Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I remember when I was had just started my professional career with after completing my graduation from PICT; we all batch mates used to meet (a get-together) and used to discuss the interesting industry stuff. Those days many people used to discuss: hey my mentor is xyz and he is really cool, my mentor advised me to read this and don’t read that, my mentor is very fundu and even sometimes I was chatting on yahoo and suddenly my mentor came. Bla bla …

My obvious reaction was what is mentor rather who is mentor and what is mentoring? Unfortunately I have not assigned any mentor till I became mentor ;-)

And then one fine day I got a mentor: DR our SVP Engineering! And then I started knowing about mentoring philosophy. :-)

What I am planning here is to share some of my mentoring experiences. The mentoring that I do to my mentees and the mentoring I receive from my mentor.

Well, let me tell you what mentoring means. To write on this topic I will again take help from the discussion that I had with DR on this topic and his mails on this topic.

Mentoring typically starts with a fresher as he/she joins the organization. A mentor is associated with such fresher since his first day in organization. This association lasts for typical 2/3 quarters. During this tenure following goals are typically achieved

  • To track the output of fresher from the perspective of quality, productivity and efficiency. Such output is observed and improved by fresher by spending time with mentor. E.g. code quality can be improved by getting code reviewed from mentor.

  • To mould the thinking process of fresher in regards to what is the difference between college and corporate. What are changed priorities. Why take initiative and responsibility is important. In short mentor is to educate the fresher about the Dos and Don’ts

  • To keep the track of aspirations of fresher and to see whether these are being addressed or not. E.g. Aspirations could be as small as to participate in design meeting or starting a hobby project or even to write a research paper! In short mentor is the first stop for fresher for all such expectations a fresher may have.

  • Essentially mentor has to make the freshers productive as quickly as he can.

  • On the other hand this relationship has to be mutually beneficial. Freshers will get quick and sensible guidance. Mentors will get first hand experience on how to handle teams, aspirations, how to delegate, how to get best work done from people etc etc. In short for mentors it’s a great managerial education.

Though mentoring talks more about the relationship between fresher and his senior (2/3 batches senior); mentoring can actually happen at any level. I mean in my case it’s a 6 years experienced person is a mentee of a 20 years experienced mentor! ;-)

One last thing as the mentoring progresses please don’t forget to get the bi-weekly feedback from your mentees. So Happy Mentoring … ;-)

One more important thing I would like to share with you about my mentor is: Apart from usual technical and managerial work in IT industry, DR is also involved in many social activities. He is a trustee of an NGO named Sanvedana. To know more about Sanvedana and participate in its great charity works please visit http://www.sanvedana.org/.

So looking forward to meet you guys at Sanvedana to take its mission ahead by one small step.

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