A question I hear people ask a lot is "How Do I Find a Mentor?"
I understand why you would want someone who can help you and has been on the same path as you. They can help you avoid pitfalls and mistakes and point you in the right direction.
My advice? Don't look for a mentor. That's not the same as don't get a mentor, but I don't think you should actively ask around for one.
There's a quote that says "When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear".
Ruby on Wills 🐺How to find a mentor:
1️⃣ Don’t look for one
2️⃣ Post what you’re trying to do consistently online and people with experience will reach out to help16:29 PM - 13 Jul 2020
This is definitely something I have experienced, as noted by my tweet above. If you are consistently showing your work and your progress, people who have the experience you desire will reach out to you to help you reach those higher levels. BOOM! You have a mentor.
The reason I say you shouldn't directly reach out asking for mentors is that a mentor relationship is built on trust. If you haven't established any prior history with someone, they don't even have any context to mentor you.
However, if they know that you've been learning, progressing and you reach out for something specific like "Do you know why then API isn't returning any data?" with the steps you took so far. They know that you value their time. If you implement that advice and tell them, the next time you reach out they'll be eager to help you.
When I was learning web development, Eric Poe from CoderDojoKC reached to me on Twitter and showed me how to use GitHub because I was confused. I didn't have to ask he was willing because I built trust by constantly showing what I was doing. He knew that I was would take his advice seriously, and he wouldn't waste his time.
Also, in 2020 there are a ton of ways to get indirect mentorship, people have done podcasts interviews, wrote blog posts about their careers, conferences talks, and more. You can learn a lot from people without ever having to reach out to them directly. Just reading the tweets can give a lot of information.
By getting that information it can better assist you if you do decide to ask a question. I decided to reach out to Joel Hooks from egghead for advice because he was a self-taught developer who learned to code in his mid-thirties with a wife and 5 kids.
That was the situation I was in, it had the right context. I'm not 100% sure if a 22-year-old, single Computer Science Grad could have given advice that was right for me and my situation.
Also, I never asked him or anyone to be my mentor. As I implemented the advice that was given. trust was built and more advice was given. It was organic, not formal.
I really believe organic relationships built on trust, are better factors in your success than trying to find someone who mentors you. If you make your self mentor-able, a mentor will appear when you least expect it. That's what has happened to me.
I believe it can happen to you.
Let me know in the comments, "Do you have a mentor?"
If you want more tips on using social media to gain mentors sign up for my newsletter here: https://tinyletter.com/willjohnsonio