At G2i, mentorship is not just a concept; it's a journey of growth, learning, and connection. Latisha McNeel, a senior software engineer, stands out in this landscape as a mentor whose passion and commitment have left indelible marks on many.
Learn from Different Perspectives and Overcome Challenges with Accountability
Latisha, with her extensive experience in the tech industry, has been an invaluable mentor in the G2i community since summer 2023. During a recent conversation, she shared insights into her mentoring journey—emphasizing the joy of embracing each mentee's background, challenges, and aspirations.
Mentoring is about adapting and learning as much as it is about guiding. "The questions end up being surprising because they're not your thought process," says Latisha. "And then you have to rearrange your models and your thought process to see if it matches up or if it's not there. And that deepens your own experience."
"One of the biggest challenges I face as a mentor is ensuring that I follow through on the commitments I make," she explains. "It's essential for me to place the necessary follow-ups in the right place and actually fulfill them. Holding myself accountable too is vital to being an effective mentor." To make sure she follows through on commitments, Latisha leverages tools like a mentor notebook and to-do lists, ensuring her dedication translates into action and impact.
Mentoring Beyond Development: A Holistic Approach
What sets Latisha apart as a mentor is her willingness to mentor individuals beyond software development. "Throughout my career, not all of the mentees I have had are developers, and not all developers I’ve mentored have developer-centric problems." she shares.
Latisha’s diverse mentoring experiences extend to fields like human resources, providing valuable insights into soft skills, processes, and new ideas. This holistic approach her commitment to bridging the gap between different areas of expertise.
Celebrating Journeys of Success
For Latisha, the most rewarding aspect of being a mentor is witnessing the growth and success of her mentees. "Just meeting people and getting to know them, their journey, and seeing their successes," she says, "and encouraging them to celebrate their successes and seeing their wins. That's really the most beneficial thing."
Two mentees, Tomas Novella and João Melo, share their stories of growth and transformation under her guidance.
From Stagnation to Inspiration: Tomas Novella
Tomas Novella, a software engineer with a decade of experience, joined the mentorship program at G2i seeking guidance and perspective as a senior developer.
"When I was between jobs, I had a feeling that there's not much place to grow for me, since I'm quite a senior person," Tomas explained. "I wanted to talk to someone else who could shed some light on how I can progress and also hear views from someone in the US who might have a different perspective.” It was then that he got matched with Latisha.
Tomas initially joined the mentorship program with the goal of engaging in conversation and exchanging perspectives. "It was nice seeing that other people are also searching for answers and have had similar struggles," Tomas recalled. "It was also nice to talk about burnout and boredom in the workplace. And then discuss some strategies on how to tackle those challenges."
Through his partnership with Latisha, Tomas has become more conscious of the efforts he's making in his career. He actively educates himself outside of his daily work and pursues opportunities to broaden his horizons.
"I'm reading books and following blogs," Tomas shared. "Applying for the mentorship program turned on a switch to be more active in my career."
For fellow developers who haven't experienced mentorship, Tomas's advice is simple: "Do it. If for nothing else, just treat it as a therapy session with someone who has experience and no ulterior motive."
From Uncertainty to Impact: João Melo
João Melo, a passionate software developer, once felt lost and uncertain about his career path. Seeking guidance and support, he joined the G2i mentorship program and was matched with Latisha as his mentor. With her help, João found a role at Islands, a Fractional CTO and Technology Partner that specializes in building custom software and technology solutions for founders solving tomorrow’s biggest problems..
Through the mentorship program, João experienced a profound transformation in his approach to his career. As he shared, "Now I have a much broader view of what to study, what steps to take, how to prioritize my goals so that I can reach the greatest long-term objectives in my career."
Under Latisha's guidance, João developed a deeper understanding of personal objectives and decision-making, which directly influenced his role at Islands. He played a vital role in a project called BooksOpen, a web platform that helps piercers manage all their services, receive payments, and maintain control of their business.
Additionally, João embarked on a personal project of writing articles focused on algorithms and data structures, leveraging his mentorship experience. He explained, "From my mentorship pairing with Latisha, I developed a study process, where I start by reading books. I make my notes, practice with code, research more about the subject, and transform all my notes into articles on my website." This project allowed João to both deepen his knowledge and share it with others.
For fellow developers who have not yet experienced mentorship, João's advice is clear: "Don't be ashamed or afraid to admit that mentoring would be super welcome for you! With a mentor, I have a much faster and guided evolution, avoiding making wrong decisions."
Finding Your Mentorship Path
Through Latisha’s guidance, Tomas and João, among others, have experienced profound growth and achieved personal milestones. This celebration of success echoes the collaborative and supportive environment within the vibrant G2i community.
"The G2i community always updates itself on technology subjects; there’s always collaboration between participants, mentors and mentees. The community cares about you and helps you to constantly evolve every day," João emphasizes. Latisha, too, shares that: “Everyone I've ever talked to through G2i, they all have their own journey. I love how open everyone is about developing mental health and physical health in general... And people are able to find support and community and connect with each other."
Latisha's impact as a mentor, coupled with the community spirit at G2i, continues to inspire and pave the way for many developers. These stories fuel a cycle of growth and achievement, creating a ripple effect within the G2i community and beyond.
Where else can you find software engineering mentors?
Discovering the right mentor can be a game-changer in your software engineering journey. While G2i's Mentorship Program offers valuable opportunities, there are other avenues to explore. Consider looking for mentors within your current company, reaching out on social media and online platforms like MentorCruise and CodeMentor, and actively engaging in alumni groups, local meetups, conferences, and coding workshops.
For another perspective on mentorship at G2i, explore the journey of mentor Derek Fons here.