Thursday, December 15, 2011

Finding a mentor - the wish list

So I'm on a mission to find a mentor or mentors. I guess in order to find something, I would need to figure out what it is I'm looking for (which reminds me of the Nanny wish list from Mary Poppins in some ways)

So ideally, a mentor would be someone who:

  • Similarly, but hopefully more, experienced then I am in software development
  • Has a modicum of time to dedicate to me. I don't want it to take up much time, but I also recognize that it takes some
  • Is willing to share their experience, make suggestions, and has an altruistic interest in helping others on their journey
  • Checks in, unprompted, every once in a while, just to maintain connection
Concrete potential ideal examples of interactions from mentee to mentor
  • I have a challenging/critical software / architecture problem and a potential solution or solutions. I could ask the mentor which approach might be best. They could say "Have you thought about this", or "what about this scenario", "Does this take 'x' into account", "Have you checked out 'x', it solves a similar problem", etc.
  • Being able to show someone, a well designed section of code, and get some constructive criticism (if deserved), or a nice job (if deserved).
  • Being able to recommend resources, like conferences, blogs, books, people, etc that are interesting and relevant to  me and my journey.
  • Can connect me to potential people who need to be mentored but are not as far along as I am, so I can be a mentor as well. 
Concrete potential ideal examples of interactions from mentor to mentee
  • Share pieces of their work, that they are proud of, and explain their thought process, challenges, etc, to someone who might understand
  • Ability to talk at a detailed / advanced level to a peer (It is always fun talking about something that you are passionate about to other like minded people
  • Material for blogs, presentations, publications that could be helpful for the mentor's journey.
  • Hopefully a handful of ah-ha moments :)
Please comment about what you would want from a mentor or mentee. 

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