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The first batch of trainees calls me "Senpai" and it was passed down to "generations" of trainees, now three batches. Some of them eventually became team leaders and mentors themselves. Every time someone new arrives, they introduce me as that. Even years after I stopped working with them and joined a different company, they still call me that. It's almost like I don't have a name or calling me by name is disrespectful. Maybe they've just forgotten about my actual name after some time.16
Being one of the top devs (and a good student admired by most lecturers) at college, my most humbling experience was when I joined my first job. I thought I knew SQL, I thought I knew C#. I realized in the first week, the thing I didn't know was "I don't know jack".
Thanks to a couple of great mentors (it took a few of them to bring me up to speed :P), I learned that the more I learn something, the more I will realize how much more there is to learn. I used tools to create storyboard animations in WPF, and my mentor would write it all in XAML! I'd write messy SQL and the other mentor just reduces it to a couple of elegant lines. They were like tech gods to my college self, all while being humble and friendly.
They also imbibed in me a sense of responsibility to carry on the culture of mentoring my juniors, which taught me much more than just the technical side of our profession.4
One of my best mentors was my father!
When i was very, very young (like 8 years old), he brought a new computer from his work! The first thing he did was play Doom (lol) but later, he always tried to show me all the things that could be done, coding in VB6.
He always told me: "You can use this to make the computer do what you want to do! You can do many things!". Even if at that time I did not understand much, he always tried to explain me how to develop a calculator or even a "Hello World" but with the name of my mother.
I will never forget his face of happiness, when I simulated a face that blinked with a counter. I do not even remember how I did it, but he hugged me so hard lol.
A couple of years ago, he was the first to try my first application on Android: An application that screamed when you shook the phone lol. He laughed a lot with that application.
He helped me in my university and we even developed several solutions together for different companies. Now we work separately, but he was an important part of what I am now.
PS: My english is kinda rusty, so forgive me ><.9
Almost everyone from one of my previous companies.
I had a manager who likes to "break" people and will do almost anything to humiliate and make someone cry especially if they're new. One time, she called us into the room while she's tearing down a new developer. No reason for us to be there aside from watch the poor man cry. It always has to be known that she is someone to be feared and things have to be done exactly her way, that she's only angry, controlling, and explosive because she cares so much. Abusive mother love intensifies.
The senior manager is obsessed with extra-curricular bullshit that she actually gets furious when new hires don't participate or win dancing competitions. Yes, dancing competitions. Also, costume parties. The only time they left me alone was when I made multi-colored cookies for the children visiting during a Halloween party. I would have poisoned them if those kids weren't there.
The way mentors are picked out for each new junior developer is by having them perform (sing, dance, act, whatever) and the old members choosing whose performance they like the most. Introverts and people who still have their senses that don't want to participate are immediately demonized as "not a team player".
The amazing pregnant HR who decided to hate me for no fucking reason but treated my colleague very well. Rushed me for requirements when they already rushed my start date and know I only had a weekend to process them and all government offices are closed. Gave zero directions and then blew up when I didn't manage to read her mind. Another HR had to chime into one of our email threads because the bitch is crazy. After she has given birth, she's all nice and sweet to me but all I see is a monster.
People dump their dirty dishes in the pantry's sink and sometimes leave the toilet floor wet where it shouldn't be (far off the bowl). Some motherfucker forgot his lunch in the locker, brought it in the workspace, and kept sniffing it minutes after people have complained that the shit's already expired.
Most members are obsessed with people's salaries. There was a time when I printed my papers for the training visa. We are all required to do this and the way our printers are setup at work is messed up so those documents have to be put in the shared drive first before getting printed. There's a small window between the time it's printed and the time I delete it but they still managed to peek into how much I earn. I always get that "you earn so much, more than us" thrown at my face like it's a bad or unfair thing and only in the third year did someone confess to looking at those documents without my knowledge.
Never-ending gossips and stalking employees' social media. Senior managers and managers join in the gossip and slander of their own employees.
That giant guy who likes to touch women's head hair (have to be specific) if he finds them attractive. The discrimination, man. Touch everyone and touch yourself the same way your uncle touched you in all the right places, you maniac.
People who are constantly bragging about overtimes and shaming those who leave on time.
And many more. I will never forget them.23
Thank you to all the mentors out there! My mentor has the patience of a saint and really helps me understanding everything much better.
You guys help more than you realize!1
I’m a college senior now. The best CS class I ever took was in high school. Our teacher didn’t know how to write software, instead he went around on day one and has us submit proposals for year long projects.
With each project, we had to find mentors in the industry who could help us if we got blocked. Every other week we meet with the teacher (who was more a facilitator) and described how the project was coming.
The results? We had final products that were well beyond the expectations of a high school and more impressive than any project I’ve seen at my university.
Why can’t all STEM programs be like that? Students have incredible ability, but are blocked by traditional education. Let students set the bar.1
Not meeting any good mentors. Not meeting any good colleagues. Not attending any good dev classes.
I have self taught everything. After my uni kicked out, I founded my own work and working since then. Couldn't hire any great talent that can guide me with the pay I can afford.2
It is once again that time of year when we say farewell to our current interns and say hello to a brand new batch.
