Written by Dylan Israel April 29, 2021
Dylan is an experienced mentor and has collected some great reviews on MentorCruise as well. As a college dropout, he is a prime example that a degree does not dictate your future. Today, Dylan works at Amazon as a Frontend Engineer and successfully mentors people around the world.
Why did you decide to become a mentor?
As a self-taught software engineer I have always understood the importance of mentors. It has helped propel me forward in my career and as someone who has mentored on social media for years in a group setting I wanted to have a more personal one-on-one impact.
What is your background?
I’m a two time college drop out. I studied CS in college, but found after a lot of time and energy invested that it wasn’t the path for me. I started studying using all online and free resources and now work at a FAANG company.
I was able to take my life from delivering pizzas and not feeling very good to about where I was in my life. To a point where now I am mentoring, speaking at conferences, guesting on podcasts, building courses and working as a software engineer.
How did you first get into tech/your industry?
I dropped out and took a ‘technology trainer’ role at a software company. From there I studied 9 months every single day. I made a coast to coast move from California to Florida when I landed my first dev job at a small military contract company that specialized in training exercises for the Department of Defense.
I did a very personal video going over my journey to breaking into the industry in detail you can view here.
Did you ever have a strong mentor in your life? How did they help?
I worked with a tech lead that really taught me how to be a good mentor. When I would ask how to get better he would recommend resources. They showed me that all a good mentor is provide direction and a mentee must put the energy into making it a reality.
How do you usually set up mentorships? How and how much do you communicate?
When a potential mentee reaches out I make sure they know what they are looking for. You can’t help someone who doesn’t know what they want. I also check to make sure I’m the right mentor. Taking someone on who isn’t a right fit is a recipe for disaster.
What are you getting out of being a mentor?
It’s simple. It feels good to have an impact on the industry and see people succeed.
What’s your best advice for new mentors out there?
A good profile with why someone should even be interested in you and your history will do volumes for you.
Can you tell us a story of one of your recent mentorships?
A common theme that has played out again and again is lack of confidence. Helping to eliminate imposter syndrome is one of the best things I have helped to do for most of the mentees early in their career.
One of my first mentees was a bootcamp graduate. He was looking for his first job and not only did I go through his resume and LinkedIn review, but able to give him confidence for the interview process. Making him okay with the concept of failing an interview as a lesson and not a loss.
And to wrap things up, where can we find out more about you and your work?
Follow me on LinkedIn!
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