Mentor Somebody

Just a couple brief thoughts about mentoring.

Whether you’ve been a hobbyist for 6 months, or a professional for 6 years, you have something to offer. It may be as basic as explaining what HTML is, or something a bit more advanced like explaining how prototypes work in JavaScript. The bottom line is, though, that you have something to offer.

Back in the 90’s, when I got my first computer, I began to show an interest in web development. I didn’t know anything about programming, computers, or the Internet. I had just gotten a Hotmail account not too longer before that, and spent at least a few months thinking HTML was pronounced “Hotmail”.

A buddy of mine started learning web-development a little before me, and would mention it from time to time. It didn’t take long for me to get interested, and offer him $20 to build a website for me (big money, I know). He politely refused, and told me to “learn the code yourself”.

The code? What was the code? I suspected it was a series of numbers and letters that I type into the scary black part of the computer (cmd.exe). “Can you tell me the code?” I asked. He chuckled, and began to open up my understanding.

That particular friend invested maybe 20 minutes into my life. From that 20 minutes came 20 years of industry experience. I’m thankful for his willingness to be inconvenienced for a few moments. It changed my life.

Get out there, and change somebody’s life.