The two groups overlap for a few days. During this time the old interns show the new interns the ropes, while the mentors silently weep in the lunchroom having realized that nothing that they've said over the last 12 months has had any effect whatsoever.
Some choice quotes:
New Intern: It says 'uncaught exception'.
Old Intern: Oh don't worry that will fix itself on production.
OI: Did you pull the code?
NI: Yeah, but I have all these weird brackets everywhere... [merge conflict]
OI: Oh yeah that happens sometimes, just delete them.
NI: It says "push to master rejected". [we enforce code reviews]
OI: Ohh that means the server is broken. You should tell someone, they have to reboot it.
NI: Where did that file save to? [we use ONLY macOS and Linux]
OI: C:\Users\<your name>\My Documents\...
OI: You can use either pgAdmin or MySQL Workbench. I like Workbench better but I couldn't get it to work, it kept giving me errors.
And of course...
OI: No, we don't use Linux. We use CentOS.
I did the math today. Only 35 more years and I can retire.5
MENTORS - MY STORY (Part I)
I've had several great mentors during my career. This is the story of the three most important.
1.- Professor E.
When I was on my first year (University - Computer Science), all my professors were 'normal' except for this one.
E. was the Programming I - Laboratory professor. And the most important thing he teached us was to think. To be independent, and to look for answers beyond simple solutions.
He was always pushing us beyond what was requested and to try new things, to try to improve our own solutions and to look at them as always improvable.
In a regular class, this would happen:
Student: Hey E. How can I do this X requirement?
E.: Use function xyz with A and B parameters.
S: Ok thanks...
...10 minutes later...
S: Hey E. that function doesn't work very good for my case.
E.: You have a book, you have internet connection. Don't waste 10 minutes trying to abide what I told you. Investigate, find a way or even a better way; use your resources.
Other example, in the first year all projects were requested to be delivered with text based interface (console projects).
What about E.?
"Well, you CAN deliver your project with a text based interface BUT you definitely SHOULD try to make a GUI, something simple but effective. Just so you learn more in the process"
Good E. He gave me strong foundations for this industry.2
While I was in university, I used to be a good programmer (which I still am :D ), my friends used to copy my code for the assignments. One day, the teacher (one of my my mentors) called me in his office and said, "this is your code".
I'm like, in my mind, "How did he know this?"
The teacher said, "If you let others copy your code one more time, I will fail you".
I nodded my head in affirmation.
Later I understood that I've been a "Clean code" principle follower even before I knew this term. So, it was pretty easy to differentiate my codes from my friends. The teacher is really a genius ^_^5
The best mentors I had were the people at the company where I started working.
I was doing my master thesis, bored like hell writing about someone else's idea. I decided to drop out and do a 10 week apprenticeship at this company. They had been my mentors in a university project and thought it would be nice to see what I could learn from them. I wasn't wrong.
If it weren't for those 10 weeks my career would have been a lot different. I wouldn't be the developer I am today without them and I'm forever grateful.1
The worst thing I've seen another developer do is not give constructive criticism where needed, as well was fail to accept constructive criticism when offered.1
So we have a so called 'CoderDojo' this weekend, introducing kids from 9 to 17 into the world of IT.
40 Kids, 20 Parents (that have to watch their kids), plus 18 Mentors, 6 Supporter and the three organisers.
This is going to be fun and very, veeery exhausting.
(Info about CoderDojo: https://coderdojo.com, this is NOT meant as advertising)4
The devs I work with. One more so than the other, but seeing as this is my first dev job, and I have no formal training, they've been my mentors. Yeah, we disagree and argue - but they're bloody good quality, and I'm very lucky to be learning from them.
I need a hobby or someone to yell at me until I take a break from working all day every day.
Then again if I had a home office I probably wouldn't need to put in 12 hours to get 6 hours of work done.
But I still need something to do besides work and family. And someone to kick my butt until I do it and relax.11
How I got selected for GSoC'19:
I will describe my journey from detail i.e from the 1st year of the college. I joined my college back in 2017 (July), I was not even aware of Computer Science. What are the different languages of CS, but I had a strong intuition of doing BTech from CSE only?
So yeah I was totally unaware of the computer science stuff, but I had a strong desire to learn it and I literally don’t know why I had this desire. After getting into college, I was learning HTML, Python, and C, also I am really thankful to my friends who really helped me to learn, building logic and making stuff out of it. During the 1st month of joining the college, I got to know what is Open Source, GSoC, Github due to my helpful seniors. But I was not into Open Source during my 1st year of college as I thought it is very difficult to start. In my 1st year, I used to do competitive programming and writing scripts in Python to automate various stuff. I never thought that I would even start doing Open Source development, also in the summer vacations after the 1st year I used to practice programming on HackerRank and learnt an awesome course called Automate the Boring Stuff with Python(which I think is one of the most popular courses for Python) which really helped me to build by Python skills.
