Events

Tech Leader Chats: How to support junior developers to thrive with Elise Wei

5 min read

We all know that there’s a shortage of developers and that it's good to support the next generation of developers by hiring juniors. Equally, we might have some questions (or even some worries) about what it takes to support a junior developer.

Elise Wei shared original research from Dev Academy Aotearoa about onboarding junior developers, and what an organisation can do to be in a good position to support a junior developer. She also shared some practical tips for how you can do that in your team – without adding too much to your workload.

We were also be joined by Ruth McDavitt from Summer of Tech, who make it easy and attractive for employers to hire students & grads. Ruth will share learnings about how internships can be a key part of finding, growing and retaining junior developers on your team, along with quick tips to set everyone up for success.

About Elise

Elise Wei became a full-time developer in 2008 after learning HTML and CSS as a hobby during university and during her first few years in the workforce. While working as a project manager at a digital agency, she convinced her tech lead to give her a shot as an entry-level front-end developer and has since spent countless hours coding, teaching, and growing teams of engineers. In 2017, she moved from the U.S. to Wellington, where she worked on Xero’s design system before joining Dev Academy Aotearoa with a focus on curriculum and instructor training.

Outside of tech, Elise crafts, bakes, and entertains her daughter's imaginary friends.

How to keep teams engaged while working remotely

See below for:

  • Key takeaways from Elise & Ruth's talk
  • The slides & recording from Elise & Ruth's session
  • A transcript of the discussion

Key takeaways




Recording and slides

You can view the slides from Elise's talk here and Ruth's slides here – and see below for the full recording.

Transcript

[00:00:00] Jenny Sahng: Great. Thanks for that. So yeah, welcome everyone. Welcome to our Tech Leader Chats, and this week we're - this cadence that changes quite a bit, we've got Elise Wei from Dev Academy and Ruth McDavitt from Summer of Tech talking to us about how to support junior developers to thrive. And so yeah, really great to see a huge mix of people here and especially looking forward to what we learn and then the discussions afterwards.

[00:00:28] Jenny Sahng: So this is the rough plan: got the intro, then Elise will speak. Oh my. Elise will speak for 15 minutes. Then Ruth is gonna talk for five minutes. We'll have 10 minutes of q and a and then breakout room discussions towards the end, which is not recorded. And so if you have any questions just put them in the chat and then we'll leave them until the end until the q and a section.

[00:00:50] Jenny Sahng: Cool. All right, so Elise can start off - I know Elise from Xero. She was a Senior Engineer on the design systems team and also a People Lead. And I saw her support many a grad who rotated through a team, including one of our own developers, James, who is now a back end developer at Multitudes, but was in Elise's team before.

[00:01:11] Jenny Sahng: She's now a practice lead at Dev Academy Aotearoa, which is New Zealand's 15 week coding program that gets people from zero to work ready. And so yeah, really keen to have you here, Elise. I'll pass over to you.

[00:01:31] Elise Wei: Right. I'm just gonna share my screen and, Oh, nope, not that one. You don't want that one? Zoom

[00:01:43] Jenny Sahng: mode. Yay. 

[00:01:47] Elise Wei: Let's try this. That better? That great. All right, super. Cool. So thank you so much for the kind intro, Jenny. We will get right into it because I've got 15 minutes and I'm gonna use 'em all. All right. So supporting junior developers to thrive, I hope you're in the right place and if you're not, you're in for fun anyway.

[00:02:03] Elise Wei: So what are we gonna talk about today? I'm gonna talk a little bit about some, some research that we've recently done here at Dev Academy. So a little bit about the research, some of the pleasant surprises that we encountered. Some other observations. And then mostly I'm gonna talk about the factors that went into success for the folks that we talked to in this.

[00:02:20] Elise Wei: In this research. There'll be time for questions at the end and the slides will be shared out also afterwards. So you'll have access to this as well as my notes. There's also a hidden slide that's not shown here because my peppe was, it was, it was, I only have 15 minutes. Cool. So about the research, The research happened through May of May through July of this year.

[00:02:40] Elise Wei: We spoke to 22 maybe more organizations mostly New Zealand based those, some were based overseas and have operations in New Zealand. Those organizations ranged in size from five people, tiny little startup. To 6,500 person big global corporations. We spoke to people in a, an array of different industries and the folks that we individually spoke to were anything from founders and CTOs right down to the developers, sometimes intermediate developers who were working directly with junior developers to get them onboarded.

