The acclimation process as a new engineer may be daunting for some. And since I’ve been through the process myself, I’d like to share these tidbits to help you - as the mentor - help out your mentee.
Writing my own documentation specific to the project and tech. It helps the junior engineer get acclimated to the context they will be working in and gives them a bigger picture of what’s going on. Things like specific Slack channels, email lists to join, repositories to download, helpful software additions, et cetera.
Forwarding them to the right people. Introductions or forwarding them names of the people they will need info from (example: a web engineer needing information from the backend engineer).
Don’t assume that they know! I err on the side of giving as much information as possible to a new engineer so that they understand the full context. If they already know, great - but still, it’s good to check-in beforehand to see what they know.
Share your tips that you know and use often. If you know a shortcut for a workflow, or how to debug more easily, share that with the engineer! I had to discover a lot of shortcuts on my own (sifting through Slack channels for example) and had to waste countless hours when someone else had a simple command for it.
Keep internal company-only acronyms to a minimum. Business jargon may confuse newcomers, so lighten up on that. There’s been countless times I’ve been in meetings with new hires and they have no clue what is going on due to acronym usage.
Open up the floor. I want my mentee to feel as comfortable as possible coming to me with questions. If I don’t know, I’ll ask someone else or forward them to the right person. As someone that had a challenging case of impostor syndrome, this one could have a profound effect on newly minted engineers.
A major component to mentoring, overall, is to be communicative. Although it may feel like more effort to explain or give additional context, it is likely appreciated by the mentee, and can save a lot of unneeded frustration.
Have any other additions to the list? Feel free to comment your own!