In June 2018, I was invited in Paris to speak about mentoring at the Ncrafts conference and the talk (in English) was recorded. This is the talk I held for the first time in Javaland and about which I wrote extensively already: A-story-about-storytelling-a-mentoring-story. You can find the video on Vimeo:


The main learning for me was at the end of the talk where I tried something new: I attempted to trigger the discussion with the audience by asking them if they found where I cut some corners in the talk.

Among others, I was expecting the following ideas:

  • David and Max has known each other for a while, that's why they can create this close mentorship very fast. But it doesn't work like that in the "real world". That's my trigger to speak about chemistry between the participants.
  • Max and his colleague were forced into mentorship by their boss. But it doesn't work like that in the "real world". That's the trigger to talk about initiating mentoring and igniting the fire.
  • What Max does with his colleague is not necessarily mentoring... at least at first. It could be the role of a "godfather", a coach, a colleague, or simply a friend. That's my trigger to speak about the role of the mentor.

The discussion didn't go as well as I hoped. In hindsight, probably because I didn't give the attendees much time to think in the first place.

Since then I tried it twice.

  • At the Herbstcampus Conference, in a complicated room (university lecture room) where people could barely move) and it worked a bit but not as much as I expected.
  • At the .NET Day Franken Conference  in a completely free context where it worked wonders and I earned the "talk of the conference" award.

I'll be presenting it in November again at a private conference. I'm still pondering how to introduce this part in order to make it a success...

Edit (November 2018): since I posted this article, I held this talk twice, once as a keynote with the discussion part and once as a talk without. It went very well both times. The attendees were captivated and really responsive. The discussion part is really dependent of the context and disposition of the room. I have found that when I encourage people to stand up, the discussion is way more lively and interesting...