[00:03:13] Elise Wei: And in those conversations we we, we talked about junior devs, of course, both generally and Dev Academy grads, but every. Started with the question, what does it look like to onboard juniors at your organiz? And then certainly we would evolve the conversation into more specifics from there. A brief disclaimer about why we did this research.

[00:03:33] Elise Wei: So we were looking to help in this space. Dev Academy wants to help and we want our grads to get hired and we want them to have a great experience when they do get hired. But our core mission is really around supporting and growing the tech industry in. So while there are certainly some ways that I think that we can help, and I'll be really excited if you wanna talk about those.

[00:03:55] Elise Wei: There's not a single thing that I'm gonna talk about today that you need us for. You can do all of this on your own and maybe some of them you already are. So here we go. Pleasant surprises. Number one was that leadership, especially senior leadership, really understands the value of investing in the talent pipeline and that they're willing to spend the time and the resources it takes.

[00:04:16] Elise Wei: Sometimes this was to the exasperation of the managers and the developers who are actually doing that onboarding. But it was really great news for us because we were excited to see that senior leadership really was bought into this idea of. Growing tech talent from the bottom here in New Zealand.

[00:04:32] Elise Wei: And on top of that time spent by the teams was considered an acceptable cost. This was actually not something that we expected going into this research. We had a hypothesis that this would be a big pain point for people. But we were actually delighted to hear that, that everybody just kind of saw this as the cost of doing business.

[00:04:47] Elise Wei: And that some places are confident that they're doing this really well, that they're really happy with their onboarding. Their whole onboarding setup, and that was fantastic actually, because it meant that we had a lot that we could learn from them. Other observations. Everybody's willing to teach their own specific stack, meaning that juniors, while they are expected to know a stack you're all willing to teach them if they don't know your specific stack, which is great.

[00:05:12] Elise Wei: Love that. Flexible thinking. Juniors were typically hired on attitude and problem solving, or would I call. Potential. And then everybody that we spoke to mentioned pairing with more senior developers as a tool for onboarding juniors. Now, this might seem obvious, but it points to some interesting questions and also possibilities, and so we'll come back to this a little bit later on.

[00:05:33] Elise Wei: And then this last one, the time to get up to speed could be one week or could be one year. This was pretty wild and, and a little surprising I think for us. While most places tended towards the towards the weeks end of things rather than months or years. But some places In particular legacy systems large organizations, and sometimes in industry, if it's a very heavily regulated industry those might be factors in it taking much longer for junior dos to begin being productive or productive in the eyes of, of the rest of the organization.

[00:06:04] Elise Wei: So onto factors that contributed to the success of bringing in and really nurturing junior talent in these organizations. There's a handful that we're not gonna go into depth about today. Including the individual abilities and personality of those junior developers. Certainly there's gonna be wide variance there.

[00:06:22] Elise Wei: Your hiring practices, your hiring and select. Process, which is gonna determine who shows up for that first day of work. So, you know, that could be a whole nother talk. We're not really gonna get into that today. So once they're in the door, what you do as an employer, as a manager, or as a teammate, that's gonna make a huge difference in the success of junior developers.

[00:06:42] Elise Wei: And that's largely what we're gonna talk about today. Number one, onboarding process. So this is probably not a huge shock. Having your act together makes a big difference. So let's talk about how to do this. You can see some quotes from our research participants. The folks that we talked to had a lot to say about either their processes that weren't working for them or sometimes the processes that were working really well.

[00:07:04] Elise Wei: So specific recommendations that I'll talk about in terms of. If you don't have a process, there's no official process, then you want to write one because something happens when new, When new starters join your organization. So start by documenting what the most recent new hire did and what was done to support them.

[00:07:23] Elise Wei: Then ask them what they wish had happened, and use that as kind of your first draft of your onboarding process. On the other hand, if you do have a process, but it's not documented, Well then document it get it written down, get it out of somebody's head so that other people can refer to it and make sure that that document gets checked and updated.

