that the techs we were using in our project sucked, that the techs he knew worked better". He tried to do some tasks with those "better techs of him" and failed, but still kept on using what he wanted.

Usually that doesn't work out so well, not even if you're a great programmer who rewrites an entire system in Smalltalk.

Collapse
 
skyandsand profile image
Chris C

A senior tech's son was hired for my team once. No qualifications and didn't enjoy the field. He worked but he was not cut out for the needs of that team. Nepotism is real in the industry.

Collapse
 
helleworld_ profile image
DesirΓ© πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ‘©β€πŸ« Author

Totally, and it was such a really bad attitude, trust me...

Collapse
 
dcruz1990 profile image
Dennis Quesada Cruz • Edited on

Que hombre mas bruto por Dios!!!! πŸ€”

Collapse
 
helleworld_ profile image
DesirΓ© πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ‘©β€πŸ« Author

Β‘Y maleducado!

Some comments may only be visible to logged-in visitors. Sign in to view all comments.

DEV has this feature:

Settings

Go to your customization settings to nudge your home feed to show content more relevant to your developer experience level. πŸ›