Written by Anand Safi March 10, 2021
After seeing the value of mentorship first-hand, Anand has decided to become a mentor himself with great success. Here’s the story of one of our top-mentors Anand.
Why did you decide to become a mentor?
I have had great mentorship over the past few years and have experienced first hand the importance and benefits on the value.
I have always been passionate in being an enabler to set others up for success and that really makes me happy.
What is your background?
I am an Engineering Manager for Mark43 - a public safety software company. Over the past decade, I have progressed from starting as an aspiring engineer to becoming an engineering leader.
I am also is a Startup Advisor, Volunteer Board Member and an established tech mentor outside of his role. I love reading about engineering culture, team dynamics and new advancements in tech.
How did you first get into tech/your industry?
Right from my school days, I have a natural knack for analytical thinking and logical reasoning. That combined with my love for gadgets and engaging UIs got me curious to explore and dive deep in the technical world.
Did you ever have a strong mentor in your life? How did they help?
I did have a strong mentor for at least 3+ years. The best help they gave me was help me stay organized, practice rigorous prioritization and execute against that plan.
They did not always solve every problem for me and let me experience it first hand and instead unblocked me to get me a step closer which I think was a fantastic approach.
How do you usually set up mentorships? How and how much do you communicate?
I usually set up a review session at least once a week. This review session would be a mix of work accomplished, challenges faced and looking at what is forward. I practice a mock agile sprint approach with my mentees so there are clear deliverables and we can do a mini planning, review and retro.
Apart from that, I am available to chat throughout the week.Normally that would mean around 15-minutes of chat and progress check-in every day or every other day to make sure they are making incremental progress and can get my help vs waiting till the next meeting.
What are you getting out of being a mentor?
I get to meet amazing people and make a real difference in their professional goals and aspirations. Also, I get to learn new things each passing day.
With each mentee and each new project, there is a new issue we might run into, a new technology or framework we might want to explore while staying current of the industry best practices.
What’s your best advice for new mentors out there?
I think the best advice would be to be sure that you are ready to give the team and commitment this needs. This is a high-impact high-responsibility role and people rely on your expertise and empathy to make meaningful progress.
Can you tell us a story of one of your recent mentorships?
I am really happy to share a story around one of my recent mentees. The mentee is really passionate and skilled at development but lacked discipline and a solid plan.
In just 3 sessions in, we have been able to complete and build a project end to end and we already have been working on 2nd project. This was done with mock sprint planning and using a project board to track progress. We also identified the real world use case and a potential client to pitch this to.
This kind of commitment, determination, delivery makes me really happy
Who is your ideal mentee?
An ideal mentee is someone who has the willingness to learn, experiment and be patient. This is not an overnight success. Mentorship takes time and it needs to happen in a continued fashion to unlock the real value and see results.
And to wrap things up, where can we find out more about you and your work?
I am always looking to expand my network and connecting with amazing folks.
I am available on Linkedin at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anandsafi
I also do blogging and sharing tidbits around engineering growth at:
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