Now the 2nd year came, I was totally confused between doing Open Source development or continue with my Competitive programming. But I wanted to know about Open Source development, so I thought to start now will be a good idea. I started attending meetups of OSDC(Open Source Developers Club) which is a hub of my college, which really helped me to know more about Open Source development from my seniors. I started looking for beginner friendly projects in Python on the website Up For Grabs, it’s really helpful for the beginners. So I contributed in a few of them, and in starting it was really tough for me but yeah I continued, which really helped me to at least dive into Open Source. Now I thought to start contributing in any bigger project, which has millions of lines of code which will be really interesting. So I started looking for the project, as I was into web development those days so I thought to find a project which matches my domain. So yeah I finally landed on Oppia:
I started contributing into Oppia in November, so yeah in starting it was really difficult for me to solve any issue (as I wasn’t aware of the codebase which was really big), but yeah mentors at Oppia are really helpful, they guided me which really helped me to start my journey with Oppia. By starting of January I was able to resolve around 3–4 issues, which helped me to become the collaborator at Oppia, afterward I really liked contributing to it and I was able to resolve around 9–10 issues by the end of February, which landed me to become a Team Member at Oppia which was really a confidence boost and indication for me that I am in the right direction.
Also in February, the GSoC organizations list was out, and yeah Oppia was also participating in it. The project ideas of Oppia were really interesting, I became even confused to pick anyone because there were 4–5 ideas which seemed interesting to me. After 1–2 days of thought process I decided to go for one of them, i.e “Asking students why they picked a particular answer”, a full stack project.
I started making proposals on it, from the first week of March. I used to get my proposal reviewed frequently from the mentors, which really helped me to build a good and strong proposal.
I must say a well-defined proposal is the most important key for getting selected in GSoC, also you must have done some contributions to the organization earlier which I think really maximize your chances of selection in GSoC.
So after my proposal was made, I submitted it on the GSoC website.
It was the result day, by the way, I had the confidence of being selected, but yeah I was a little bit nervous. All my friends were asking when is your result coming, I told them it will come at 12.30AM (IST). Finally, the time came when I refreshed the GSoC website, Voila the results were out. I opened the Oppia organization page, and yeah my name was there. That was the day I was really happy and satisfied, I was thinking like I have achieved something in my life. It was a moment of pleasure for me, I called my parents and told them my result, they were really happy for me.
I say cracking GSoC is worth it, the preparation you do, the contributions you do, the making of the proposal is really worth.
I got so many messages from my juniors, friends, and seniors, they congratulated me. After that when I uploaded my result of Facebook and LinkedIn, there were tons of comments and likes on the post. So yeah that’s my journey.
By the way, I am writing this post after really late, sorry for it. I must have done it earlier, but due to milestone 1 of GSoC, I was busy.3
there's a line by Eminem, "but how the fuck you supposed to grow up when you weren't raised?"
took a lil bit here and there from a ton of ppl. whoever said something i considered smart i'd grab it and verify it against the world every chance i could.
idk that'd i could consider many ppl a "mentor" in my life, not in the typical sense. i just observed good ppl and tried to do the same.
and i can't resist mentioning mentors and not bringing up "The Mentor". many thanks you old legend
i suppose if there's anything to mention on the real, if they ever came across here - "too much technology, too little time"1
Layoffs happen all the time. But when you survive it and come back the next day and see the empty cubicles occupied by very senior devs who were really close to you and mentored you.
Had to go through this twice, 2014 and 2016. Thankfully we still meet up at Hooters every Friday and rant, and that's our version of a 'weekly'
I got a dayjob in a company. I got an error. I cannot solve it and I am so desperate. So I go to stackoverflow, nobody answers. I post on git issue, but nobody solves the problem. So, I pay someone to solve it, like Hackhands.com to find a mentor. There is no mentor that can help. So I pay more, hired a peer, and finally a development team just to help me. They get paid only if they solved it.
But each of my folks repeat my same steps, asking on stackoverflows or github, and none of these help. So, they end up hiring their own friends and mentors. Their friends also end up paying (pay before problem solved) someone to help them.
their friends pay for friends of friends, then friends of friends of friends
And all of a sudden it becomes a giant MLM scheme.
And those people they paid for actually work for a company behind the scene which I am a founder of 😁
Multi billions startup idea, is it?4
Mentors, take note. This is a best practice over here.
I've spent two days digging through obscure documentation trying to accomplish one of those tasks that is simple in word and complex in deed. Namely, I wanted to concatenate (not delete) near-duplicate values in Pandas before rendering the data into a graph. Two days beating my head against the wall.
One of my mentors (I'm an intern) heard about the issue, wrote in the proper line (a very specifically and archaically formatted command), and pushed it to repo without even asking for thanks. Works like a charm and he saved my rear end. What a guy.
Please, mentors, don't leave your interns hanging on problems where the only solution is shrouded in dubious documentation and magic syntax. Especially when there's a deadline involved. Let them struggle on logic flow and writing good code.
Be like this guy. You'll build the importance of teamwork and your intern will think you're a wizard.2
Just got an amazing lecture by text from a university mentor of mine on some of the coolest shit to do with cat in linux, and why you can do things like open a shell with cat /bin/sh (or in my case, use it to stall a program and keep open a shell in a simple buffer overflow task).
God bless all you mentors out there who take the time to explain exactly how all this stuff works. It feels so good to have an idea on the mechanisms on "WHY" something works, not just that it does and that you should use it. As someone new, it makes all the difference.5
A free advice: Dont let people recognize you on devrant. Its too good to not let your coworkers/mentors know about it and you should realise you must have ranted about them already.9
Never had full time mentors, just some great examples from great people:
Some years ago, I was new on the job. They sent me to see a colleague for the "transfer of knowledge" as he was leaving and I had to take over his projects.
