Joyful greetings for the day! :) My name is Mohnish and it's nice to have you here :)
I'd like to start with sharing a story of how I met my first tech industry mentor:
When I had gone to a tech conference in Bangalore, India, that's where I met my first industry specific mentor in a more casual setting of life. After that event, he wasn't actually my mentor officially, nor was I his mentee but over a period of staying in touch, he did become my mentor even though I don't remember officially asking him the question - "Will you be my mentor?". This person shaped my thinking and perspectives for the better in tech and also played an important role in making me a better person overall.
Why do I care about mentorship?:
At different times in my own career, I've found myself in situations with not enough clarity to decide what's the right thing to do as a next step. What I've come to realise is that mentorship has given me a perspective to consider things that I may have not factored in or sometimes it has been helpful to me to even validate my own thinking process at different occasions in my life & that in it's own ways has been very helpful to me and is something I'm truly grateful for 🙏.
I find true joy and happiness in enabling people to be a better version of themselves 🙂 I'm very grateful to have had my first mentor and many other mentors in my life and through this platform I intend to do the very little I can to pay it forward by sharing a perspective for your consideration and I'd be really glad if that is useful to you and/or your growth in one's life journey 🙂
What's my professional experience thus far been like:
I've been a backend programmer for 9.5+ years and I've worked as a lead dev for 1.5 years of my career thus far and have had wonderful opportunities to work in tech companies in India, South East Asia(Singapore) & Europe(Germany) and also an onsite opportunity to work out of the UK for a few months.
I started off as a junior programmer and although my last official role was that of a Senior Backend engineer, I have had wonderful opportunities to wear different hats in my life throughout my career including operating as a engineering manager in various capacities and having an opportunity to even learn and practice skills like emotional intelligence as a programmer and still deliver quality work in the face of adversities.
I do have past experience in:
Leading teams and projects, building a culture that fosters trust, collaboration, inclusiveness & a sense of belonging, supporting people in their growth, hiring, using agile methodologies, owning & delivering projects end to end. This includes varied experiences with onboarding people, removing roadblocks proactively & otherwise, advocating usage of the right tools, setting up alignment meetings, taking up project management & stakeholder communication work, using negotiation skills, facilitating meetings, fixing process gaps, incident management & tying it with delivery, directly interacting with customers via different platforms, collaborating with other developers as part of company related partnerships/integrations & also doing live customer demos.
Also, I do have past experience of sharing & receiving feedback with my peers & junior colleagues & as a result of this I have had my own learnings along the way in the art of giving & receiving feedback & also handling emotions that come along with some of these conversations at varying times.
In the context of people development, my people skills have helped me be a better mentor/tutor to colleagues at work & they have even helped me be a better coach/speaker/facilitator/co-organizer with my participation in the tech communities in Bangalore, Singapore & Berlin to share my two cents of learnings along the way. I’ve specifically been an ex co-organizer of Ruby meetups in Bangalore, a coach at Rails Girls Bangalore & at Code Curious workshops, Open Tech School & Codebar events in Berlin & at a Codebar event in the UK. I've also had an opportunity to be a mentor on Exercism.io's Ruby track. It was through one of these meetups, I had a wonderful opportunity to mentor a woman of a certain age to help her eventually land her first tech job.
- I had a wonderful opportunity to win a Full Time Scholarship for a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion(DEI) course for Engineering managers conducted by a DEI practitioner for 27 years and an Ex VP of Social Impact at Github - Nicole Sanchez. I very recently finished this course. I'm also almost completing with being a mentor on a program called Internhacks for students Summer break in 2021.
- I was a mentor as part of a Summer program by Internhacks(https://internhacks.com/) to help underrepresented undergraduate students with their summer project.
In terms of mentoring, I continue to be available as a mentor through this platform and also work as a freelance software consultant on areas related to software development and some of the below mentioned topics like communication, leadership development, conflict mediation, emotional intelligence, coaching, building high performing and autonomous teams
My approach to mentorship:
"Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don't" - Bill Nye. As much as I may be able to share my two cents, I'm sure there's something or the other that I will get to learn from the other person. I value asking the right questions and having open ended discussions instead of telling what one may have to do. I believe in the power of hope and in enabling people to think for themselves and own their decisions through the two cents of inputs I may be able to bring up for their consideration.
Last but not the least :) :
If I can help in any way, even if it doesn't cover one of the mentoring topics mentioned below, feel free to ask 😊
- Self Improvement(through self awareness, reflection, observation, planning, journaling etc.,)
- Communication(verbal, body language, cues, tone, written etc.,)
- Leadership(Leading teams, leading projects, being a better leader)
- Building high performance and autonomous teams
- Becoming a better coach and mentor
- Creating a work culture that is centred around values, feedback, listening, psychological safety, diversity, equity, inclusion and sense of belonging
- Team work(having a team mission, purpose, building autonomous and high performing teams)
- Agile processes(having efficient meetings, facilitation, identifying & fixing process gaps etc.,)
- Giving and receiving feedback(timing, techniques, handling emotions etc.,)
- Interview preparation - Resume review, cover letter review, general tips, Preparing for different rounds for a Backend Software Engineer role
- Hiring(Preparing different interview types, Preparing more meaningful and more inclusive Job Descriptions, Hiring for people from Diverse and Underrepresented backgrounds etc.,)
- Emotional Intelligence
- Conflict Mediation
- Time management
- Getting a Software Engineer job
- Becoming a better programmer
- Getting a Software engineer job abroad
- Career Development
- Contributing to Open Source(through code and documentation contributions) as a programmer
- Other ways of contributing to the Open Source Community(Blogging, Speaking at meetups/conferences, coaching, organising and facilitating meetups)
- Being a sounding board: I've often come to realise through some of my own experiences of what it feels like to be truly listened to and it's honestly something that at times, words aren't enough to describe what it meant to me. That and if required, having an opportunity to validate's one thoughts are potentially useful in different ways, and I'm happy to be that sounding board for another person
- Yoga and meditation for one's personal well-being