Question for Self-Taught Developers...

github logo ・1 min read

I'm curious...for those of you who self-taught yourself to code, how much did a mentor play a factor in your journey?

A lot?
A little?
None at all?

As I've been going over my JavaScript studies and struggling with certain things, I couldn't help but to wonder if most other self-taught developers go at this whole thing solo as well? Or if most find a mentor at some point to help guide them?

While I'm fully confident in my abilities to become a full stack developer on my own, there are definitely times when I think an experienced developer who has done all this before would be super helpful in the coding journey.

What do you think, my fellow self-taught programmers? Is having a mentor unrealistic these days?

twitter logo DISCUSS (8)
markdown guide

I decided to self-teach myself how to code 6 years ago and I struggled. I really f*****g struggled. Things that are second nature/easy now, took me hours/days/weeks to understand.

For around 6 months I tried this on my own, and I just felt helpless. Every time I thought I'd understood a concept, I'd then realise I didn't have the faintest idea a couple of hours later.

I then had real devs around me; people I could ask very specific questions and get answers tailored to me.

Then I got it. I learnt programming concepts. I started to be confident. Then I learnt how to learn, how to look things up when I didn't know them.

Perhaps you don't need a mentor, but you definitely need someone/people that you can reach out to in times of need.

Feel free to reach out if you need help. I've built a website for specifically this, and I'm now trying to grow the community around it so people can support each other.

I'm not going to link to it or say the name of it here, at the risk of this whole comment appearing disingenuous. But feel free to reach out if you'd the link.


Thank you Si! I'd love to check out your site. I feel like I'm currently where you were during your first 6 months. Learning on your own definitely isn't easy, but I see people do it all the time....which also makes me feel like "What the hell is wrong with me??"


Of course - The site is CodeTips.

If you ever need to reach out to use you can find all of our social media on our Contact Us Page. There is also a link to our Slack group on there - so if you ever need a bit of advice/help, feel free to join there.

I'm usually around on that Slack group and Twitter, so if you need some "one to one" help - just reach out directly to me and we'll get you on the right track.

Lastly, and most importantly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Everybody learns at different paces but, if you stick with it, you will get to the same end goal - being a developer :-)

Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement. I'm definitely not giving up, and will keep at it even when I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall....I'm determined to get this stuff down!

Thanks again for the site info! I'll be checking it out and likely reaching out as well.


Never give up

You can do this.

Every single one of us has been where you are now; thinking that we just aren't cut out for this job. We've all felt like quitting.

Persevere and you will make it.

One more time:

Never give up

You can do this.


I personally didn't have a mentor, but something that really helped me a lot in the beginning was when I got assigned to small projects.

That usually meant that we were a small team of 2-4 developers and we learned a lot from each other. Regardless of previous experience everyone learned something from each other.

Also, being a small team kind of "forces" you to tackle harder challenges and more advanced concepts together, since it's up to your team to deliver according to the given specifications πŸ‘.


Thanks David, that's a good point as well. Even if a "mentor" is available to you, working with other developers or having a "programming buddy" can make a huge difference I imagine.


I think the most important thing in having a mentor is having a connection. You can get any mentor you can and want but if you two don't have a connection, it would be meaningless.

Classic DEV Post from Aug 23 '19

Favorite Front-end/UI developer interview questions?

Help me compile your favorite interview questions.

amberchisholm profile image
New developer, Self-Teaching myself Javascript & Web Dev