[00:07:42] Elise Wei: So, Bo in both of these cases, case one N, case two, you want that to be a living document. You want it to get looked at, used, revised, added to Every time you have a new starter go through the process. Now I'm sure probably, again, this is not a huge revelation for anybody. Hopefully this is stuff that you're all doing.

[00:07:57] Elise Wei: But now if you need to, you can go back to the rest of your team and say, This is totally backed by research. Elise said that we had to do this. So feel free. Thirdly, if there is a document, you have a document, but nobody uses it, then figure out why. Does everybody know where it is? Do they know who should use it and when can it be converted into a more useful format?

[00:08:17] Elise Wei: Like what if it was a Trello template that got copied over for every new starter and included a list of tasks and the times that they should be doing those things? Can you store it in a more obvious place or surface it at a more convenient time? And then for the last one, ask what could be improved?

[00:08:31] Elise Wei: So I touched a little bit on the idea of continuous improvement, but you know, keep asking junior devs and the people who are onboarding them how your onboarding, documentation and process could be better. All right, so that one's kind of a gimme. Professional development. So there's a bunch of quotes in here from the folks that we talked to about professional development, about growth, about learning.

[00:08:54] Elise Wei: So in addition to helping juniors get comfortable and up to speed, that we also heard that professional development was a big factor in both recruitment. So attracting that talent, and then also retention for juniors and also people further on in your, in their careers at your organiz. So what can we do about this?

[00:09:14] Elise Wei: Well, number one, set expectations around learning and build in time for it. Actually dedicate the time for your employees to, to learn things, to learn new stuff. And maybe it's not work relevant, but they feel like they're growing and that really helps their overall ability to contribute to the organization.

[00:09:31] Elise Wei: If you joined us for the first one of these tech leadership chats back in June, you will have seen Rachel Colling Ridge speak about getting. You know, building that culture of learning within your organization, and this is super massive, really, really helpful. Number two, begin setting growth goals for juniors as early as possible.

[00:09:47] Elise Wei: So sometimes junior developers don't know exactly what they want, and that's okay. You can build some goals around exploration, discovery, figuring out if they wanna specialize in something, getting them exposure to different parts of the business. And then thirdly, clearly communicate roles around roles and levels.

[00:10:05] Elise Wei: So if you don't already have clarity around what's required at each level of growth in your organization, try to get that clarity and then let the engineers know. This not only gives juniors certainty about their place in the world and also something to aim for and strive towards it, it will help support them so in their growth to intermediates.

[00:10:25] Elise Wei: But it will also help support your intermediates to grow into seniors. Cool. So yeah, professional development. Really, really exciting stuff. Okay. Mentorship as I mentioned a couple of minutes ago, one on one support from a more senior engineer is the primary way that juniors get up to speed. As you can tell from some of these quotes, one thing that we heard loud and clear is that there is a wide variability in the quality of me.

[00:10:53] Elise Wei: Junior devs receive, it can, it can vary massively from team to team, from mentor to mentor. So this is a pretty significant variable. You know, it's a key part of the process and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not. So what can you do to make this a strength for your organization and your talent pipeline?

[00:11:13] Elise Wei: Okay, one ensure that mentorship is actually happening if you don't have seniors which some places don't. Or if your senior engineers are unavailable to mentor, you need to get support for your junior developers somewhere else. You can find programs outside your company out in the community and pay somebody if you need to.

[00:11:32] Elise Wei: Number two, who are the best mentors in your organization? Ask Juniors about their experience. How can the great mentors who already are in your organization help upskill everyone else in this area? Three I just mentioned growth frameworks. So if you have a growth framework for your engineers, ensure that mentorship and coaching skills are required for them to advance.

[00:11:56] Elise Wei: And then last but not least if you're requiring this for people to advance in your organization, well now you have to provide them with the opportunity to tho to get those skills, you have to provide that support. And so if that's not something that you can do internally to your organization, again, you might need to look outside and find programs for how to grow the mentors in your organization.

[00:12:17] Elise Wei: Cool. So this is gonna be the last one of these. And I realize this is absolutely not going to be feasible for everyone. But even hiring a pair of people at the same time will mean that they're not going through that onboarding process alone. If they're both early career or if they're both in engineering, all the better now doing this sort.

