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Vitaly Krenel
Vitaly Krenel

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Do you teach/mentor other people coding? Why?

If yes, then why do you do that?

Hey folks! Being a quite diverse engineer, I decided to start intentionally mentor other aspiring devs 2.5 years ago.

Recently, I asked myself a question: "Why do I do that?" and found myself having a lot of different answers.

I decided to think it through to find out what is my motivation in this endeavor? Why do I mentor other developers?

I took a few hours to think it over and found them quite helpful.

I settled on a few facts

I'm not doing it for profit.

I'm not making a lot of money on this one or even enough money to sustain myself.

I do not argue here, that mentoring can not be a profitable business or it shouldn't be. I don't have an opinion on this one as it's just not how I use mentoring.

At the same time, I do think that it is okay to settle with your mentee on some payment. Especially, if you want to help them to discipline themselves. The amount should be reasonable for your mentee, rather than for you.

I believe, people tend to take things more seriously when money gets involved.


Mentoring challenges me to explain things clearly.

Less experienced engineers ask sometimes quite straightforward questions. Which occasionally may touch some things, you don't know well or believe you know, but you don't know well enough.

This is helpful to continue staying humble, even as you get more experience. It also teaches saying "I don't know" and forces you to brush up on the subjects you are not confident with.


Connects me with new engineers I may work with in the future.

Someone said to me once: "All the rock stars have already been taken. We should grow our own ones inside".

It was through the process of looking for new strong engineers for a project.

The idea is that if you are skillful enough and mentor someone things you know, you are likely to teach them good practices, patterns, and tools you are using.

If your mentees are working in some companies, they'll continue to evolve the practice you are using and validate them. Through just a couple of years, they'll build new knowledge on the fundament you've given.

This will make these engineers you've mentored quite suitable to work with you (as they have similar preferences) and at the same time they will also see problems, you may not be aware of (as they validated your knowledge through other workplaces and tech teams).

Hopefully, this will make the project you'll be working on together a bit better.

Those were my thoughts. Can wait to hear from you - maybe I'll realize that I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

So what are your reasons to mentor other developers?

Top comments (3)

philou profile image
Philippe Bourgau

Thanks for letting me know whe could make even a small amount of money out of mentoring!

I have been doing coaching and mentoring at work for a long time now. I do this as part of my daily work, not something I do outside for money. In her book Technical Agile Coaching with the Samman Method, Emily Bache offers the following motivations about why to do tech coaching:

  • It’s challenging and interesting. […]
  • You can have a bigger effect than you would in other roles. […]
  • Teaching is inherently rewarding […]

I found that these motivations resonated well with me.

Thanks for your post!

poisonousjohn profile image
Ivan Fateev

I'm trying not only to mentor externally but also inside the company.

So for internal mentoring, there's a huge benefit of focusing on creative tasks instead of the technical debt :)

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