He greeted me with a big smile and said:
"Oh, look, I just spilled very accidentally a cup of coffee on my pc so I've lost all information. Only thing I remember is that you have a call with this project today at 14 o'clock. I'll be gone by then but don't worry, just say we are late with delivery and it will be fine. I hope you all the best with your new job!"
I'll always remember him. I learned the value of improvisation, the utility of a cup of coffee and how to take things easy.
I always dream of doing what I learned from him sooner or later.5
I am currently a high school student. I am currently working in an internship for a local company. Super nice mentors and owner.
Anyhow, I was working on turning sensors data into JSON files which would be later sent to a server through HTML GET requests. I struggled with this for several days. The server received the data but displayed them as 'null'. Mentor came in to help. He changed 'println' to 'print' in the code where the JSON data are compiled. Then the thing works.
Witchcraft, I tell thee.
PS. First post2
I've really struggled to make friends with people who code... and it's been absolutely frustrating. Does everyone in this industry have a god complex or something? Everyone I try to make friends with ends up being super narcissistic and self obsessed it's crazy. One of them wanted to be my mentor a while back, and we still talk occasionally, but after getting to know him I decided I didn't want to learn from him. It turns out he only mentors people to showboat his greatness and claim later that all their success is directly his doing. I decided I wasn't going to be one of those people and I only ever had 2 sessions from him. One of the best choices I've ever made. But I've found a lot of people who are programmers tend to be a lot like him. A lot of them I talk to will hit me up to brag about themselves or what they've done. But none ever ask what's been up with me or how my journey is doing? Is this just a normal thing in this industry or am I just meeting terrible people. It's made me appreciate my slightly dumber friends, cause at least they care about me and it shows.
More a rant than anything, but genuinely curious if anyone else has this issue... I'm starting my bootcamp soon and I'm hoping to make friends but I'm so concerned about this it's kind of giving me anxiety.14
Sorry but I'm really, really angry about this.
I'm an undergrad student in the United States at a small state college. My CS department is kinda small but most of the professors are very passionate about not only CS but education and being caring mentors. All except for one.
Dr. John (fake name, of course) did not study in the US. Most professors in my department didn't. But this man is a complete and utter a****le. His first semester teaching was my first semester at the school. I knew more about basic programming than he did. There were more than one occasion where I went "prof, I was taught that x was actually x because x. Is that wrong?" knowing that what I was posing was actually the right answer. Googled to verify first. He said that my old teachings were all wrong and that everything he said was the correct information. I called BS on that, waited until after class to be polite, and showed him that I was actually correct. Denied it.
His accent was also really problematic. I'm not one of those people who feel that a good teacher needs a native accent by any standard (literally only 1 prof in the whole department doesn't), but his English was *awful*. He couldn't lecture for his life and me, a straight A student in high school, was almost bored to sleep on more than one occasion. Several others actually did fall asleep. This... wasn't a good first impression.
It got worse. Much, much worse.
I got away with not having John for another semester before the bees were buzzing again. Operating systems was the second most poorly taught class I've ever been in. Dr John hadn't gotten any better. He'd gotten worse. In my first semester he was still receptive when you asked for help, was polite about explaining things, and was generally a decent guy. This didn't last. In operating systems, his replies to people asking for help became slightly more hostile. He wouldn't answer questions with much useful information and started saying "it's in chapter x of the textbook, go take a look". I mean, sure, I can read the textbook again and many of us did, but the textbook became a default answer to everything. Sometimes it wasn't worth asking. His homework assignments because more and more confusing, irrelavent to the course material, or just downright strange. We weren't allowed to use muxes. Only semaphores? It just didn't make much sense since we didn't need multiple threads in a critical zone at any time. Lastly for that class, the lectures were absolutely useless. I understood the material more if I didn't pay attention at all and taught myself what I needed to know. Usually the class was nothing more than doing other coursework, and I wasn't alone on this. It was the general consensus. I was so happy to be done with prof John.
Until AI was listed as taught by "staff", I rolled the dice, and it came up snake eyes.
AI was the worst course I've ever been in. Our first project was converting old python 2 code to 3 and replicating the solution the professor wanted. I, no matter how much debugging I did, could never get his answer. Thankfully, he had been lazy and just grabbed some code off stack overflow from an old commit, the output and test data from the repo, and said it was an assignment. Me, being the sneaky piece of garbage I am, knew that py2to3 was a thing, and used that for most of the conversion. Then the edits we needed to make came into play for the assignment, but it wasn't all that bad. Just some CSP and backtracking. Until I couldn't replicate the answer at all. I tried over and over and *over*, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and could find Nothing. Eventually I smartened up, found the source on github, and copy pasted the solution. And... it matched mine? Now I was seriously confused, so I ran the test data on the official solution code from github. Well what do you know? My solution is right.
So now what? Well I went on a scavenger hunt to determine why. Turns out it was a shift in the way streaming happens for some data structures in py2 vs py3, and he never tested the code. He refused to accept my answer, so I made a lovely document proving I was right using the repo. Got a 100. lol.
