What it’s like to be in a formal mentorship program

In the follow up episode to the previous episode with Ryan Cromwell, Arsalan talks to Kasey Bonaficio and Divya Sasidharan who went through the mentorship and apprenticeship program by Ryan’s employer Sparkbox. Let’s hear from these amazingly talented and motivated ladies about their experiences as apprentices in a structured mentorship program and see if this model makes sense for other software shops to adopt.

This interview will be concluded in the next episode of Mentoring Developers.

Kasey’s Bio:

I’m Kasey Bonifacio and I’m a developer at Sparkbox where I started out as an apprentice. I’m passionate about web development and love constantly learning new ways to make the web more awesome. When I can pry myself away from the computer, I can be found spending time with family, cooking, or being crafty.

Divya’s Bio:

Divya is a developer at Sparkbox, a small web studio in oHIo. She is most happy when programming in Javascript and loves discussing best practices, testing, code architecture and design patterns. When she isn’t programming, she’s an avid rock climber, yogi and wannabe hardware tinkerer.

Episode Highlights and Show Notes:

Kasey: I think my coworkers can sense my frustration – knowing where to go and how to continue learning… pick what you need at the moment and go with that. Ignore the rest of it. You know it’s there but you don’t need to know it right now.

Arsalan: Divya, do you ever feel like you need to be an expert on something. Yes, I can’t learn everything about everything but there should be one thing that I am pretty good at… Do you ever think that?

Divya: I do actually but that thing changes constantly… just a sense of overwhelming feeling that you get when you’re like “I have to learn this technology and this framework and this build system and this editor… it’s almost mind-boggling to try to figure out where I should start…

Divya: I think it’s very superficial for you to be like “I want to be an expert in this one thing”…

Kasey: I have two young kids and they’re pretty high maintenance… It’s pretty hard on them so I have had to find ways to incorporate other ways into my life…

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