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Strongly agree. I would like to spend more time teaching junior developers what I know. But anything that slows down a small, agile startup can mean the death of the startup, so this tends to undercut my ability to do any kind of mentoring.

Excerpt from a real life situation I was in:


June of 2015:

Sital was a beginner. In general, there is nothing wrong with being a beginner. All of us are beginners at some point. And for the most part, I think corporations in the USA can do more facilitate apprenticeships to help people start their careers. However, we were a startup that needed to move fast. Could we succeed when we had a beginner in a critical role? I had doubts.

July of 2015:

I felt no sympathy for John. Hiring Sital had been his call, as was failing to hire Arthur. These last few weeks had offered plenty of evidence that Sital was a liability to the team. If John wanted to stick with Sital, he would have to live with the consequences.

I would feel very differently if Celolot had a formal commitment to an apprenticeship program, and if I had clearly been given the responsibility of running that program. And I do think corporations in the USA can do more to help people start their careers. But it was ridiculous to both want to run an aggressive schedule and also train a beginner. The one contradicts the other.


> Could we succeed when we had a beginner in a critical role?

This is core issue. This has nothing to do with startup team vs team in corporation. Neither can have beginner in a critical difficult role. Both can make use of junior, assuming they dont put him to critical role.

Where is best to place a beginner? Too easy and they get bored. Too hard and they get demoralised when somebody else has to step in. Give them side projects and the work load for the team goes up with code review etc for unnecessary work.

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