Lectures were just plain useless. He asked us to solve multivar calculus problems that no one had seen and of course no one did it. He wasted 2 months on MDP. I'd continue but I'm running out of characters.
And now for the kicker. He becomes an a**hole, telling my friends doing research that they are terrible programmers, will never get anywhere doing this, etc. People were *crying* and the guy kept hammering the nail deeper for code that was honestly very good because "his was better". He treats women like delicate objects and its disgusting. YOU MADE MY FRIEND CRY, GAVE HER A BOX OF TISSUES, AND THEN JUST CONTINUED.
Want to know why we have issues with women in CS? People like this a****le. Don't be prof John. Encourage, inspire, and don't suck. I hope he's fired for discrimination.12
In my first job I was trained by an old-school typographer who made the transition from lead to DTP.
Now, 20 years later, whenever I see bad kerning I hear his voice saying "You could drive a bus through that!".
Someday I hope to have my voice ringing through the ages 😁10
My friend has a saying that helps me keep focused and reality checked:
"Move Forward, Stay Flexible, Expect Resistance."
Say it to yourself often.
To all the devs out there fighting the fight, keep this in mind and push forward. One of the things I love about our industry is the wealth of information we share and the support we get from our mentors and each other.
Some of the jokes aren’t bad either.1
Bought a GoDaddy.com domain for the website for our startup as a joint decision by the CEO, marketing guy and me(the Dev), cuz it basically fulfilled our needs. Got some criticism from peers and mentors for not choosing AWS. Guess who's not shitting their pants now.4
Apparently my learning style is more rote memorization than learn-by-doing and I've been trying to learn by doing for years as a hobbyist.
It took a fucking *national quarantine* to get me to try something different and I'm blown away.
What would have taken me many months to learn I've all but grasped in detail in a matter of 20 hours of study over the course of a week.
I keep getting a uncaught reference exception.
The important thing to realize about learning is NEVER be obstinate about it. Try many things, and don't get stuck in one way of learning unless you know thats what works for you.
This is why having study partners and mentors are important.
I think experience/practice and rote learning work in tandem. Rote learning lets you skip the much longer step of grasping the fundamentals, bootstrapping the process of learning the abstractions that are composed of those fundamentals.
I'm still adding cards to my anki flash card deck, but if anyone wants it I'm willing to share. It's mostly just 1. practice questions, 2. detail questions (what are the types? What does this regex do?, etc), 3. implication questions (heres this bit of code. It's XYZ, why did it fail? Correct it.), combining core details to memorize, and the application of the facts learned.
It helped me to learn and I'm apparently retarded, so if you're new to programming and want to learn JS, it can probably help you too. Unless you're more of a tard than me lol.1
I want to say I would not have been the programmer I am now, if it hadn't been for all of my mentors in my past and current job who took a chance on me.
I am socially awkward, am nervous and stutter around new people, cannot sustain conversation, and as a consequence come out rather poorly in most kinds of interviews.
But there has been 3 mentors/leads in my life so far who saw through the nervous wreck I was in the few hours of the interview and took, what felt like to me, a gamble by hiring me. My current mentor even taught me everything I know on my job and has vastly shaped the programmer I am.
A humble thank you to all the amazing mentors out there, who inspire and enable the now green engineers, who will later be the mentors of the future generation!1
Don't think too big at first. You'll definitely get there if you play it smart. Babysteps, kiddo, start with the babysteps. We've all been there, we've all started with all the hello-worlds.
Never trust a sole source of information. Always have doubts and double-tripple check with other sources. Some tutorials are misguiding, others could be solving slightly different problems than they appear to at the first glance
listen to the seniors/mentors. Seek for mentorship. This field is too vast to absorb it on your own. Mentors will help you there.
Before diving into coding make sure you know what you want to build, how it'll work. "I'll make it move somehow" is the straightest path to disappointment. Think it through, ask mentors for help if you need
If you're building an elephant, start with his front left feet's toes. Don't start with the elephant.
Most importantly - have fun!
MENTORS - MY STORY (Part III)
The next mentor is my former boss in the previous company I worked.
3.- Manager DJ.
Soon after I joined the company, Manager E.A. left and it was crushing. The next in line joined as a temporal replacement; he was no good.
Like a year later, they hired Manager DJ, a bit older than EA, huge experience with international companies and a a very smart person.
His most valuable characteristic? His ability to listen. He would let you speak and explain everything and he would be there, listening and learning from you.
That humility was impressive for me, because this guy had a lot of experience, yes, but he understood that he was the new guy and he needed to learn what was the current scenario before he could twist anything. Impressive.
We bonded because I was technical lead of one of the dev teams, and he trusted me which I value a lot. He'd ask me my opinion from time to time regarding important decisions. Even if he wouldn't take my advice, he valued the opinion of the developers and that made me trust him a lot.
From him I learned that, no matter how much experience you have in one field, you can always learn from others and if you're new, the best you can do is sit silently and listen, waiting for your moment to step up when necessary, and that could take weeks or months.
The other thing I learned from him was courage.
See, we were a company A formed of the join of three other companies (a, b, c) and we were part of a major group of companies (P)
(a, b and c) used the enterprise system we developed, but internally the system was a bit chaotic, lots of bad practices and very unstable. But it was like that because those were the rules set by company P.
