Do You Have a Mentor?

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719107

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Do You Have a Mentor?

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 996449

    Great article.  Just don't settle on a single mentor because no one person knows it all.  Have many and include yourself in that.  It's amazing what you can string together with ideas, techniques, and the raw knowledge from many people.  Rather than a single "mentor", you need an "exercise coach" that encourages you seek knowledge out, branch out, and continue to practice, practice, practice.  Sometimes (actually, more frequently than not) , that coach has to be YOU!

    Most importantly, make the time to do so.  If you think your IT job is a 9-5 only job or that you think you shouldn't invest in training unless your company pays for it and you only have to do it on company time, you are so very wrong.  Invest in yourself and then people will invest in you... it's usually not the other way around. 😀

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Forum FAQ

  • Doctor Who 2

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7847

    I'm ambivalent about mentoring. When I was starting my career I read that getting a mentor was a good idea, so I tried doing that, by going to different people who had been at it for 10 years or so. No one would help me. No one wanted to mentor me. No one cared.

    Now I've been at this for a couple decades. I've tried mentoring people who are just starting their careers. Everyone one of them resents it. Every one of them pushes me away.

    So, I've given up.

    Rod

  • call.copse

    SSCoach

    Points: 17152

    Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    I'm ambivalent about mentoring. When I was starting my career I read that getting a mentor was a good idea, so I tried doing that, by going to different people who had been at it for 10 years or so. No one would help me. No one wanted to mentor me. No one cared.

    Now I've been at this for a couple decades. I've tried mentoring people who are just starting their careers. Everyone one of them resents it. Every one of them pushes me away.

    So, I've given up.

     

    Wow, that's pretty sad. To be fair most of my mentoring has come in the course of help with specific issues or projects or ways of doing things rather than a specifically designated mentor relationship. Still, that doesn't sound great.

  • Doctor Who 2

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7847

    call.copse wrote:

    Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    I'm ambivalent about mentoring. When I was starting my career I read that getting a mentor was a good idea, so I tried doing that, by going to different people who had been at it for 10 years or so. No one would help me. No one wanted to mentor me. No one cared.

    Now I've been at this for a couple decades. I've tried mentoring people who are just starting their careers. Everyone one of them resents it. Every one of them pushes me away.

    So, I've given up.

    Wow, that's pretty sad. To be fair most of my mentoring has come in the course of help with specific issues or projects or ways of doing things rather than a specifically designated mentor relationship. Still, that doesn't sound great.

    If we broaden the definition of mentoring to include posting a question somewhere, like here or Stack Overflow, then yes I've posted questions in both places and received an answer. I was thinking of a narrower definition of mentoring, where at the beginning of my career I tried asking for help from those who'd been at it at least 10 years, but they weren't interested. Also when I've sought to help others starting they're not interested in my input. I really wish that it had worked, especially at the beginning of my career when it would have helped so much in improving career development and management. My whole career has been guided only by, initially, applying to want ads in the newspaper or more recently on line. That's not career planning, that's just stumbling along.

    Rod

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 996449

    I think too many people think that a mentor should be a full time personal instructor.  That's not how it is and that's why a lot of people don't want to be a mentor to anyone.

    When I first started out in SQL, I had a "mentor" for about a week.  He and I went out to buy a couple of books on the subject together.  He highlighted things in the table of contents in each book and said "read those things and make sure you do all of the exercises twice".  He was available for the occasional question but that was pretty much it.  That was before the internet became what it is today.

    Today, if you blame your failures on not having a mentor, you have no one to blame but yourself and apparent lack of skills in the use of search engines and not investing time in yourself by studying.  Studying also means search for the wrong way to do things and then seeing if you can fix them for functionality, performance, readability, maintainability, etc.  Be your own mentor.  There was little excuse 23 years ago because there were books available.  Thanks to the internet, there are no excuses left.

    Like some little ancient green alien said on a swamp planet in a movie, "Do or Do Not... there is no try" and, yeah... in the end, it's 100% on you. Be your own mentor.  😀

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Forum FAQ

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719107

    I liken mentorship to having adult children. It's more advising at times, in specific places, and not guiding or telling them often, but just helping them when asked, or just listening.

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