[00:12:38] Elise Wei: Batching. This clustering gives you increasing economy of scale in that onboarding process. And it can help you build your reputation as a company that fosters engineering growth. Now you'll note the second quote on here talks about each cohort mentoring the next. And one of our, our study participants referred to this process as the mentorship cascade which I thought was a really beautiful way to describe.

[00:13:02] Elise Wei: So as you might have guessed, I, I, you know, I come most recently from Zero before I was, was at Dev Academy and the ultimate version of hiring in clusters is something like an in-house grad program where you get to massively capitalize on the benefits of hiring a cohort. But again, just hiring two or three new starters in a cluster can give you similar benefits at a smaller scale.

[00:13:24] Elise Wei: So how do we go about doing this? Well do the thing number one. Even if you, even if you hire two people in different specialties, like maybe a designer and an engineer, you'll still find that they're supporting each other and that they kind of bond over that shared experience and then plan intakes for a low stress time of year.

[00:13:41] Elise Wei: So doing this intentionally, Lets you really think ahead and you get to bring your, hire, your new hires in at a time when they're going to get the best support from the rest of the team and hopefully a really comfortable setting to find their feet. Cool. Recap time. So the, the four main areas that I mentioned are onboarding processes, professional development, mentorship, and hiring in clusters.

[00:14:07] Elise Wei: Now, as I mentioned early on, we did this research to try to determine how we might be able to help, and we certainly came out of this with some ideas particularly around onboarding clusters of junior devs, and also building really strong mentorship skills in the developers who are responsible for growing that next generation of tech.

[00:14:25] Elise Wei: We would absolutely love to hear from you if you'd be interested in working with us in those areas. But again, these are all things that you can start on right now for yourselves. And maybe you already are. So if you're already nailing most or all of these things, then I suspect you're probably doing great.

[00:14:42] Elise Wei: Or if you're doing all of these things and you're still struggling if you're willing to share, I'd really be interested to hear about that experience because honestly, this work. Never done, it will never be done for us. This was one specific phase of our research, but there will be many more. So what are your questions and are we holding questions for after Ruth is done as well?

[00:15:03] Elise Wei: We could, I think we could do a couple of questions now and then we'll do and then we'll go to Ruth. But yeah maybe we'll spend five minutes on questions now and then we'll come back afterwards as well.

[00:19:03] Jenny Sahng: Yeah. Yeah. Oh I was just gonna say, yeah, thanks for sharing. I just wanted to like keep track of time. Yeah. But thanks so much for sharing that, Dan, and I think it'll be such a good one for further like diving in discussions. Yeah. So I might, I might move on to Ruth and have her share her five minutes about what they've learned at some tech.

[00:19:22] Jenny Sahng: Yeah. If that's okay.

[00:19:23] Ruth McDavitt: Kia ora koutou, having an awesome work from home moment. People are, are nodding and saying they can hear me. Excuse the three year old in the background. Love my life on a rainy day. My name's Ruth. I'm really honored to be here. See so many old friends and new friends. I'm part of a small team at Summer of Tech connecting employers and students.

[00:19:49] Ruth McDavitt: Recent graduates for paid summer internships in art. We work both sides of the bridge, so employer side and candidates side, bringing everybody together for success. So I'm really here to tell or support Elise's presentation. I was really keen to hear the research and it resonates and I thought I was really nervous.

[00:20:05] Ruth McDavitt: Five minutes isn't long to say. Yeah, I agree with what Ellie said. So I thought, how can I how can I explode this five minutes? And I'm gonna talk about the whole thing, finding, growing, retaining and, and plus one on everything Elise said. All right, now I'm down to four and a half minutes. So I am gonna try and cover off that with just a few little insights, which is hopefully gonna spark some awesome call data conversations shortly.

[00:20:25] Ruth McDavitt: We work with a whole bunch of, of, of newbies especially. Very, very huge favorites. Working with around 80% in terms of internships. So short form, 10 week summer or winter or anytime you like, internships. But we also do have grad roles and part-time roles and anything you like really. So here's my key key lessons for, for finding juniors.

[00:20:46] Ruth McDavitt: I did wanna do a big plug for internships as a try before you hire type strategy. If it's done right, you can connect early. Super early, seeing very successful internships with people in their very, very, very early education for tech careers. It really comes down to the support you can wrap around with them.