DJ talked to me
- DJ: Hey, what do you think we should do to fix all the problems we have?
- Me: Well, if it were up to me, we'd apply a complete refactoring of the system. Re-engineering the core and reconstruct all modules using a modular structure. It's A LOT of work, A LOT, but it'd be the way.
- DJ: ...
- DJ: What about the guidelines of P?
- Me: Those guidelines are obsolete, and we'd probably go against them. I know it's crazy but you asked me.
Some time later, we talked about it again, and again, and again until one day.
- DJ: Let's do it. Take these 4 developers with you, I rented other office away from here so nobody will bother you with anything else, this will be a semi-secret project. Present me a methodology plan, and a rough estimation. Let's work with weekly advances, and if in three months we have something good, we continue that road, tear everything apart and implement the solution you guys develop.
- Me: Really? That's impressive! What about P?
- DJ: I'll handle them.
The guy would battle to defend us and our work. And we were extremely motivated. We did revolutionize the development processes we had. We reconstructed the entire system and the results were excellent.
I left the company when we were in the last quarter of the development but I'm proud because they're still using our solution and even P took our approach.
Having the courage of going against everyone in order to do the right thing and to do things right was an impressive demonstration of self confidence, intelligence and balls.
DJ and I talk every now and then. I appreciate him a lot.
Thank you DJ for your lessons and your trust.
I learned how to program during my MSc at UC Santa Barbara in 1988. But the real thing happened during my first job as software engineer at Chorus Systems, in Paris, with the guidance of some of the world's best mentors, Russian engineers who taught me how to approach code design as if it was playing chess. These guys were brilliant!2
MENTORS - MY STORY (Part II)
The next mentor was my first boss at my previous job:
2.- Manager EA
So, I got new in the job, I had a previous experience in other company, but it was no good. I learned a lot about code, but almost nothing about the industry (project management, how to handle requirements, etc.) So in this new job all I knew was the code and the structure of the enterprise system they were using (which is why the hired me).
EA was BRILLIANT. This guy was the Manager at the IT department (Software Development, Technology and IT Support) and he was all over everything, not missing a beat on what was going on and the best part? He was not annoying, he knew how to handle teams, times, estimations, resources.
Did the team mess something up? He was the first in line taking the bullets.
Was the team being sieged by users? He was there attending them to avoid us being disturbed.
Did the team accomplished something good? He was behind, taking no credit and letting us be the stars.
If leadership was a sport this guy was Michael Jordan + Ronaldo Nazario, all in one.
He knew all the technical details of our systems, and our platforms (Server Architectures both software and hardware, network topology, languages being used, etc, etc). So I was SHOCKED when I learned he had no formation in IT or Computer Science. He was an economist, and walked his way up in the company, department from department until he got the job as IT Manager.
From that I learned that if you wanna do things right, all you need is the will of improving yourself and enough effort.
One of the first lessons he taught me: "Do your work in a way that you can go on holidays without anyone having to call you on the phone."
And for me those are words to live by. Up to that point I thought that if people needed to call me or needed me, I was important, and that lessons made me see I was completely wrong.
He also thought me this, which became my mantra ever since:
LEARN, TEACH AND DELEGATE.
Thank you master EA for your knowledge.
PART I: https://devrant.com/rants/1483428/...1
I took two years of CS then switched degrees. I've been working in technology since 2007 with those two years, a bunch of O'Reilly books, and some awesome mentors. I guess that is a dev bootcamp. We didn't have those in my day.
While I do have a degree, I don't recommend people to get one unless you are legally bound to get one; barber, hairdresser, doctor, lawyer.7
I turn 21 in a month, and I still have no idea what I want to pursue as a career after university or how to get there.
Sure its two years away but I feel behind already.
Also how does one go about getting an internship in the UK?
I've yet to speak to anyone from any dev industry and it's beginning to concern me.6
Focus on projects, not tests.
If you want people to be able to code, judge them by their ability to code.
Plus that way your graduates have a portfolio as opposed to a grade list that says nothing about their usefulness in the market.
If you must do tests, at least mimic real world conditions:
- Digital, no paper
- Internet allowed (have rules on copying SO if you must)
- BYOD, let people work in their customised environment
Mentors dont understand the power they have...
My mentors boss (non technical) will ask me to do something that either makes no sense or technically impossible. Without a mentor whos willing to say "that makes no sense to ask" or just "he will need an extra week to do it" can change an internship from a horrible nightmare to a great experience1
have a couple friends now who have gotten dev jobs at microsoft. I've since turned down their offers to apply and have them vouch for me twice now - not sure if their recommendations would mean anything to begin with at such a place.
this has gotten me a lot of criticism from peers and mentors who have chided me for "throwing away a golden ticket" on my resume.
at first I declined because I sure as fuck did not believe I had the skills to last very long there - and truth is I probably still don't.
but now I see it as a case of the cliche "corporate devil" that everything I believe in in terms of software freedom is squarely against.
