I got around to showing a buddy my blog; his reaction wasn’t unexpected. Based on my first posting he feels he is not qualified for his position. In some ways, that is true; he’s lacking experience.
Many would say that in today’s industry, experience means everything. As a team lead, I can’t even begin to describe how much I disagree. As we gain more experience, we often times forget what it is like to be new to the industry. How lost we felt; how overwhelming it all was.
For people like me, and my friend, that is what excites us. The challenge, the overwhelming chance to learn; experience new things. These are the very foundation of being an engineer.
For a while, I had the opportunity to mentor him while he worked for me, and I can surely say that I am sure that I learned just as much from him as he did me. The way that people see things is strikingly different. How we see things as we gain more experience because we recognize things directly influences our reactions to a situation. For a new person, who is encountering many new scenarios, new solutions, the responses they provide are intriguing, sometimes puzzling, but can also help us find the most valuable response to a given situation.
For managers out there that look for seniority only, they miss the potential that people have. Give me a person who has ambition, drive, and passion to be successful, I can work with them to make them Sr, thats the easy part. The hard, and often times impossible part is turning a senior engineer into a passionate engineer. Wether they burned out, have been under appreciated, under utilized, over utilized, or whatever.
It’s harder to rekindle a flame to learn than it is to teach someone else who already has it.
You want to be a good manager, start by finding good employees, ones that want to learn.