[00:21:03] Ruth McDavitt: So high early plus one, not least said, attitude, aptitude, potential on, on your side, it's imagination. You know, how can you spot the potential, how can you see where someone is gonna go and how you can get them there. I just wanted to quickly resonate on Elise's mention of up to Speed, and I love this.

[00:21:20] Ruth McDavitt: My, my response to that is how are you defining what that looks like? So the biggest success, I think my lesson for you today is redefine what delivering value as a junior means and chunk it down. And if you're not getting value in the first week, chunk it down into smaller chunks because you should be getting value.

[00:21:37] Ruth McDavitt: In the first week, and if you're not, you're doing it wrong. So there's my challenge here. Happy to talk about that. I'm then deliberately provocative in what I say. So if you haven't successfully hired new, new BES before you definitely need to completely rebuild your recruitment process from the ground up and, and, and also acknowledge that, that your, your future junior talent might not look like what your past junior talent looked like.

[00:21:56] Ruth McDavitt: The, the world has changed. We are seeing an amazing diverse. Range of candidates coming from really different career pathways. So let go of your expectations and unless your, your imagination connect early and, and ask yourself for your recruitment process. How do I let this person shine? How can they show me what they can do?

[00:22:15] Ruth McDavitt: Forget your technical test. Forget your code review. Do something different to let them show you how they can work in the job. How do you grow them? I'm not gonna cover much on onboarding. Just wanted to say that for onboarding and training, we have seen everything. We have seen anything from a rotational program for an internship.

[00:22:32] Ruth McDavitt: We've seen an intense full on training on our, on our tools. We've seen pairing, we've seen BAU shadowing, we've seen it all. And if done right, any of those approaches can work. It's really about being well prepared. As I said, define what success looks like for both of you and. As you go hire them employment contracts, real work, paid fair wage, and then then help them shine.

[00:22:55] Ruth McDavitt: Think about learning from them as well. And, and, and also as your mentors and team learns and grows, building the confidence of your mentors and building that the pool of mentors plus one on what at least said. And it's actually about the whole team. Being part of that, that journey. Everybody on on your, in your organization can, can be a support.

[00:23:12] Ruth McDavitt: For all your newb and everybody up and down the chain. Plus one on hiring and clusters and batches. Also if you don't have capacity to mentor, you can outsource that, right? If, if you've got, haven't got anyone on your team who identifies with your junior or with anyone on your team, find somebody outside your organization in the community who would, who would like to help them out.

[00:23:29] Ruth McDavitt: And if you do this for a couple of years in a row, you're gonna have this Ever renewing cycle of interns and then last year's interns can be mentors next. So Lisa's covered this super well, but I just wanted to touch on retaining my message here is, once you've used your imagination, spotted potential engaged, early, connected, grown, grown, your team around them, retention is gonna be easy.

[00:23:49] Ruth McDavitt: Rinse, repeat, Keep doing it. Acknowledge that we're in a global community here and, and if you are your juniors, go off and, and disappear out into, out there. Don't worry, they'll be back. And then there'll be others, other others who've been well trained in other industries to come and join your, your team.

[00:24:04] Ruth McDavitt: Thank everybody. I'm talking to the converted here, but if we are all hiring juniors today, then we're gonna have more and more seniors tomorrow. I haven't time myself forgot to set the timer. I'm just about wrapping up. So Sure. To Coto, thank you. This is my, if I leave a bit more time, we can have more discussion and more questions.

[00:24:21] Ruth McDavitt: Yeah. So thank you Elise. That was really super interesting. Thank you everybody that's coming along and really excited to, to keep chatting. That's all I got.

[00:24:34] Jenny Sahng: Oh, amazing. Thanks so much, Ruth. That was such a rapid fire. But I think you summed up summed it all up really well and also gave some really great specific examples, so that was really nice. Yes, so I guess we're onto questions and so yeah, we'll have 10 minutes now for questions from the audience.

[00:24:49] Jenny Sahng: We've also got some questions that people. When they are registered for the event. So I'll start with those. But feel free to just message in the chat and then we'll pick from those. So , Yeah. And yeah, if there, if you Yeah. Including if you want any further clarification or, you know, deep dives on anything Ruth or Elise mentioned.

