This article is made from my perspective and experience of making coffee talk sessions. Maybe not 100% valid but I hope this can enlarge your perspective about 1 on 1 sessions.
On the second week of July 2022, I made a free 1 on 1 session called “Ngupi”. It actually a slank word from “kopi” in Indonesian which means coffee. That time, I only created 3 slots for those who want to have an online coffee talk with me.
Some of you may be wondering what is “coffee talk” actually? Actually, regarding the term itself, it’s like you’re going to a cafe with someone and talking about a topic while you’re enjoying the coffee at that place. But due to covid pandemic and restrictions, I made it online through G-Meet.
By the way, thank you Dian Yehezkiel, Fathan, and Bryan who attended my first 1 on 1 session. Actually, your knowledge and daily skill as a frontend engineer surpass mine🤣. As I’ve stated on Twitter that I even need to learn from you guys 😁.
Based on my conversation with those three, here are two important points that I got through it.
In Indonesia, we are usually familiar with the term “nongkrong” which means hanging out with some friends. I’ve experienced how casual talk can even influence my life until now. That moment happened in early 2020 before covid restriction began when I was working on my bachelor thesis.
At that time, my friends and I got stuck with our thesis progress. I still remember almost every day I hang out with them just to go to a minimarket and buy some snacks. Then we just sit on the roadside in front of the campus. Some of them are smokers so they usually smoke while snacking, but non-smokers like me and some of my friends, generally just sit and snack together. Even we often did it with our lecturer regularly😂.
There was an interesting thing for me at that time. When we were stuck on our bachelor thesis project, we just share our progress and even ask for informal counseling sessions with our lecturer that usually join us in snacking. After around an hour and we back to the lab to work on our thesis, we got a new idea to solve the problem that exists in our thesis, and it works🤯.
I can tell you guys, that this casual counseling session with our lecture advisor is more useful than the formal one🤣. Why? Because when we’re in a casual talk, we become more authentic and just tell what we’ve faced and asked for help. It’s very different in a formal counseling session, we generally awkward.
Same as this casual 1 on 1 session. It’s not a mockup interview session. Just casual talk. We can talk about random things like career, study, or even technical things like front-end development. Sometimes, this coffee talk session will have brilliant ideas or insights through this spontaneous session.
This 1 on 1 session is not like mockup interview. Mockup interview’s purpose is to prepare the attendee on how to get ready for the interview session when finding a job. Usually if the attendee wants to prepare himself for a technical interview (for a programming-related job), the mockup interview session will contain live coding and technical questions. In other words, it has technical and specific purposes.
I actually want to help other people who want to work as a front-end engineer through the mockup interview session. But, I think I can’t for now because I still need to learn and my work experience is less than 2 years🤣. So this is why I create a casual 1 on 1 session where everyone who joins this can discuss everything (mostly technical).
Through Cal.com the attendee must explain what topic they want to be discussed, so we can make sure that it is not losing its essence. For example, the topic is sharing both of our experiences in frontend engineering to gain new insights. So during the session, we discuss our experience, what issues may be faced, and how to tackle them like a counseling session.
Note that this “counseling” is actually not only for the attendee, but it also works for me. I also can learn and find out something new from the attendee’s perspective and experience. In other words, this is like two ways counseling session. Both attendee and the event creator learn and discuss a topic together to gain new insights.
So yeah, this is my experience and story about casual 1 on 1 sessions. Don’t get me wrong, who knows if this small thing can change a person’s life through casual discussion? I think if the experienced developers in Indonesia also make this similar open session, we can contribute to generating the new excellent software engineers generation for this nation.
Hope this article gives you another perspective. Let me know if you have some feedback or similar experience, you can share it in the comment section below.