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My entire career I've never had a mentor. I've learned everything I know though trial and error. When I started off as a Junior at my first company, I thought I would have someone to help me, turned out that company just expected you to sink or swim. There was a lot of extenuating circumstances at that company and I didn't totally sink but didn't swim as fast as I would have liked to either.

The next job, I got the opportunity to read and work with thousands of different codebases mostly troubleshooting performance issues. This actually allowed me the most opportunity to learn. I learned so much reading other developers code and troubleshooting (mainly I became very good at knowing what not to do)

Fast forward to today. I am a solo dev at a very large multinational brand/manufacturer. I do a lot of very complex coding and figuring out the logic to make it happen. I have no over site. I have nothing out anyone to bounce ideas off, to review my code, to even compare my skills against.

It is a comfortable job, no hard deadlines. I have the time to learn and figure things out. But I do know how important having a mentor can help in advancing your knowledge. It's something I've always wanted/needed to get past this plateau of mid level.

So last year, I made a very specific set of criteria for the next company I wanted to join. I have interviewed hundreds of times for dozens of companies, but none really perfectly fit this criteria.

Then, I heard of one of the legends in my niche market was looking for a good mid level developer to mentor. I applied to said company, in fact, just got back yesterday from the final interview. Just received my offer letter. I am joining a team of highly skilled super smart people that will spend the time to help me hone my craft. I am super stoked. I've had offers from other companies and turned them down because either the team's I didn't feel were expert enough to get me to my next level, or I was still going to be a solo dev, or it just didn't feel right.

Today, I found the perfect team and the perfect company to become one of the best in the industry.

It's so important to be in a conducive environment that will help you be your best.

So thank you to all the mentors out there that take the time to push us to be our best and give us the direction we need.

Today, I start my journey to the top.

Comments
  • 2
    Story of my life! 🤜🤛

    Sadly, I joined a major company with a team (well there was 3 of us), I'm now the last dev standing for my area of expertise.
    I don't know how I would feel with a mentor this far into my career, I've always had to find my own way.
  • 1
    @C0D4

    I understand that. I wouldn't really call him a mentor at this juncture in my career, but a more experienced dev that can review my code and point out deficiencies.
  • 2
    I feel this often. Am a sole developer working remote. No code reviews, mentoring nothing. I've considered creating a group in my city for people in same situation to connect with people who want to share knowledge. Good for you for sticking it out.
  • 1
    @fullslack

    That is actually a good idea. It's very hard to progress quickly in a positive direction without someone critiquing your work. It's like bring in school and doing the homework without being graded. Sure, you have correct answers, but is there a better way? Is my logic missing something? Did I implement this design pattern really the correct way?
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