[00:25:06] Jenny Sahng: I'll start off with one that we had from Samora, who I believe is here in the Sent the question in earlier on Meet Up is what do you consider the most important principle to enabling a Junior to Thrive?

[00:25:23] Jenny Sahng: Oh, and that could be from anyone. Oh yeah. Actually, Or the audience. Yeah. If James, you are going for answering the question and not any question. Yeah. 

[00:25:29] Elise Wei: Do you have an answer or a question? 

[00:25:31] Audience 1: Yeah. No, I have an answer. I think. Is it a principle? Well, I wanna say psychological safety. I don't know how to frame that as a principle, but I would say creating an environment where any talent can, can try something and fail and be supported and learn through that is, is probably, for me, one of the most fundamental things that, that you can provide.

[00:25:56] Audience 1: Yeah, that sounds about right, . It does make a lot of sense. I guess like the, the question kind of stem from like I think we have a lot of different frameworks and different ways of kind of solving solution and in, at different organizations. And I guess what I was trying to kind of come to is like, what are the, some of the more fundamental distilled like things that if you can get right, you can kinda get the other things wrong and you still come up with a fairly good outcome.

[00:26:20] Audience 4: Samora for me, I think we've brought onto a soap, junior engineers this year, and I think, like never ending an unwavering support I think is super important because they do go through, I've noticed like total roller coaster of emotions and, thriving, surviving kind of journey. And a lot of the times, you know, they'll, they'll like go through a lot of self-doubt and then they'll be like, Oh yeah, I'm winning at this. I'm doing really well. So always, you always just have to meet them where they are and it can be really different from even day to day. So you just have to be supportive and be there for them.

[00:27:02] Jenny Sahng: Yeah. Oh, sorry, who was I cutting?

[00:27:09] Jenny Sahng: Okay, well we've got Isaac and Phoenix, so we'll take questions from you maybe Isaac first. 

[00:27:14] Audience 5: Yeah, I just wanna follow up on what said, cause I think that's really important. I feel like there's often a point a month or so into a new job where you've been through the onboarding and you know, the organized support sort. You know, it was completed and dropped off and you can just feel thoroughly overwhelmed. And that feeling can go on all of your career really. But yeah, I think that's important to be particularly sensitive to those points where it's sort of, it feels like you've done the main jobs of, you know, getting someone up with the speed, but need to make that transition into sort of the, the ongoing support that's gonna keep.

[00:27:54] Elise Wei: Isaac, do you feel like you have structures in place that do extend beyond that first month and maybe they just kind of like taper away a little bit? Like what does that look like? 

[00:28:02] Audience 5: Working on it? I'm reflecting more on experience. Yeah, we, One of the main things I'm trying to keep in mind is modeling ongoing learning ourselves and encouraging them, you know, the more experienced team members to sort of stay clearly I'm reading this textbook or I'm doing this course, and at the end of it produce and sort of deliver a bit of a book report of, you know, I did this and here are some notes I, I've made on.

[00:28:32] Audience 5: Parts of the book that were relevant to our particular tech stack, you know, or our work parts that were not so relevant so that the next person who picks it up will maybe with less experience, knows how to focus their learning a bit more. And it helps sort of guide people into not just learning for themselves, but you know, treating it as a community here.

[00:28:52] Elise Wei: Yeah, I love that. I would say that the, the other thing that I do also I work with a lot of career changers, but it actually applies in, in my experience to new jobs as well as totally new careers, is that, like for the first six months, I always feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and I perhaps have made a horrible mistake. And then at about the six months, I get to feel like I, I, I can actually judge that with some level of objectivity. And maybe I have made a horrible mistake, but that it hasn't turned out that way yet.

[00:29:27] Jenny Sahng: thanks so much. Isaac, great question and elaboration. Yeah. Appreciate you sharing that. I'll ask Phoenix heard your hand up before if you had a. 

[00:29:35] Audience 6: Oh yeah. Thank you. I just wanted to piggyback onto the, onto the current discussion. So in the past year I've worked with about a dozen different junior developers actually exclusively from Dev Academy. A full disclosure, I I work with a lot of grads and students at Dev Academy. That's just part of the work that I do. . And what, what I see that they all have in common is like, for developers of every skill level, software development is like 10% coding and 90% the active work of discovery. And the discovery part is actually the fun part.

