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Discussion on: How To Find a Mentor Using Twitter

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John Colagioia (he/him)

This is definitely a good start. To expand on this with my own experience as an older developer, one huge problem with the "go get yourself a mentor" advice is that it encourages young people to treat their colleagues as resources to use instead of people. And if you're going to treat the relationship transactionally, you get what you pay for, as in, if you don't give back in the relationship, you probably don't really have a mentor, just some person who secretly rolls their eyes when you call. That's why it's generally much easier to find a mentor at school: The teachers/professors/instructors are paid to be there.

If you can get rid of the transactional aspects, you're in even better shape. Nobody really hesitates to help a close friend or family member, because that relationship isn't about what one person gets from the other, for example. Making a friend who happens to have a lot more career experience than you do is a lot more valuable (along multiple dimensions) than someone you just consider a source of advice.