Becoming a Better Programmer: Mentors
2 min read
I'm always looking to make myself a better programmer. However, I'm not always sure how to actually do it. Yeah, practice is the number one method but what if you're not doing things as effectively as you should be?
Let's talk about mentors
For the first time ever, I had my code reviewed by a professional. Someone who doesn't know me and someone who's very honest about what they do. They're a Senior(even higher than senior) level engineer and I shot my shot and reached out to them.
They fired right back, "Sure, I can take a look" and they went above and beyond. The morning after they sent me a ~20-minute video about what I did well, what could have been done better, and general advice from a veteran in the field. I was so nervous when I got the reply including a link to the video that I almost didn't want to watch it, but I did.
I got a hot feeling in my chest, the kind of feeling where you feel like you're going to need a bucket. Obviously, this was self-inflicted and it's likely something that everyone faces a few times in their career, regardless of field/industry. If you get this feeling, take a few deep breaths and remember that you can only benefit from situations like this.
My code wasn't great and I didn't do everything that I should have done, however, I did A LOT better than I thought I was going to do. There weren't that many critiques and I actually learned a few things about basic HTML that I never knew... I also learned about structuring CSS and organizing it, which so far has helped me out with my personal projects.
1) Shoot your shot. If you want someone to review something you're working on, simply ask. If you don't hear back or respond, try again. Life is all about those who take that risk.
2) Always be looking for folks who are giving information away for FREE. They always are willing to help in some form.
I think that having someone look over your code or hiring a mentor is the smartest thing anyone could do when learning a skill, like programming. Give it a try, let me know how it goes.