[00:30:02] Audience 6: Learning is what's fun about this for most developers. And what I found is that junior developers are really no different from developers of any other skill level in that respect. They love to learn. And so it's kind of like I do everything I can just to encourage that and, and. And someone mentioned psychological safety.

[00:30:17] Audience 6: That's, that's perfect. Like putting 'em in situations where like they feel safe to ask questions where they feel safe to understand, to put up their hand and say, I don't know this or I don't know the answer to that. And I've seen on pretty much every project I've worked on, I've seen a junior dev teaching a senior dev, something that they didn't know.

[00:30:33] Audience 6: There's one project I worked on, there was a junior dev that taught everybody on the team, including the tech lead stuff about storybook. They didn't know. And I've seen this with lots of other things, with web three, with web sockets. So look, Junior dev is just the description of how long that person's been coding.

[00:30:46] Audience 6: But all the other skills, like all the human skills, the, the, the, the sorry, my first language is American Bear with me. The deductive reasoning right, like the problem solving, still those are embedded in every single person and we find that, we just find the best ways to bring those.

[00:31:04] Jenny Sahng: Amazing. Thank you so much. Yeah, it's such a great perspective. It's really important to remember that it's not always seniors taking support and then seniors giving it. It's like very much, ideally it would always be a two way dialogue between any two team members. Yeah. I think we'll have, we'll just take Jasper's question and then we'll move to breakout rooms and force the recording.

[00:31:21] Jenny Sahng: So Jasper had a question in the chat. Thoughts on balancing group training for clusters versus more tailored coaching and development? Feel like sometimes mass onboarding exercises can have mixed levels of engagement, but when some, when some things busy, but some, sometimes things are like a universally good idea and it's seeking to do it in a group.

[00:31:40] Elise Wei: Yeah, I think definitely, definitely a mix. And I think that probably, you know, to some, to some extent, you'll get efficiencies by onboarding a group because there are some things that you can deliver on mass, but each person should probably still have an individual mentor who's looking after them and meeting with them one on one. They should have individual, you know, Goal setting.

[00:31:59] Elise Wei: I think that probably the main thing that I'm excited about in terms of like hiring and clusters is the fact that these, these folks who are going through a similar experience are gonna bond in a, in a completely informal way. Right? A completely unofficial way. And so, you know, I mean, even if everything else still stayed the same, like maybe you deliver.

[00:32:23] Elise Wei: In a group setting. But they will still probably identify a little bit as a group and help support each other through that process. So even if you don't get any official formal time on the clock economy of scale from hiring a cluster, you will still reap benefits. So, you know, I think you're, you're, your customization within that scale is, is broad.

[00:32:45] Audience 6: Thank you. You too. 

[00:32:48] Ruth McDavitt: I was gonna add just quickly on that, because I said that I've seen it all and it all works. I, I agree. But in our sort of 10 week, 10 to 12 week internships, we, we often recommend, or, or, or see success when the first week is, is that sort of mix of the group and the, and the cohort coming through.

[00:33:04] Ruth McDavitt: And then it becomes extremely customized. But that exactly what Les said, the, the bonding is as important as the learning. So yeah, mix it up is. 

[00:33:15] Jenny Sahng: Awesome. Great question. Cool. So I think we'll pause the recording part of the talk here. Thanks to everyone who, anyone who's doing a, a sync and watching this later really appreciate that.

[00:33:24] Jenny Sahng: And yeah, we'll move on to the breakout rooms. Yeah, and I didn't mention this at the start, but like, the purpose of Tech Leader Chats is to have a space for like leaders to learn and grow together and learn with their peers and share their experiences and to also share ways of putting diversity, equity, inclusion into practice in the day to day when we're all very busy with, you know, our products and business goals.

[00:33:45] Jenny Sahng: How we can really put it into practice. So yeah, like please join us next time if you're toing off at this point. And yeah, I'd love to see you. Yes. So, oh, and thanks for that. Yeah, you can join the Slack we website community as well where you'll get reminders for the stuff. And if you join the meetup you'll also get reminders.

[00:34:01] Jenny Sahng: We've got our next one at the end of October. So yes, and then I think we can pause recording now and.

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Brooke Mills
Brooke Mills
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