A new blog post just dropped 📣 Click here to read it.

← Back to Writings

Lessons Learnt Meeting My Mentor

📅 August 25, 2021 • ⌛ 4 min read🏷 story🏷 mentoring✏️ Edit this post on GitHub


I have been struggling to move to a better company for a while. I have helped people start their own software development career but I lack the cutting edge to get into foreign engineering team. Recently, I applied to a mentoring program and meeting my mentor changed my life forever.

This was the moment where I thought this might just be a great choice I am making signing up for the mentoring program.

First Meeting

We just got off a call with him and I was still in euphoria of what had just happened during our meeting and taking a deep thought of how the next 6 month will be, meeting with this lovable young ‘big’ man who will be my mentor.

How can I put my feeling here into words to highlight certain things that had just happened to me during the meeting. The idea of this blog post is to share as much with you all highlighting the importance of mentor - mentee relationship and share some awesome tips i gleaned during our first meeting.

My Mentor’s Profile

We were sent the profile of a bright young man. Immediately I jumped on linkedin to soak in his profile. Well it was great, well detailed track of every major place where he had worked, his core responsibilities and wins. He just knew so well how to sell himself. He currently builds a team of developers building a product in his present engagement.

He wrote something immediately after our first meeting which to me shows how much he looks forward to working with me and my team members.

Lessons during our first meeting

Few things that he pointed out:

  1. Effectiveness of writing good tests. He told me that anytime he is learning a new language he will make sure that he learns how to write test in the new language because he believes it is a very important skill from experience. He will prefer to spend lot of time writing the test than searching for a bug for a longer time.

  2. Developer who will in turn have great career must learn the art of staying humble and approach every meeting with an open mind, strong will to always listens. Pretend you don’t know anything and you will come out of the meeting learning a lot. When you speak you will be speaking elaborately on the topic of discuss. You would have gathered a lot and could eventually hit a home run with a point you might just be contributing. The humble nature of doing the due diligence before a team meeting and building confidence from reading source code repositories, and specs to get a more clear picture of what your team is trying to build. Get the best examples of what you’re trying to build and study.

  3. Emphasis on learning was the first thing he highlighted and his career speaks it in a thunderous echo of how much he is learning. Its an orientation of staying hungry and staying foolish at all times. A trick that separate masters in this career will be how much you can pick something with little or no experience with and within 1 or 2 weeks you have attained pseudo master level where you can build with or have good conversation around the topic like it is something you have been using for a while.

  4. He shared a video titled Making Badass developers to reiterate the need to understand learning. The video noted strongly on the brain picking out patterns when exposed to large quantity and large quality of well tailored prototype in the area you are attempting to learn. That way the developer can get up speed with learning anything they need to get the work done. A form of what Swyx Shaun talks about in his Coding Career Handbook on the chapter about Senior Developers. He opines that “Seniors know what they don’t need to know. and Seniors know they just need to give themselves more time and try again.”. A form of Perceptual learning.

  5. Study a design system from scratch. He believes this will make UI and design a easy thing for me to deal with. Understanding of breaking repeated tasks into patterns and re-usable code format or components will make the journey into mastery as Front-end Engineer/ Fullstack Engineer a very easy journey. He has moved across writing back-end to writing and leading mobile front-end teams to writing web front-end and to architecture products. All building production quality software that are scalable and fault tolerant across several market and technology domain through out the whole world. He noted that understanding and studying 12 factor app will give you cross domain expertise.

I have always loved a course on learning how to learn. I always recommend it to anyone I am teaching or mentoring. The part 2 of the learning how to learn is mindshift. Both course have helped me a lot in my journey till date. Recommendation by Oluwasetemi

Some useful lessons

Some other things he shared is the expert beginner luck, Rapid Acceleration which I believe I will have to study to gain better insight and understanding on them.

I am in on him leading me and my team to build a world class project. I cannot wait to share that and more with you.

We would be meeting regularly for the next 6 month week in week out. I look forward to learning a lot from my new mentor. Do you want to know his name? I will definitely share more information about him at the very end of my mentoring with him. Much more the tips and tricks I gleaned is what anyone reading will benefit from.

Becoming the best in what you do takes time. Its a journey, embrace and own your journey.


Learning how to learn in a very short amount of time and building solid prototype with what I have learnt. Being humble will make you teachable and make you a great listener who contribute rightly during team briefs and project planning meeting. A decision to love writing tests and effective tests. Solid understanding of a popular design guide or system document will improve your understanding of UI and components. All of these were what I learnt during my first meeting with my mentor.

If you are a mentor or mentee, you can share some of the lessons you have learnt that has helped you to become a better professional using the comment section.

Stay hungry and stay foolish.

I hope this article was enlightening. If so, share this article and follow @setemiojo on Twitter.

Comments Should Load Here 😜

Loading script...
Ojo Oluwasetemi

Written by Oluwasetemi Ojo Stephen {...OOS}, A FullStack Developer (Reactjs, Nodejs, Typescript), currently lives in Osogbo, Osun State Nigeria with my lovely and priceless Wife Temidayo .🎈
Say Hi to Him on Twitter.
You can search through my blog using custom tags• 🏷 .
Click here to read more about me. For RSS feed.🌍