Book: “Teach what you know” by Steve Trautman

This book is about peer mentoring, especially being applicable in software team. The author says he wrote this book based on his experience as a localization program manager in Microsoft in 1990.

  • He defines a several learning styles, that he got an idea from David Kolb’s ‘Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development’. They are “Why?, “What?”, “How does it work?”  and “What if?” learners. He proposed the different teaching strategy for each learning style. Looks like I’m falling into “How does it work?” learner category. Smile
  • The book includes some templates and worksheet which are handy and useful for everyday mentoring. For example, the training plan template and problem-solving question worksheet.
  • I like the problem-solving question worksheet. This worksheet has self check list:
    • __ How much time do you need?
    • __ Provide a concise description of the problem
    • __ Did the process or procedure ever work?
    • __ What would you like from me (advice, sounding board, support)?
    • __ What did you expect to happen?
    • __ What happened?
    • __ What have you tried to do to solve the problem?
    • __ Who else is working on the problem?
    • __ How big is the crisis (urgency, impact)?
    • __ When does the problem need a resolution?
  • There are many useful tips for effective communication in time saving manner

Overall I like the book. Most of idea in the book aren’t like new to me, but following those small suggestions in the book definitely can improve communication skills in team and save ramp-up time.

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