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How to be a Better Tech Mentor

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How to be a Better Tech Mentor

​Technology’s unparalleled reach is home to countless career opportunities, many of them hidden from view. When you stay in your lane, it’s hard to see the possibilities on either side of you. Part of being a good mentor involves helping others uncover those possibilities.

It doesn’t have to be difficult either – in fact, a strong mentor/mentee relationship is often rooted in mutual interpersonal comfort. Sometimes, just sharing experiences honestly and openly is the best way to discover new avenues for growth and development on both sides of the conversation.

Mentorship can enrich your career, strengthen the bonds of community, and even help you bolster your leadership skills (it’s partly why we love it so much at Trust in SODA!). If you’re hoping to improve your mentorship skills in the tech space, here are a few of our favourite tips.

Get Ready to Learn

Mentors that can learn from their mentees are already set up for success. Everyone’s experience of tech is different, and everyone has a unique perspective to bring to the table. Perhaps that perspective can help you see your job in a new light.

Any great teacher will say they learn from their students, and that doesn’t necessarily mean learning new skills – it could refer to learning more about different cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds. An essential part of leadership is learning how to appeal to the needs of your team members, which is tough to do if you lack the understanding to create an inclusive environment.

Just because you’re in tech, doesn’t mean that your mentoring conversations have to be purely tech-related (unless of course, that’s the mentee’s preference. Speaking of which…)

What do you want from the Relationship?

It’s worth establishing early on what both of you want from the mentor/mentee relationship. This can help you set boundaries and participate in targeted conversations. The more specific, the better. Too broad, and the conversation won’t be relevant enough to offer value.

That said, perhaps broad works best and the point of the relationship is simply to vent about the tech industry – again, it depends on the goals you’ve set for yourselves.

Use the Right Tools

You’re in tech, so why not use some tech tools to enhance your relationship? You could start a project together, offering you the chance to show, rather than tell, your mentee the skills and tricks you’ve picked up throughout your career. AWS, GitLive, Codestream, CodePen, you name it, there are plenty of platforms that support collaboration, many of which offer free plans.

Exploring Open Source together is an ideal way to enable a more hands-on approach to tech mentorship, provided that’s the nature of your relationship.

Share Your Experiences

Sharing experiences not only builds trust but deepens the connection you have with your mentee, leading to more meaningful conversations. Mentorship isn’t all about work – there’s a very authentic, very human aspect to the connection and it shouldn’t be underestimated.

Sharing experiences can be hard, but it’s vital if you’re hoping to create greater access to opportunities for both yourself and your mentee. Active listening, story-telling, patience and empathy are your most powerful tools in this context.

At Trust in SODA, we invest in our network, and we’re always looking for opportunities to meet new people. Since it’s a key part of our long-term vision, mentorship is a key part of our organic growth – we know how important is when it comes to career development. If you’re looking for a career that enables mentorship opportunities or you’re hoping to step into a leadership role of your own, reach out to the team today, our community-led, diversity-focussed recruitment methodology can support you every step of the way.

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