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How can I be an effective teacher when it comes to teaching coding concepts or mentoring within the company?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer [SEP] at JPMorgan Chase2 years ago

I feel like it's more joyful to positively impact the life of others vs. only getting a really high title/pay. The latter also has high stress, and I don’t want work to be everything. I believe that teaching is a way to improve communication skills and software engineering skills overall, and I would like to mentor more junior engineers than myself at work. Another option I'm considering is going back to my bootcamp App Academy bootcamp to teach others how to code.

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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • The #1 core concept for a teacher is empathy. Envision every SWE you're teaching/mentor as a new entry-level engineer who's a fresh member of your team, and then put yourself in their shoes.
    • When you properly champion the concept of empathy, you will naturally be able to take complex concepts and break them down in a considerate, simple way. This is fundamentally what teaching is about.
    • 2 common failure modes of teachers: Not enough patience and using jargon (e.g. acronyms). Both of these stem from a lack of empathy!
    • If your goal is to become a very strong software engineer, an inherently deep and multi-faceted undertaking, I recommend against teaching others how to code. This is the earliest stage of the career journey, and it's the closest realm to a solved problem within software. There are so many amazing self-serve resources teaching people how to code: There's relatively little value doing the same job these resources are doing.
    • It's much higher-value teaching more complex SWE concepts as a technical mentor. Think of aspects like code review, project management, and how to communicate effectively.