I mean, I don't really think I have the chops to make it far with the open source and free software communities either, but if I had to pick a dream or a goal to move towards, that would be it. I don't want money or reputation. I just want to be free to tinker with the world as I please.
maybe I'll have the courage next hacktober... but until then, I'm just gonna focus on learning and self-improvement. no one can ridicule me for being a dumbass if I'm actually putting in the effort to learn and improve, right?
would welcome any advice for aspiring open source contributors, as I'm not really sure where to begin that wouldn't make me look like a total hack (pun not intended)5
I was chatting with someone the other day, and during the conversation, it sounded like they would benefit from pair programming with someone and talking about the benefits of pseudocode. I offered to work on it with them (for free/for fun).
Then they said that they are looking specifically for queer and non-traditional gender identities to collaborate with.
Well. I've always been a supporter of all of the things, but it seems ridiculous to choose your friends and mentors - based on what they've got in their pants - and which places they like to stick it - and how they identify.
Immaturity comes in all flavors.4
I know I'm getting old from small signs like:
- I like mentoring newcomers even fresh graduates, explaining them everything they have to know, answering all of their questions if I can (I had some really bad mentors before as newcomer)
- These newcomers always learns faster than I expect and shortly they works faster than us
- On the other hand senior members asks my opinion about some decisions or technical issues even if I barely know more about that topic. (Did I look experienced somewhat?)
- I hardly take overhours and I discourage fresh graduates to do. (I did enough overnights already in my life)1
Where do I start...
I have seen a QA load local code to a machine, run it and then say it was ready to deploy. Little did we know she wasn’t following the deployment process at all and didn’t even realize she had to. We were a week trying to figure out why the deploys wouldn’t work until she spoke up.
I knew a dev/founder that said to me “source control is only for large projects”, I tried to convince him and his cofounder to use github or bitbucket. Nope, they weren’t into it (fresh out of school listening to professors who hadn’t worked a development day in 20 years) One cofounder got disgruntled, thought he was doing most of the work and decided to quit, he also decided to wipe the code off his co-founders machine. I literally saw a grown man come out of a meeting crying knowing he would never gain back the respect of those mentors and advisors.
I once saw a developer create a printed ticket receipt for a web app. Instead of making a page and styling it to fit a smaller width, he decided to do everything in string literals. More precisely, he made one big long fucking strong literal and then broke it up using custom regex to add styling to different sections. We had a meeting and he was totally convinced this was the only way. In the end we scrapped the entire code and the dude didn’t last very long after that.
Worst of all! I once saw a developer find a IBM Model M keyboard and said “I’m gonna throw out this junky keyboard”. I told him to shut his stupid fucking mouth and give the the keyboard.
Shout out to the teachers and mentors that encourage kids to program and take part in hackathons and events.
I had many good teachers and mentors in the years but one was far most the best. He was a CS Math teacher and hat this flame 🔥 for math and teaching. It was literally affecting everyone in class. He took his time to get everyone on the same level. While some would do better then others all would succeed. What made him special were many little tricks. He would let us all sit together after every topic and test and discuss what each found easy or hard. Everyone would get his time and he would never tolerate offending behavior. After a year we were all grown together helping each other get through the exams. It was kind of magical.
I told him this and he was in fact really happy to hear that. When we meet nowadays we get some drinks and talk about hobbies and stuff.
What ever happened to the teachable moment? It seems to have been replaced by the insultable moment. I was fortunate enough to have mentors who didn’t immediately assume the worst of my intelligence when I asked a question. I’m going to try do the same.1
Well my greatest mentor has been bad experiences. Its always there, lurking in the corner to mentor me. And well i do take a lesson or two, now and then to keep me afloat.
As they say- what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.
Human mentors have been missing from my life. Superheroes don't exist :-/
I love this wk108 tag. Have a lot of stories related to it.
For me , my mentors are the reason i am what i am today. In this crazy selfish world where people only want to run faster than the others, having nice helping people around is great.
(1)class 6-10th, xx is a curious, but poor boy with no desktop/mobile , but still loves cs classes due to various ,caring teachers.
(2) class 11th end,programming for the first time that year, hates programming, one day when everybody goes out for lunch, xx tears down while talking to his cs teacher "why can't i score good marks when i was the best till 10th? Is programming so tough?" . I remember him giving me a little but greatest motivational lecture followed by 40 minutes of the most basic concepts in which i might had asked him a 1000 questions. "You are my chaempion", he used to say😂 (bad accent) . But god, if he hadn't motivated me that day, i swear i would have left all this and go for business. Thank-you, lokesh sir💗💗
First year : tried to go for a competitive learning course. Mann, am not cool in that stuff. Again was about to break (i was among the top scorers in school boards and had designed many small games back then. I should have been good here too, but nah... the other guys were like bullets .)
Oh my, my deepest bow to this amazing teacher SUMEET MALIK (oh sir, you were so good) .
How this guy taught? Well, he first explained the concept. Fo those who understood, he gave them question 'A', for those who didn't, he repated . For those who understood , can do question a again, and those eho did A already gets an even advance question B. And this cycle went on until the weakest student(usually me) understood the concept.
