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Do you think remote mentoring could work?

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I am considering creating an online mentoring program for everybody who would like to start to code or improve coding skills, especially in the UI field.

I would like to know do you know of such sites or programs already. What do you think of the idea?

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I'd say that it would definitely work. As a matter of fact, once I had a mentor, whose mentor was located in a different continent.

One of the most important elements of mentoring, is to actually "match" with the mentor. From my point of view, a mentorship relationship works when both persons match, there needs to be some kind of "chemistry" so that the whole thing works. (Note: I don't mean like romantic matching obviously!)

So, under this perspective, the initial encounters could be focused on figuring out if both persons match, how the whole thing will be set up, how often to meet, goals, and so on.

Then the rest might come easier :)

 

This is something that I have been looking for. I have been a solo dev for years, and my only mentor is Google, it would be great to have a place to go for some mentoring, also as a now would consider my self a mid level programmer I would in interested in doing some mentoring my self.

 

I have mentored in this way before. I mentored on Codementor (codementor.io) for a bit. The technology to share code and discuss was ok. Easily good enough to express ideas and help a mentee.

The difficult bit wasn't really the mentoring. It was the finding and connecting with mentees.

There is a tendancy with such sites for a race to the bottom. A lot of people just want you to do some job on the cheap or to help them with their homework. Having said that, I have kept in touch with a few of my mentees.

I did a similar thing for a charity where I had a remote conversation every week with someone hoping to become a junior developer. I found that rewarding and again the learning process worked well enough with video conferencing, code sharing and github.

This was before Live Share in VS Code. The options for live code share were limited. Live Share would have made the process easier and I've used that in remote pairing situations. Works well.

 

the right answer is 42

now a more helpful question for you:

what is the easiest way for you personally to get started?
is it locally, online or a mix of both?

once you have your intuition, follow it and see what happens

 

I'd say so... My current job is my first dev job and my team is remote, so I've learned almost entirely under the mentorship of remote devs.

I feel like we have a good ecosystem for learning. There's usually about 7-8 of us at any given time, so it's a good group size -- not so small that everyone is too busy to help, but not so large that people get lost. Part of reporting to work is being online on our internal chatroom service, so everyone is always just a quick message away. We also have a daily hour long developer teleconference for working through issues together, so it's possible to learn from each other's problems. So... Some things to consider if you opt for a small groups type structure.

 

Yes, definitely would work. I've seen online chat communities around the same concept. Forgot their names, but I've seen them linked in programming subreddits. One site I do remember is codingcoach.io.

Personally, I like in-person mentoring but the reach is far lower than remote. So it really comes down to your goal and what you want to achieve. If it were me, I'd try to find other existing communities out there first and see if I can help those instead.

 

Yep, absolutely, if well executed.

I have a mentor and we meet each other only once or twice per month. The rest of the time we just exchange messages and emails, rarely video calls, but it makes wonders to me anyhow.

 

I think this is a very good initiative.. I, being very new to development, will most definitely like to have someone I could always consult on a certain level of personal ground to seek for guidance and in dire cases, solutions

 
 

Absolutely. I've been doing some for several weeks now, and despite of my student having a full-time job (and working more than 40hrs a week), they manage to learn functional programming and Elm, making a decent progress.

 

@starbist I think it could work. Not sure if your read this excellent post as he mentions that mentoring is usually not something formal that happens on on specific intervals (i.e. 2 times a week) and I tend to think this is true.

While realtime communication when mentoring is nice (chat or voice or video call) it might not always be possible and I believe it can still work. You can email your mentor a conceptual or structure problem or any problem in his/her field of expertise and get a great guidance/resources asynchronously !!

 

@giorgosk thanks for the link, it is beneficial.
And this is exactly what I mean. Real-time communication is what I would base my program on. But still collecting ideas on how to do that.

 

After getting all these positive responses, I decided to start a brand new UI Development Mentoring program.

silvestar.codes/articles/the-ui-de...

 

Merit does something like this. Their site is get-merit.com/ I have done one call with them, and it was helpful. But I feel like their format needs some work to create better user engagement.

That being said, this concept totally works. I started a mentoring group with a couple friends, where we basically coach each other through different goals we have, and the project is entirely remote.

Do it! I'd join.

 

Thanks for sharing, Joshua.

I just published an article about a brand new UI Development Mentoring Program here:
silvestar.codes/articles/the-ui-de.... Feel free to join.

 

Yes. Working in a fully remote company, our developers pair program and mentor each other all the time (remotely).

Today's tools are good enough to be able to do this pretty seamlessly :)

 

Absolutely, I have little doubt. Even with just text chat it would work, even more so if you add video chat to the mix (not even necessarily all of the time, just occasionally).

 

Yes. That alone is by and large why Junior Devs choose and swear by coding bootcamps.

 

Absolutely!

I have a mentor and we never met. we just exchange messages and emails. So far so good.. everything is working perfectly!

 

Yes actually even on this site there are a lot of people looking for mentor.. ;)

 

Could work, but when you have people who are at different levels of experience coming together to teach and learn its a dinner bell signal for people who have less than good intentions.

 
 

I think they mean to say that because of the experience/ knowledge gap between the mentor and the mentored, people (the mentors) end up feeling inclined to take a fee for 'service delivered.' So generally, it changes from being a mentor-mentored relationship to a more business-type teacher-student thing...

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