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Sumeet Jain (he/him)
Sumeet Jain (he/him)

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Immediate & Actionable Tactics For Leveling Up Devs


Everyone seems angry about hiring, onboarding, and retention. This is what happens when we value something, like mentorship, without knowing how to achieve it. Worse is that much of the advice out there is not actually tactical... Instead it's just more reasons why we should value mentorship.

This talk is not about valuing mentorship. No one needs to be convinced of that anymore. The more interesting question is assuming you already value mentorship, what tactics can you employ that 1) work effectively across various teams, and 2) don't undermine other qualities of a team that you also value.

My goal for this is to present to you at least a couple ideas that you’d never heard before and be able to immediately add them to your internal playbook. Here are the 3 broad categories of tactics I'll cover:

  1. Mentorship is not intuitive--it's something a person must actively learn to do. I'll go over a few very specific actions teams can immediately take to start training their devs to be better mentors.
  2. Train on business logic and tooling before code. Most training is focused on code (like "learning lunches" where a person presents a new library they're learning), but new devs struggle most often with non-code problems (like understanding a business domain or knowing how to employ tools to debug more effectively). I'll present an argument for why this is true, and then I'll list a few actionable strategies for non-code training.
  3. Promotion and retention. Companies would sooner die than lose their most senior developers, because there is so much institutional knowledge that only those seniors possess. I'll cover several immediate actions that teams can take to spread the wisdom around to more team members and finally create a proper junior-to-mid and mid-to-senior pipeline within the company.

Companies that can grow talent from within have a huge advantage. But without realistic and actionable tactics, that advantage will always be out of reach. This talk will change how teams approach training by handing them several usable strategies, and by giving them a framework to create their own playbook.

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