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Navigating Potential Mentor Changes with Team Expansion in India

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Microsoft2 months ago

Hi Taro Community,

I’ve recently embarked on a new role as an SDE-II with a company where I’m currently the only team member based in India, with the rest of my team located in the US. The company has plans to expand the team here in India, which could potentially include hiring someone at a senior level.

My current mentor, who is based on the East Coast in the US, has been a great source of guidance and support, despite the limited overlap in our working hours due to the time zone difference. However, I’m concerned about the possibility of being reassigned to a new mentor who might be very new to the codebase and potentially less equipped to provide effective mentorship, simply due to their proximity.

In this scenario, how would you suggest I navigate the situation? I value the mentorship I’m currently receiving and am apprehensive about the impact a change might have, especially if the new mentor is still familiarizing themselves with the codebase.

Should I express my concerns to my manager now, or wait to see how the team expansion unfolds? Any advice on maintaining the quality of mentorship during this transition period would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your insights.

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Discussion

(2 comments)
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    I wouldn't worry too much about suddenly losing your mentor. In general, you shouldn't worry about problems that don't exist yet and are out of your control. In this chaotic day and age, there is an infinite amount of problems that could potentially happen. In this decade, a worldwide pandemic literally ground the entire world to a halt. Just do your best work, treat people around you with respect, and hope for the best. I don't think this is worth bringing up with your manager.

    That being said, be wary of turning your mentor into an SPOF (single point of failure). You should socialize with other members of your team and ask them for help. Put them on your code reviews and ask them for 1 on 1s. Pair programming with other members of your team will be really powerful as well. This makes it so that even if your mentor leaves the team/company, other people on your team can help you.

    It's also not like your current mentor would suddenly disappear if you got reassigned to another person while the current mentor is still on the team. You can still ask them for help. They might not meet with you as often, but they would probably still be okay with a 30 minute 1-on-1 every 2 weeks.

    Lastly, here's an excellent thread about getting the most out of mentorship: "How do you get the most out of mentorship?"

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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    I would put less stock in the "official" mentor you have and more on the relationship that you define and put energy into. Even if your official mentor changes, what is preventing you from maintaining the connection with your current one?

    You can tell your manager that you really value your relationship with your current mentor, but I would not preemptively declare that you don't want to build the relationship with the new person.

    More thoughts on how to find a mentor.

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