When you mentor junior devs and engineers, what soft skills do you find you have to do the most work on helping them improve?

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Chief Technology Officer in Software, 11 - 50 employees
The confidence to problem solve and implement autonomously. 
Director of Engineering in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
Active listening is a skill almost all graduates entering the workforce need assistance and encouragement in developing. Their enthusiasm and desire to demonstrate their (newly acquired) knowledge sometimes gets in the way of extracting requirements. Of course they often indeed "know better", however at the same time have not had the experience to come to terms with the concept of "technology debt".

Separating hard skills and soft skills is also not helpful in many respects - particularly in the eyes of customers. If you ask them, what is often classified as 'soft' skills by technologists are the 'essentials' for the business users of the technology. And that is an adjustment that managers have to make in themselves and in their organisations. That is not something that can be offloaded to junior staff.

This second point hints at something that most technologists have a hard time coming to terms with; particularly in situations where the language at work is the second or third language spoken in social context. And that is how words can have very specific emotionally charged meanings and how using such words impact understanding.

So how how to address this: encourage everyone - but specifically junior devs and engineers - to find a mentor; be it in or outside the organisation. And similarly, encourage more experience devs and engineers to become mentors. This has a positive impact for both in my experience. Experiences devs get access to new and emerging technology trends and junior devs get a greater understanding on how to become more effective in blending the new with the established.
Head of Infra and Infosec, Asia in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
Ways to tackle and breakdown problems into constituent components.
Negotiation and mediation.
Chief Technology Officer in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
* Estimation ... got to factor in not simply "doing the thing" but documenting it, adding robustness/resilience, etc.
* Taking 'ownership' of a problem - not simply sending information back as if I'm doing the task and asking for their help
* Knowing how to 'fail fast' / knowing when to back out of an approach because it's not proving successful
* Coming back to us if their timeframe won't be met; don't say "I'll have it done by Tuesday" and then let Tuesday sail past without either delivering OR saying something; changed timeframes are easily accepted, but having to chase people up for something you thought would be done is not
* Documentation !!
Director of Customer Engineering - APAC in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Depends on the person, self driven devs can just get a direction and go for it. Less driven devs may need more frequent meetings and 1:1s

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Director of Finance, Self-employed
We have a dedicated change management and communications team who we call in for consult and/or execution of any initiative. Its part of our dept culture at this point. 

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Deployment frequency31%

Cycle time47%

Change failure rate51%

Mean time to restore34%


Coding time22%

Pull request pick up time16%

Pull request review time11%

Pull request size10%

Deploy time22%

Deploy frequency19%

Rework rate13%

Another metric (please share in a comment)2%


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Create communities of practice29%

Set performance goals related to practice/learning58%

Host learning events51%

Offer mentorships32%

Offer 1:1 coaching as needed33%

Reimburse class/training costs25%

Send them to conferences21%

Maintain an internal knowledge base14%

Another tactic (share in a comment if you like)7%

They handle this themselves4%