The culture of mentorship at redPanda Software

Knowledge sharing and mentorship are key components of redPanda Software’s success and the growth of their developers.

One of the risks facing development teams is the existence of information silos, or team members who hold most of the knowledge without sharing it.

“The silo mentality creates several problems because you end up with only one or two strong members in the team,” explains redPanda Software CEO, Gareth Hawkey.

“This can affect the team’s productivity because junior developers will need to experience challenges firsthand instead of learning from someone who has been there before.”

There is the added risk to the organisation that if one of the silo team members leaves, their knowledge is taken with them, along with a big part of the team’s strength.

For this reason, from the outset, redPanda Software has focused on structuring its teams in such a way that accountability is shared and teamwork is fostered.

“When team members share accountability, each individual needs to ensure that everyone else in the team is able to meet their goals, which encourages the knowledge sharing that improves the whole team,” says Hawkey.

“Once you have knowledge and experience sharing within the team, it naturally evolves to mentorship. This occurs on both the technical level and with the management team.”

This is encouraged by the team structure, which includes a unified team goal and objective measurements that the whole team buys into.

“With the unified goal, we give people time to mentor and grow, and this changes the focus slightly, creating a culture of continuous improvement as the whole team gets stronger,” adds Hawkey.

This ultimately benefits redPanda’s customers because productivity can always be maintained, as their is no risk in losing the knowledge base and the time to train up individuals is shorter.

For the individual developers, the opportunity for growth and improvement at redPanda Software is huge, as the company promotes from within.

“People want to develop. They don’t want to be in the same place in two years time. They want their experience and knowledge to grow,” Hawkey says.

“This culture is not a complete standard in the industry, although Scrum does try to build a unified goal, while getting people to commit to goals as a team.

“I believe that we have implemented that part of scrum very well at redPanda,” Hawkey concludes.

For more information, and to apply for developer roles in Cape Town, visit the official redPanda Software website.

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The culture of mentorship at redPanda Software