How Clara grew as a developer, combining self-study with expert feedback

Aug. 9, 2021

Self-teaching, experience from a coding bootcamp and an internship was not enough to give Clara the confidence to go after a full-time developer position. In the search to work up on the skill gaps, she found MentorCruise and with Sandrina a mentor that was finally able to give her that last push.

How Clara grew as a developer, combining self-study with expert feedback

Clara knows what it takes to learn something new. Curiosity has led her to discover a wide variety of interests in her professional life. Coding – or web development to be exact – should be the next adventure. However, not everything went quite as smoothly as expected.

Confidence and support

Clara knew self-teaching would only get her that far before hitting an equilibrium, a level where further help is needed. On the search for that help, she enrolled in a coding bootcamp to catch up on all fundamentals, followed by an internship to get a real feeling for the industry.

It wasn’t enough. Her confidence to pass the rigorous interviews of the tech industry was low and skill gaps started to show. That’s when she started looking for a coach.

“The best way to grow is through feedback” – Clara

The education materials we have available to us today are great, but when it comes to pointing out and filling up skill gaps, a mentor or coach can speed up the process by a lot.

Clara knew this: “I needed someone that could pay specific attention to me and my skills”, as well as someone that knew this industry she was about to enter, so she reached out to Sandrina.

Sandrina Pereira

Clara puts it amazingly in a post she wrote about her experience: There’s a reason why the largest companies like Google, Microsoft, Airbnb, and the like assign mentors to the junior developers they hire. It’s because it’s a highly effective way to learn.

“What I like about Sandrina is that she places the quality bar extremely high”, Clara mentions. This helps her push her work to a high standard herself.

A mentor beyond expectations

The experience working with a mentor was different than what Clara was used to from her previous experience as a student. After meeting for the first time, she was thrown into cold water.

“She created this challenge for me – I should recreate a design from Dribbble, this small animation.” While Clara was used to clearer assignments with all tech and code needed, this was not the case here. “She basically told me to go on, and see how it goes.”

This was refreshing as there was freedom to explore different solutions, but at no point was she left alone, “for small questions I was able to text her anytime”.

“Getting code reviews from an expert was amazing” – Clara

As the months progressed, Clara started working on more complicated pieces of code, using Github PRs and comments to collaborate, and often receiving code walkthrough via Loom.com or a long-winding Github thread back.

“Between now and 6 months ago, I feel like I improved as an engineer. Looking back, I took a huge step, beyond my expectations”

Through the tight feedback loop and industry-like conditions, Clara’s resilience and confidence were built up to the point where she feels empowered enough to apply for jobs in front-end engineering. “Confidence is key to improve your skills”

A mentorship beyond the goal

“Even if I get hired, I believe I want to keep working with Sandrina in one way or another”

Mentorship is a long bond and even if a goal is reached, that doesn’t mean that mentorship has to end.

For Clara, this means that she must have no fear of losing her mentor even after her goal, getting hired as a frontend developer in the industry, has been reached.

MentorCruise was created out of the frustration of industry mentoring programs that force you and your mentor apart after reaching the end of the program, there’s no such thing here.

We’re gonna be fans of Clara at the sidelines, as she pushes more code to her Github, send out some amazing tweets and hopefully soon reveals her new position in frontend engineering on LinkedIn.

At this point, also applause and congratulations to Sandrina who has made this experience possible in the first place. Sandrina is an experienced top mentor on MentorCruise with spotless ratings and mentees around the world that are celebrating her. If you’re looking to follow in Clara’s footsteps, head over to her profile.

What can mentorship do for you?

Our 'state of mentorship' report sums up the benefits, reports and effects that mentorship has on the modern working environment.

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