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Discussion on: Senior developers: Can you recommend your path?

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Brian Rinaldi • Edited on

You can only share what you know and the experiences you have had. Just because you are and have been obsessive about learning technologies, doesn't mean you can't be a good mentor. Actually, the fact that you are imperfect helps make you a perfect mentor. Being a mentor means sharing your experience and knowledge but there is no obligation on the mentee to follow your path directly.

There are many ways to succeed in this industry - one of them is by obsessively learning and working as you and the others you mention do. You clearly recognize the trade offs this approach requires - so that is additional knowledge that you can share. There are other paths to success and you may be able to point to them even if you don't model them. Either way, it is up to the mentee to take what you share and create their own path - perhaps they are as obsessive about programming as you are or perhaps they aren't and succeed in other ways or perhaps they are fine not climbing the corporate ladder and see programming as just what pays the bills...who knows? It's their path and they are free to choose it.

The point is: share what you know as your experience. You are not telling them what they should do, just sharing what you have done and your reflections on that experience. Then step back and let them make their choices.