Meaningful Mentoring Moments


This page includes the resources I drew from when piecing together Meaningful Mentoring Moments. This page also contains links to my slides, recordings of this talk and information about me.

If you'd like to start a conversation with me about how I can help you or your team improve your Python abilities and Python learning strategies, scroll to the bottom of this page.

The slides

You can find the slides for the talk here.

Go see the slides!

Recording of this talk

The recording for this talk hasn't been processed yet. Below is a live stream of PyCascades Day 2, which includes a recording of my talk.

Coaching Resources

These are talks and other resources I drew inspiration from that are related to the act of coaching a peer/colleague. Not all of these resources are on coaching specifically: some are on connecting with others, emotional intelligence, and other important abilities that are not coaching-specific but are essential learning for becoming a better coach.

“The power of vulnerability” by BrenĂ© Brown

I've drawn quite a bit of inspiration from Brené Brown's work on vulnerability, both directly from her talks and writing and indirectly from others who've also taken inspiration from her work. The willingness to be vulnerable is powerful, both for you and for those around you.

“You're an expert. Here's how to teach like one” by Shannon V Turner

This talk is very helpful not just for folks who are coaching but also folks who will be up in front of an audience and folks who are preparing curriculum (for themselves or someone else). Shannon talks about some great lessons she's learned in this talk, not just on coaching, but on the broader aspects of teaching others.

“Those Who Care, Teach!” by Kenneth Love

Kenneth gave a talk on teaching at the first very PyCascades last year! There are a lot of great things in Kenneth's talk that aren't in mine or Shannon's talks. If you're interested in teaching, to a group especially, watch Kenneth's talk! Even if you're primarily focused on teaching through text on the Internet, Kenneth's talk has some great advice for you.

“Emotional Intelligence for Engineers” by April Wensel

Interacting with other people is an essential part of our job as software developers: through our meetings, our code reviews, and even our documentation. April helps engineering teams communicate better. She gave some great tips in this talk, not specifically for folks coaching a peer but for any type of workplace communication.

“Why Generosity Turns To Rage, And What To Do About It” by A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

Here's another version which includes a video and text-based transcript. In this talk Jesse explores how and why generosity-fueled websites like StackOverflow often have angry answers and comments. There are some great practical tips in this talk.

“User's Manual” from the Recurse Center

This set of guidelines has been referenced by community codes of conduct, coaching manuals for workshops like Django Girls, and more. There's some great general advice in here that applies well in coaching situations.

Teaching/Pedagogy Resources

These are books and talks that grown my understanding of teaching and learning which has helped me improve my teaching practices and help my students and improve their Python learning habits.

“Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning” by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel

Great book with practical advice drawn from learning/teaching theory, authored by two cognitive scientists and a writer.

“Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise” by K. Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool

Anders Ericsson studies "deliberate practice", which is discussed in the book Make it Stick. This book details Ericsson's study of deliberate practice, including some practical tips for how to use deliberate practice for more effective learning.

“A Mind for Numbers” by Barbara Oakley

This book is targeted at learners, but I found it helpful as a teacher and coach as well. Many of the skills in this book could be helpful to internalize as a mentor and to explicitly encourage learners to internalize as well.

“The power of believing that you can improve” by Carol Dweck

A talk by the psychologist who initiated research on the "growth mindset" phenomenon.

Code Review Resources

After giving this talk, I often get questions whether I have related tips for doing effective code reviews. I've done a lot more introspection about my in-person coaching techniques than my remote code review techniques, so I don't have as many personal lessons to share here but I would like to share some great talks I've watched on this topic.

“Code Review Skills for Pythonistas” by Nina Zakharenko

During this talk Nina makes some suggestions for code review best practices. The majority of the talk provides tooling and process tips for being a great code submitter. During the last 10 minutes of Nina's talk, she dives into some great suggestions for reviewers as well.

“Code Reviews Using Art Critique Principles” by Stacy Morse

I saw Stacy give this talk at PyCon Australia 2017 and enjoyed Stacy's framing of code reviews as analogous to an art critique.

“Code Review, Forwards and Back” by Sumana Harihareswara, Jason Owen

This is a serious of short plays (yes theatrical plays) that Sumana and Jason presented at PyCon 2017 with the help of other attendees. The plays don't make explicit claims or suggestions about code review techniques, but instead present different code review scenarios for the audience to reflect on.

Who Am I?

My name is Trey and I help professional programmers improve their Python skills. I run a Python skill-building service for individuals called Python Morsels and I do on-site and remote Python training for teams and corporations.

I write articles regularly at If you'd like to keep up with my writing, sign up for my email newsletter. You can also find me on Twitter as @treyhunner.

Chat with me about Python team learning

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If you'd like to brainstorm team learning strategies with me, click the button below, fill out the form, and we'll chat.