The Mentoring Class of 2023

(Meeps, one of our seven cats, helping with the selection process…)

Since my first round of community mentoring back in 2015, when I mentored 54 people for six months, I’ve been asked periodically whether I’d do it again. My answer was always something like ‘maybe – it was a lot of work’ and I didn’t think I’d have the time. Then when the pandemic hit in 2020 I wanted something apart from vegetable gardening to help my mental health, so I did another round of mentoring that stretched through the end of 2021. I’d resolved myself to not doing it again for a few years, but after going to PASS in November, and meeting face-to-face some of my former mentees I changed my mind and put out a call for mentees on December 1st.

Why do I do it? I love mentoring people. Microsoft trained me to be a people manager, as that was something I really wanted to do as part of my career. I was also part of the cross-company mentoring program within Microsoft, where I mentored random people from outside my management chain.

The rules for entry were very clear: post a link to a ‘good’ blog post as a comment on my post. No blog post link, not a valid entry. One of the reasons I make this a rule is that it encourages people to start a blog or to reboot a blog that’s been languishing, and it worked well again! It also shows that those who want to be mentored are willing to put in some effort. You can read all the entries in the comments of the post I linked to earlier.

33 people posted a link and I’d decided to mentor 15 people. After narrowing down the pool, the list of people who qualified is:

  • Wondi Wolde
  • Anoop Agarwal
  • Vijay Samevadam
  • Yibo
  • Deepti Nayak
  • Rupen Anjaria
  • Marcin Wilczek
  • Vladimir
  • Simon Frazer
  • Sree Nair
  • Cristian Lefter
  • Jeff McDonald
  • Pedro Trejo
  • Mihailo Joksimovic
  • Lena B Oksa
  • Maria Bermudes
  • Radek Gaska
  • Gerald Wilkinson
  • Leon Spangenberg
  • Lucia
  • Matt Zuberko
  • Mike Biasetti
  • Jason Romans
  • Ben Fedit
  • Damien Jones
  • Tim Lewis
  • Mark
  • Peter Doyle
  • Sushant
  • Josh Handler
  • Jangack
  • Amy Abel
  • Arun Gupta

Wait – that’s not 15 names, that’s 33 names! That’s right – I’ll be mentoring everyone who had a valid entry. I just couldn’t in all good conscience randomly exclude someone who wants some help and went to the effort of applying – I’m a sucker for helping people :-)

The second test for all the people on the list above is that they have to send me an email using the link in this post, preferably from a non-work email address (as we’ll likely end up discussing your work), by the end of December. You don’t need to say anything in the email – I just need an email address to contact you to kick things off – and for those people who were anonymous, you can stay anonymous if you want, just let me know which of the anonymous names you are.

I’ll send the initial emails to everyone on January 1st or 2nd.

Congratulations to everyone on the list – it’s going to be fun!

13 thoughts on “The Mentoring Class of 2023

  1. Thank you! I am sending you the requested email. And that was a fun announcement… I was holding my breath as I slowly scrolled down the page and you really got me.

    What a fantastic way to kick off a new year!

  2. If you’re on this list, make sure you do something about it – now.
    I was one of those in the first class, back in 2015 and I have never looked back.
    Now a Senior DBA at an amazing company and I gave my first presentation at this year’s PASS Data Community Summit – something I would never have thought possible without Paul’s initial guidance.

  3. That is great news. The email has been sent.
    I am glad I did not go with the initial plan to write a blog post centered around mentoring and dogs.
    I think my name would have been scratched off the list.

  4. Glad to get such a chance and thank you Paul for all you are doing,wish you a happy and blessed Christmas and NEw year

  5. Thank you Paul, just wondering if you could let me know what i could have done better in my blog to make it on to the list. Yeah i am trying to get at least one bit of mentoring here :D

  6. Thank you, Paul, you’ve made my day :) The email has been sent (from my other mailbox).

    And congratulations to everyone in the class! :)

  7. Not to rush, but I’m curious if the initial email has gone out? I did follow up and get a response before the end of December.

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