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Adrian Skar
Adrian Skar

Posted on

Would you mentor someone 5 min. a day?

So I'm learning JS on my own and I've found many helpful sites (fCC, MDN, and tools (Discord, Twitter, git, kanban boards...) but sometimes I get the feeling that I'm trying to find the perfect cherry blossom on a rainy day (not that it gets much easier on sunny ones).

The last samurai movie, Katsumoto looking for the perfect cherry blossom

You have tutorials, specs, exercises and it all seems overwhelming even though you know that many things are hard to master at first and take time and effort to master.
But, unlike learning to drive, many of us don't have an instructor or teacher to rely on and experienced people have even less free time available than us.
So I was wondering...
What do we do when entities can't provide the resources and means for people to learn something? How do we help a kid learn to ride a bike with no training wheels without being able to be there all the ride?
I've seen many forum threads, groups and servers where we (as far as I'm told) ask the same questions and encounter the same difficulties when learning new programming concepts again and again.

The last samurai movie, funny kid

And I wonder... Does this happen less on other fields?
Can people without a teacher or mentor overcome the barrier between documentation/specs and mentorship/classroom?
I've learned about many people trying to make better specs, people making better tools, better learning platforms and all that has brought us with many and more helpful sites and improvements, yet we're often told that one of the best ways to learn is to surround yourself of people that have more experience than you and can teach you something new.
So, in a field where many of us are "changing" careers and don't have much free time to enjoy a meetup, attend a conference or network ourselves out of our "newbieness", how can we learn to ride a bike with no training wheels?
Do we fall until we get it? Can we get 5 minutes a day with someone experienced to learn from directly? That doesn't seem much but... Is it fair for us to ask for 30 hours a year of someone's time?

I think we're fortunate to be able to count on so many generous people and entities that came before us and provide "free" time and resources so we all can get a chance. But, even before I call myself a developer I wonder... Can we go even further and improve our learning process without taking more from our predecessors?

Samurai Champloo companionship

Side note: First time publishing anything so be gentle or hate me kindly, :)

Top comments (6)

isaacdlyman profile image
Isaac Lyman

I mentor people here and there, usually folks that find me through my blog. I'm happy to give them 5 minutes any time, although it's usually more like 45 minutes a week, spread unevenly between days.

I'm a JavaScript dev too, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have via direct message or email. 😃

adrianskar profile image
Adrian Skar

Wow, that's sounds great and very generous. Thank you!

michael profile image
Michael Lee 🍕

Adrian, thanks for asking the question and diving into your thoughts about mentorship. I really think this drove it home for me:

Can we get 5 minutes a day with someone experienced to learn from directly? That doesn't seem much but... Is it fair for us to ask for 30 hours a year of someone's time?

5 minutes a day might not feel like you're making a huge impact, but when you spell it out as equaling up to 30 hours of mentorship a year, it paints a completely different picture. That's significant. Thanks for doing that. Have you yourself done some sort of mentorship with another person in a 5 minute interval? I would love to hear some ideas that you might've explored on how to get started in your challenge.

adrianskar profile image
Adrian Skar

Hi Michael! No, I haven't done anything like that (even though I'm the Android, Windows, Linux, Network and what-not expert for my relatives, xD).
I thought about a 5 min. window because of the constraints mentioned in the post and that, at first, didn't seem much at first if I were to ask someone for advice but, at the same time, it all adds up.
I guess 5 min with someone experienced could help people like me to make the proper "corrections" while walking this path but as good as it may sound I know everyone is at least as busy as me so I wonder if we could find yet a better way. Thank you!

abhishekalbert profile image

Hi Adrian !!!

You written very well. I like the way you write the article.

Your article's heading is come with a lot of different question which have a unique meaning . I like that .
First of all learning is self exploration process now how ?
Every body in this universe have a different level of IQ , the way of understanding things , a and everyone has their own way to tackle with a problem . Sometime a task for you which is easy that same task may be hard or so hard to do or understand. Because everyone have their own way to catch things or you can say they accept things in a different way. So you understand fast than others then means the way you learn is more efficient than other's method.
And i will be mentor for 5 min to help someone then Yes i will . And try to explain things in the way he things. that's all .
So if feel ever demotivate or frustrated or stuck on any problem then start exploring yourself where you wrong or mind not able to get that idea . And some times interest matters.
That's all.

adrianskar profile image
Adrian Skar

Hi abhishekalbert, thank you for your support!
I recon self-exploration and trying to get some distance from the problem itself can prove highly helpful when you're struggling too.
I guess sometimes you don't need a mentor but, at the same time, I often hear about how necessary or helpful it was for many.

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