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Ana Nogal – Meet the Mentor

Hey everyone, I’m thrilled that I’ve joined MentorCruise. I’m an iOS developer and a mom of three beautiful young boys. I love to travel and get to know new cultures and civilisations. I want to be a digital nomad and work wherever my travels take me.
Ana Nogal

Senior iOS Developer, Novoda

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

I am a career changer. I had a start over. And I needed and had mentors to help me. I was lucky to have Giordano Scalzo, Paul Stringer and Surendra Kumar, who taught me so much; I can't thank them enough!

So when I saw myself in a good and stable position as a senior developer, I started to think about mentoring someone and giving back what I had received years before. That led me to start mentoring inside my company, and I just loved it! As I got more and more experience in internal mentoring, I decided I wanted to go more professional because I had loads of ideas while mentoring. So I started to look for options. And that’s when I found MentorCruise.

How did you get your career started?

As I mentioned, I'm a career changer: I was a BE developer for more than 15 years. Now, I'm a mobile developer! This was a significant change. And Steve Jobs is the one to blame. Yep, in 2010 he launched the iPad, and I had to try it out. And I fell in love.

At that time, my kids were playing Basketball in school, and we could never follow their scores (we hadn't placards in the schools, at least not at that time). So what my ex decided to do? Create an app to follow their scores. And so it started! We launched Letsbasket, and in six months, I was dedicating all my time to do LetsBasketPro.

Do you want to know the funny part of it? After working on Letsbasket for more than a year, I decided to get a job doing iOS development; But I never worked again for iPad. All my jobs were to develop only for the phone... I guess I still have that quest to make in my career.

What do mentees usually come to you for?

Well, it depends.

I have had very different mentees with different needs: I had very technical ones where the mentee just wanted to learn how to code better. In these cases, I already have some projects for them: greenfields and others just for refactoring. I also had mentees that wanted to get their first job in iOS, so we did the projects and also had sessions to practice interview questions and pair programming as a coding interview.

However, I have had mentees for whom all we did was talk about architectures and team dynamics rather than coding.

As you can see, this is very dynamic, but I’m proud that I can adapt to what my mentees need and are looking for: we can’t forget that mentorship is for them, not me.

What’s been your favourite mentorship success story so far?

I’ve been lucky only to have successful mentorships: some have gotten new jobs, and others were promoted. Everyone is unique, and I can tell you that until now, I hadn't two mentees wanting the same thing and studying the same topics, which I feel is amazing and makes me constantly push myself to find more content and challenges for them.

But, the one I feel more attached to is when I mentored Vanessa, which was my first one. I was super motivated and nervous, but Vanessa got on board and was a fantastic mentee; She got promoted three months after we started, which was an excellent achievement for a junior developer that just had arrived at the company from an apprenticeship. She still is in iFood, thriving and making a marvellous career.

What are you getting out of being a mentor?

I am learning a lot! Essentially I’m learning to listen to their necessities, and it’s been a fantastic journey into leadership that I didn’t realise existed; You can be a leader who coaches and empowers. That’s what I love to do. Because I don’t teach my mentorees: I guide them in their journey to achieve their goals. That’s an enormous take that I realised is a massive benefit of mentoring and helps me in my career.

And I love, too, the incredible sensation of happiness when we celebrate the conquers of my mentees: the promotions, the new jobs, the invitations to podcasts… all of this has happened to them, and I am thrilled that I could contribute to their achievements.

Always do what you love, and love what you do! You can’t be wrong about that!

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