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Fundamentals of Mentorship: Successful Technologists Mentor New Technologists

How to mentor new engineering teammates for success

Topic: Programming
Douglas Bradbury

Mentoring is beneficial to the entire organization and an important skill to develop as you progress in your career. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to give an apprentice work that meets their current skills with just the right level of challenge. You’ll learn how to give great guidance and engage the apprentice’s entire brain in the learning process. You need not be an expert to be a mentor. If you know any one thing, you can mentor another towards it.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • The differences between teaching and mentoring
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of Flow and how it applies to learning
  • How the brain works when receiving guidance or feedback
  • Howard Gardner’s concept of Multiple Intelligences and its applications to learning

And you’ll be able to:

  • Design appropriate exercises for an apprentice that will create the ideal environment for learning
  • Give meaningful feedback to an apprentice in a way that builds on what they already know.
  • Present material in ways that engage all 9 Intelligences for more complete concept mastery
  • Mentor effectively

This training course is for you because...

  • You’re an individual contributor who is asked to mentor a new team member.
  • You work with beginning developers.
  • You want to become an influential mentor.
  • Want to grow a great development team around you.
  • You want to have greater impact and leverage without becoming a manager.


  • You need not be an expert to be a mentor. If you know any one thing, you can mentor another towards it.

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Doug was an early contributor to 8th Light when he joined in 2007. Doug helped start the Chicago office in 2010, and has performed almost every role as a crafter in that time. As 8th Light has grown, Doug has defined and then served in many new roles. Including Director of Consulting, Director of Studio, Managing Director, and COO. Doug is now responsible for the mentoring program at 8th Light.

    Doug earned his Bachelor of Science with Honors in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois in 2002. He has mentored more than 40 of 8th Light’s software crafters, and has given several presentations on apprenticeships in software, acceptance testing, Agile software, and mentoring. He authored the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship, and is a part-owner of 8th Light.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Listing Activity: Why is Mentoring important? (5 minutes)
  • Mentoring Vs Teaching: Fill in the Blank (5 minutes)

Flow (25 minutes)

  • Exercise (5 min)
  • Flow: Skill and Challenge Lecture (10 min)
    • How does it feel to be in flow? (Listing)
  • Flow Visualization Talking through a diagram (5 minutes)
  • Necessary Conditions for Flow (2.5 minutes)
  • Reflection (2.5 minutes)

Feedback and Guidance (25 minutes)

  • Feedback Exercise part one (5 minutes)
  • Dressed for Success -- A story: (5 minutes)
  • Help or Hurt? Lecture (5 minutes)
  • Feedback Fallacies (5 minutes)
  • How to Give Great Guidance (5 minutes)
  • Story Bookend
  • Feedback exercise part 2 (5 minutes)
  • Personal Summary - Rapid feedback - (Q&A)
  • Halfway point - 5 min Break

Mentoring with Multiple Intelligences (60 minutes)

  • Listing Activity: What’s your learning style? Open-ended answers. (5 minutes)
  • Howard Gardner’s 8½ “intelligences” Lecture with Visualization (15 minutes)
  • A Meta Moment
  • Exercise - Design a learning project/pattern for an outcome. (20 minutes)
  • Charge / Challenge - Vocation - Shu Ha Ri (10 minutes)
  • Personal Summary (Q&A) (10 minutes)