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James Perkins
James Perkins

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How freelancing on Codementor made me a better developer

I spent almost all of my career doing one of two things, working for a large corporation or working on my skill set at home. Late last year I decided that I wanted to guide other students or developers.

At first I thought about creating a web series and uploading it to YouTube or udemy but decided against it because there was no guarantee that I would have enough spare time to edit and develop etc.

Along came Codementor, a place where I could teach students or freelance with minimal startup and maximum impact. I started with simple freelance jobs ( add a map to WordPress, why doesn't my Java application do what I want) before jumping into the teaching. I made myself available from 5.30pm - 9pm EST everyday for any work involving my skill set. The requests came pouring in, one after the other, so I put my headset on and went to work.

At first I was getting the nice softball questions like ' I have this user input console app for Java but the loops don't seem to work', I pulled up their screen sharing and saw a simple solution. I explain in details and off they went happy.

Then the harder questions came in, like explaining the how a Red–black tree worked and how to implement one with a simple enough example that a college student who has spent the last 15 hours looking at the same problem with zero understanding. Although I understood how a RB Tree worked I had to work hard to explain it in the simplest of forms which brought a better understanding of how this algorithm worked.

I have been working part time at Codementor for 6 months and now have a better understanding of developer to non developer translation, a new perspective on code I had been writing for years professionally. This 6 month journey as certainly made me a better developer.

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