And no, it never happened even once that class finished with even a single child not doing all questions he gave.he used to teach very less concepts each class and would go to everybody's desk to check they understood the concept, the question, its working, weather we implemented or not and weather our implementation is correct or not +our doubts. Hell , i even took doubts with him for hours after the class and he always just smiled💗(oh sir, am so sorry for being so dumb)
Real Doubt classes, doubts on whatsApp, revision assignments , tests , competitions,... damn, i haven't seen a teacher with this much dedication. At one point of time, that institution was famous for our Sumeet sir's classes 😂
Then last year, i got another mentor . Harshit bhiya. The guy is awesome, and a little extra swaggy 😂. He got a lot of chill, with his big AAD badge, a bag full of stickers and his every day association with people at udacity and google. As always i tried to overwhelm him with my ton of doubts in class, but he use to just give me a few pointers/links, after which i was like quiet for the complete session😂. He gave me a lot to think/work upon and i got a kind of career to work on.
I also think of mentioning a fucked up depressing-bot assholic friend of mine, but he don't deserve to be in this list of my best people. Just fuck you mann with a blockchain of dicks, if you are reading this.1
If these aren't great mentors I don't know what is. They first took me into their company with no prior experience as an intern for six months working remotely a paying internship at that and they paid for my internet. Six months ends and they offer me a junior web developer position in the company, buy me a mac and and a second screen and still paying for my internet with an increased salary. And the team works like clock work all the time with everyone giving a hand to whoever is struggling with whatever not to mention they're very patient... I love this company FUCK!!!
I work as android dev for the past year and a half, this week in my startup I started doing some backend (it consists of microservices, codebase is written in python. were using rabbitmq for queuing and for http our framework is falcon).
At first I was very adamant to learn new stuff but now that Im getting deeeper into backend I started to really enjoy it!
Its still lots of new information but at the same time it feels soo refreshing to have two experienced mentors who can guide you, since Ive spent last year and half working on android completely by myself and relying only on myself. Also im very lucky that codebase is clean.
Two of my colleagues (one of them is my best friend since school)
Who lead me into quitting my shitty job I don't have fun or any passion for it and giving me a opportunity in their company to start over.
One of my best decisions in 31 years...
Its hard to learn so many new things, but I try my best and these two are great mentors.
Maybe they read this.... so, love you guys! :)
My two best friends has been the most influential mentors I've ever had. One is a compiler engineer at a major computing company and the other one is a security engineer at a major company in Japan.
Both have sat down and taken the time to not only teach me different aspects of the computing environment, but empowered me to learn more on my own. One project I was working on ended up tapping into both of their teachings. I took a moment to think back on when they were teaching me and felt so grateful to have such patient teachers.
The moral here is that not everyone knows what you do. What makes a good teacher is someone who takes the time to teach and empower the individual. It really goes a long way.
Surround yourself with good bosses, mentors and colleagues. And then talk to them, develop trust. When I feel like an imposter, thinking back of all the times my mentor told me that I'm good makes me feel better about myself and my skills.
Also, keep some sort of portfolio of your successes. And be sure to remind yourself that the portfolio would be empty of you weren't good at what you do.
I had two mentors that changed my life.
The first one I worked with him for 1 year and half. He made me a better programmer, and increased my knowledge in backend.
The second one I was only able to learn from him for about 3 months, but he expand my knowledge and I was able to learn new languages.
Now I am on my own, but would be happy to work for them again!
I have a problem. I can't do anything.
I can't really get started with the new path of software development. I have lots of stuff (like *tidying the room* or *exercise* or something good for my life) do but in the end all the things I have to do are tangled up. So learning usually gets in the pile of tangled up shit.
I try to use organisational tools. But my focus is zero.
Mental health issues don't help.
I think I would put at good use a few coding buddies, mentors, whatever... Self paced courses dont work for me. Bonus point of notgettingshitdone if online course.
I have low self esteem and I'm not trying to hide it.
I hate myself to the fucking core.7
Does anyone have solid advice on getting a mentor early-on in my coding journey?
Networking and events etc. Is already part of my plan.
Do y'all rock with mentors anymore?
I literally think I need one to get to the promised land. Ideally, someone with Startup experience and/or Software experience.1
My mentors are the instructors in my programming tutorials aka youtube
Brackey, Bucky, and so many others
All through my programming experience from basics this guys made me know what I know becoming a pro
App idea: Platform for ongoing entrepreneurs
I just come from a start-up weekend. I really enjoyed the support we got from 17 different mentors (most of them founded in the past on their own).
Back home start-up funders don't have the access to that mentoring. My idea is to create a platform specialized for founders, where you can share your idea, believes and ask question all around your business.
I think especially in the early founding stages entrepreneurs are full of questions. Helping and discussing with other selfminded people is probably very enjoyable for us founder folks. A difference to the f.e. reddit concept: Users can create "diaries", a place where all storys, questions and posts about your project are stored. Reading a diary from beginning to end shall be a fun experience, reviewing your or others history of their "babys" and following the entrepreneurs thoughts through all stages of founding. Users of course can create multiple diaries.
Functionality will be suited for the listed usecase, for example a "Post as Anonymous" function will be added, if you have to deal with company sensitive data and more stuff like that.
What do you think about the idea? Do you like it? Would you use it? If not, tell me why?
mh, how much space i have in a post?? :D
first place is for an app to match students and mentors of my free learning community, secons place to the book listing app i creare to learn redux when it came out haha
midi controller with web audio api and well, the my biggest skeleton in the cupboard: Migrate my organization website from jekyll to hugo! -> it will never happen, i know!