As a senior engineering manager working largely with senior engineers for the last three years, I’ve been looking for a new way to give back to the community, and particularly to early-career developers. Yes, I’ve informally been mentoring, coaching, and advocating for them–from connecting them with hiring managers to setting up ad hoc video calls, from reviewing resumes to sending encouraging texts on the morning of interviews–but I haven’t worked directly with early-career folks since leading PyLadies and Django Girls… until now!
I’m excited to share that I have joined The Collab Lab as their newest Mentor. In the role of Senior Engineer and Product Owner, I’ll be leading cohorts of early career developers through a fully-remote, eight-week intensive where they build and deliver a production app using React, Firebase and Netlify.
Collab Lab is special because the program focuses on the collaboration side of working as a developer. The program accepts skilled early-career devs who have coding chops, but want to get experience with the day-to-day mechanics of working as a developer on a team: by pair programming, doing code reviews, and submitting and merging pull requests. Participants are also coached on how to be effective on a fully distributed (remote) team by experienced engineering professionals who work remotely.
The program is also committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. Everyone associated with Collab Lab — mentors, admin, and participants — must agree to abide by the Code of Conduct. Issues are handled by the Response Team, a group of folks professionally trained on Code of Conduct reporting by Otter Tech Diversity and Inclusion Consulting. I’m also on the Response Team and will be serving as the CoC responder for a future cohort.
I’m thrilled to partner with experienced mentor and program lead Stacie to lead this exceptional cohort. With encouragement, enthusiastic support, and direct, compassionate feedback, I’ll model the kind of leadership and collaboration that has helped me build high-performing engineering teams. I hope they’ll come out of Collab Lab with a clear idea of what it is like to work on a highly effective, psychologically safe team — and that they’ll use this as their playbook for the future.
I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer.