Find a mentor, Be a mentor!

NOTE: The mentorship program is officially live! 🎉 Got feedback? We’d love to hear it! Find us in #mentorship, or submit private feedback using this form.

The below guide applies to all full-time Teammates globally. Please reach out to the People Team ( if you require further guidance.

What is the mentor program

Our Mentorship program provides an opportunity for teammates to be mentored in the area(s) that they are seeking guidance from someone more experienced. This program is self-initiated and has a formal 3-month commitment from both parties.

Reason for the program

We believe that mentorship is a key part of our culture, and through this program, we are committed to providing resources to make it easy to find a mentor and be a mentor.

  • Knowledge Transfer: Mentors can share their expertise, skills, and insights with mentees, helping them acquire valuable knowledge and experience. One of the best ways to learn is by teaching others! In what’s dubbed “The Protégé Effect”, studies show that those who teach others understand the material they are teaching better than those who only learn for themselves.
  • Career/Leadership Development: Mentorship can accelerate the career growth of both mentee and mentor. The mentee will gain guidance on career paths, goal setting, and skill development. The mentor will gain exposure to leadership and opportunities to refine their coaching skills. Mentorship can groom future leaders by imparting leadership skills and fostering leadership qualities in mentees.
  • Confidence Building: Interacting with a mentor can boost a mentee’s self-confidence and self-esteem, as they receive affirmation and guidance.
  • Problem Solving: Mentors can assist mentees in navigating challenges and solving problems they encounter in their personal and professional lives.
  • Diverse Perspectives: Mentorship exposes mentees/mentors to different viewpoints, experiences, and approaches, enhancing their decision-making abilities.
  • Personal Growth: Beyond career benefits, mentorship can contribute to personal growth, including improved communication, adaptability, and emotional intelligence.

External Resources on Benefits of Mentorship:

Forbes - “Why Everyone Needs a Mentor at Work”

  • Highlights the importance of mentorship in the workplace and its impact on professional growth.

American Psychological Association - “The Benefits of Being a Mentor”

  • Explores the benefits that mentors themselves can gain from mentoring others.

How do I become a mentor?

If you are interested in being a mentor, please sign up via Bamboo and update the Mentor Program section under the Personal Tab in your profile. (Loom instructions). This information will be reflected in Humans of Sourcegraph where mentees will look for available mentors and determine who might be the best fit for their goals of the Mentorship program.

Here is an example of what your profile will look like:

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How to fill out each field:

  • Mentor Interest: Please indicate you would like to be a mentor.
  • Availability: Please indicate availability to mentor in form of X hours/week or X hours/specific days; this can be approximate/general range to help assist with scheduling
    • Example: 1 hour a week spread over 1or 2 days
  • Areas of Expertise: Please indicate your skills separated by comma. This will help mentees select the best match for what they are looking to gain out of their mentorship experience.
    • Examples include: public speaking, typescript, go, leadership, account management, business development, interviewing, pitching etc

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I updated my profile; what happens next?

The People Team will manage incoming mentorship requests and ensure that scheduling, program commitments and outcomes are met. Unlike many traditional mentorship programs at sync-first companies, there’s no single application timeline. Instead, an interested mentee will leverage the Human’s of Sourcegraph to directly request an available mentor based on availability and goals. As soon as a mentor/mentee is assigned; the availability section will be updated in the Mentor profile.

If your availability changes or you want to update your areas of experience for mentoring, you can “update” your profile in Bamboo at any time.

How do I find a mentor/become a mentee?

Mentorship is a two-way street, and it’s important that any mentoring relationship starts with commitment from both sides. We created something unique via our Humans of Sourcegraph directory - now prospective mentees can SEARCH skills, availability and interests across our incredible pool of talented teammates & take the first step of requesting a mentor!

Using Humans of Sourcegraph to find a mentor

1. Determine your objective

  • Reflect on what areas you are interested in leveling up, and what sort of support or engagement would help you grow in those areas.
  • Write these down – it’ll help for your future mentor to know!
  • It’s okay if you don’t fully know, or if you’re flexible! Understanding where to explore or what to try next can also be something a mentor can help you with.

2. Browse Humans of Sourcegraph

  • Start by identifying someone whose areas of experience overlap with your areas of interest, and whose availability would be conducive to the type of support you are looking for.
  • Bear in mind that the areas of overlap do not need to be exact, and matching areas or timezones is only one component of determining if a mentor/mentee relationship is a good fit.

3. Request Mentorship

  1. You can request a mentor directly via Humans of Sourcegraph in the availability section of a teammate’s profile:

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  • Note: if your mentor is currently unavailable due to another mentee commitment you can request to be put on a waiting list for the next available slot
  1. When you request a mentor it will ask you to fill out the following questions:

    • In what areas are you seeking mentorship?
    • What kind of mentorship style do you prefer? (e.g., structured, informal, hands-on, collaborative)
    • How frequently would you like to communicate or meet with your mentor?
  2. Submit your form and the People Team will be in touch within a week to confirm your mentorship program start date and schedule.

    Recommendation: If you haven’t met your mentor before or don’t know them well, you can also introduce who you are, what your role is, and why you’re contacting them (“I saw your interest in being a mentor on Humans of Sourcegraph, and I’m seeking mentorship in one of the areas you listed having experience with.”) via Slack. If you already know them pretty well, you can probably skip this sub-step!

Who is eligible to participate in the Mentorship program?

To be a Mentor: As long as you are in a good performance standing you are eligible to participate.

To be a Mentee: All teammates can sign up to be a mentee.

All mentee/mentor assignments will be based on availability of the requested mentor. There is also no “deadline” to sign up – partnerships will form on a rolling basis as initiated by the prospective mentee and based on availability

Expectations of the program

  • Commitment and Active Engagement: Both mentee and mentor are expected to commit to regular communication during the 3-month mentorship period. Be prepared for meetings, actively seeking guidance, and following through on agreed-upon plans.
  • Openness to Learning and Feedback: Come into the program with an open mindset, ready to learn and receive constructive feedback.
  • Respect for Time and Boundaries: Participants should respect each other’s time commitments and establish clear boundaries for communication and availability. Mentees should understand that mentors have other responsibilities and may not be available 24/7. Encourage participants to communicate their availability and preferences upfront, ensuring that both mentors and mentees are respectful of each other’s time constraints.
  • Goal-Setting and Accountability: Goals are critical for the success of a mentoring partnership. While most aspects of a mentor-mentee relationship don’t have strict rules or conditions, if we made one recommendation, it would be this: Set at least one clear goal that you can both work to achieve through your partnership.We recommend using SMART goals to formulate the specifics of the goal. You can set more than one goal, but since you’ll want to keep track of them, don’t set too many!
  • Measuring Success: To help both the mentor and mentee track and highlight the outcomes of the program we request that the mentor and mentee both submit feedback via Lattice at the 1 and 3 month milestones. Mentorship Progress reviews will allow both the mentee and mentor to reflect and share feedback. Not only will this provide an opportunity to track progress on goals, but it’s a great way to source a few highlights that can easily be added into relevant Impact Reviews!

Mentor/Mentee Feedback

Please share feedback directly with your Mentor via Lattice, by selecting the ‘Give or Request Feedback’ button on the Lattice dashboard. Be sure to select the private or private + manager category, otherwise this feedback will be shared publicly in the #thanks channel.

  • Month 1:

  • Mentee:

    • How do you feel the mentorship has been going so far?
    • What have been your favorite or most valuable insights or advice from your mentor so far?
    • What would you like to focus on in the next month?
  • Mentor:

    • How is your mentee progressing?
    • What would you like to focus on in the next month?
  • Month 3:

    • Mentee:
      • How well do you feel the mentorship relationship supported your goals and development?
      • What three areas did you grow or learn from your mentor?
    • Mentor:
      • How do you feel the mentorship program went overall?
      • What three areas did you grow or learn from your mentee?

Program Feedback

A survey will be sent at the end of the 3 month duration of the program to both mentors and mentees. The feedback collected will help us continue to make the program better!

Below are the questions that will be asked via sliding scale and comment field:

  1. I would recommend this program to your colleagues. (5-point Rating Scale)
  2. How would you rate the overall effectiveness of the mentorship program in helping you achieve your goals? (5-point Rating Scale)
  3. What was the most valuable aspect of the program for you?
  4. Are there any areas you think could have been improved upon?
  5. I would sign up to be a mentee and/mentor with a different person after this 3 month period. (5-point Rating Scale)

Best Practices for Mentoring

Mentoring can take on many forms, and the most effective mentoring is that which takes into account the needs of the mentee. To get you started, here are some techniques and resources that mentors at Sourcegraph have used before:

  • Instruction
    • A mentor may deliver a lesson or direct instruction for a mentee on how to accomplish something specific.
    • A mentor may also give a demonstration on something they’ve done before.
  • Shadowing
    • A mentee may benefit from shadowing the mentor in some aspect of their work, asking questions or interjecting when confused.
    • A mentor may likewise observe the mentee at work and provide live feedback or tips after-the-fact.
  • Q&A
    • A mentee may just benefit from having someone to talk to or explore questions with.
  • Planning
    • A mentor may advise a mentee on how to make a plan or break down work for a big project.
  • Recommendations for Practice/Experience
    • A mentor may be able to suggest tasks, toy projects, or “homework” to help a mentee learn or practice a skill.
  • Recommendations for Self-Study
    • A mentor may recommend materials for reading, watching, or reviewing on a topic.
  • Recommendations for Perspective
    • A mentor may use their network or position to connect the mentee to other teammates or even individuals outside of Sourcegraph to help the mentee explore different perspectives.
  • Collaboration
    • A mentor may work together with the mentee directly on a specific problem, such as pair programming.
    • This guide talks about different styles of pair programming, such as the driver/navigator pattern, as well as tips for effective pairing.
  • Review/Feedback
    • A mentor may review the mentee’s work, such as a written RFC, a meeting or presentation recording, or a code review.

Of course, this is only an incomplete list! Do you have tips or strategies for successful mentoring? Did you come across a blog post, article, video, or some other resource that was particularly insightful or influential for your personal mentoring style? Consider adding it here!

Other things to remember

  • A mentor-mentee relationship is not a binding contract: Neither party is forced to continue the sessions if they no longer see enough value out of continuing the sessions: If the mentor is unable to continue due to resource constraints or any other reason, they may choose to help find someone else available on Humans of Sourcegraph (if the mentee agrees). If the mentee is not deriving enough value from the outcomes of the sessions, they should let the mentor know.
  • Sometimes mentoring is part of someone’s role (this is often true for managers and senior ICs), but don’t let mentoring become a box-ticking exercise. Both parties must be willing to invest into a mentoring partnership in order for it to succeed.

Additional Resources

Teammate FAQ

Q. What if I am not sure about signing up to be a mentor?

A: One of the best ways to learn is by teaching others. In what’s dubbed “The Protégé Effect”, studies show that those who teach others understand the material they are teaching better than those who only learn for themselves. Challenge yourself with new perspectives. Get a fresh take on something you’ve spent a lot of time with and see how it looks through the eyes of someone just learning it.

  • Pay it forward. Think of the teachers, coaches, or mentors in your life who said or did something that has stuck with you or changed your path for the better. This is an opportunity to do that for someone else!
  • Retain full control of your hours. Creating a profile doesn’t commit you to anything: there’s no minimum time commitment to becoming a mentor, and you can mark yourself as “unavailable” at any time if you don’t have sufficient bandwidth to take on a new mentee.

Q: What can I expect from my mentor?

A: Mentors typically provide guidance, support, and advice based on their expertise and experience. They can help you set goals, develop skills, provide insights and perspectives, share industry knowledge, and offer feedback on your progress. The level and type of support can vary depending on the mentor and the mentee’s needs.

Q: How often should I meet or communicate with my mentor?

A: The frequency of meetings or communication with your mentor can vary depending on your preferences and availability. The program has a 3-month commitment, but mentees and mentors can determine the frequency, duration and format of meetings (async, or sync) during that period.

Q. What if I didn’t find a good fit for my mentor, they’re not responsive, or I’m having another problem?

If there isn’t a good mentor available for the areas you are interested in, or if you are just having a hard time getting something to work out, reach out to

We understand that sometimes the nature of these issues can be more sensitive. While we hope that anyone here feels empowered to speak directly about issues they are facing with those involved, we know that this isn’t always possible, and both the mentorship program champions and People Ops are here to support you in those cases.

Q: Can I have multiple mentors?

A: We recommend 1 mentor for each 3-month mentorship period. We have a limited pool of mentors and we want to make sure that as many teammates can have support. You can request another mentor after each mentor program period; however, it’s important to consider the feasibility and manageability to ensure a focused and productive mentorship experience.

Q: What should I do if my mentorship goals change during the program?

A: It is common for goals to evolve or change over time. If your goals shift during the mentorship program, communicate these changes to your mentor. Together, you can discuss and adjust your goals and tailor the mentorship experience to align with your new objectives.

Q. What if I have an existing informal mentoring relationship?

A: If you already have an existing informal mentoring relationship outside of the mentorship program, you may continue your informal mentorship or you may include incorporating your existing mentor into the program if you are looking for a more structured approach.

Our goal is to create a positive and valuable mentoring experience for you, so it’s essential to communicate openly and so the People team can help find the best solution that meets your needs and aligns with the program’s objectives.

Q. What if I am seeking sponsorship to move to another team?

A: If you are seeking sponsorship, such as to transition teams or roles within Sourcegraph, it’s important to bear in mind that while every mentor can offer guidance and encouragement, not every mentor can offer advocacy or opportunity. We recommend that you start a conversation with your manager, first, and talk with a potential mentor about your goals before committing to anything long-term.