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Mentoring : What, Why, and How? (PyCon India 2017 Keynote)

Noufal Ibrahim
November 04, 2017

Mentoring : What, Why, and How? (PyCon India 2017 Keynote)

My presentation for the keynote at PyCon India 2017. The actual slides were done by hand using a pen and inks and scanned. This is the beamer version which I created for upload and as a reference.

Noufal Ibrahim

November 04, 2017

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  1. Mentoring - What, Why, and How PyCon India 2017, New

    Delhi Noufal Ibrahim November 2, 2017
  2. Who am I? ˆ I'm Noufal ˆ Founder of Hamon

    Technologies, Pipal Academy, and The Lycæum ˆ Involved with the rst PyCon India in 2009 http://baijum.blogspot.in/2009/09/few-moments-from-pycon-india-2009.html 2
  3. My own journey ˆ 2001 to 2009 - Regular job

    in the industry ˆ 2010 - Started freelancing ˆ Started formal corporate training in 2010 ˆ Started student mentoring in 2014 3
  4. Mentoring ˆ This talk is about the training/mentoring parts of

    my life ˆ It's broken into three parts ˆ What? - To dene our terms ˆ Why? - To justify the eort ˆ How? - Operational details 4
  5. A Mentor ˆ A mentor is an "experienced and trusted

    advisor" ˆ Mentoring is a long term advisorial relationship between a mentor and a mentee ˆ Transmission of knowledge ˆ More importantly, transmission of accumulated wisdom 5
  6. Moral responsibility Be an opener of doors for such as

    come after thee.  R. W. Emerson ˆ Send the lift back down when you reach the top ˆ Remember that someone sent it back to you ˆ Don't imagine that you didn't have any mentors or help to get where you are 7
  7. Keep the profession alive Time is a great teacher, but

    unfortunately it kills all its pupils.  Louis Hector Berlioz ˆ Keep the profession alive and progressing ˆ No one wants new engineers to start from square one every time 8
  8. Hiring Mentor : Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight.

     Anonymous ˆ Helps to cultivate good talent for your organisation ˆ A place where you can take in the average people with high potential ˆ And grow them into assets ˆ Rather than waste time hunting for ninjas and rockstars ˆ Compensates for the failure of the technical education system ˆ A good x for the hiring problem and culture t 9
  9. Useful to the mentor as well To teach is to

    learn twice over.  Joseph Joubert ˆ You have to know something really well to teach it ˆ Allows you to revisit and rene all your assumptions ˆ Makes you better at your craft. 10
  10. Caveats Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and

    add what is specically your own.  Bruce Lee ˆ Mentoring is intensely personal ˆ There is no "one size ts all" approach ˆ These thoughts are unstructured and my own opinions 11
  11. The Socratic Method The art of teaching is the art

    of assisting discovery.  Mark van Doren ˆ Questions reveal assumptions and gaps in understanding ˆ Be bridges over these gaps and encourage students to cross you ˆ Then collapse and encourage them to build bridges of their own ˆ Don't just tell them what's on the other side 12
  12. Repetitio Est Mater Studiorum Long term consistency trumps short term

    intensity  Bruce Lee ˆ Bogging early students with details can hurt momentum ˆ Help them develop the mindset to keep improving themselves ˆ Specic details can come later ˆ Learning after all is cyclical and comes only by repeating and rening what you know 13
  13. Nurture Resilience Success consists of going from failure to failure

    without loss of enthusiasm.  W. Churchill ˆ The fear of failure (and being seen as "stupid") is a huge obstacle ˆ Actively encourage people to fail repeatedly so that they lose this fear ˆ Impress upon people that without failure, there is no progress at all ˆ Make examinations diagnostic tools rather than instruments of judgement 14
  14. Kindle Ambition It takes discipline to focus only on high-value

    targets instead of giving in to the temptation of the low-hanging fruit life serves up daily  Mark Divine ˆ Simple exercises and tasks have their place but you should continuously push harder ˆ People have a lot of potential. Don't be the crutch that prevents them from realising it 15
  15. Respect Students The secret in education lies in respecting the

    student.  R.W. Emerson ˆ Students have dierent potentials and skills ˆ And also dierent obstacles to overcome and enemies to conquer ˆ Your job is to realise this and guide them on their journey ˆ Don't be a bully 16
  16. Remember how hard it was The expert at anything was

    once a beginner.  Helen Hayes ˆ We forget how hard it was ˆ Some things we take for granted are hard for beginners ˆ Try teaching yourself to write with your non dominant hand 17
  17. Criticism and Feedback Criticism is a necessary evil. Don't make

    it more evil than necessary.  Me ˆ Criticism and course correction are vital ˆ If done wrong, they can destroy a person ˆ Don't berate or publicly insult a person 18
  18. Don't Let Your Ego Come In The Way The teachers

    who get "burned out" are not the ones who are constantly learning, which can be exhilarating, but those who feel they must stay in control and ahead of the students at all times  Frank Smith ˆ Many teachers feel hurt or inadequate when their students exceed them ˆ They react negatively and this hurts the relationship ˆ Don't. There's no greater sign of success than a student who has exceeded your own skill ˆ That's progress for the whole community and it would not have happened without you 19
  19. Don't Be A Drug And Make Your Mentee A User

    The greatest sign of a teacher... is to be able to say "The children are now working as if I did not exist."  Maria Montessori ˆ It's a heady feeling when you have a small army of people who look up to you ˆ Get rid of that feeling 20
  20. Be mentorable For every person who wants to teach, there

    are approximately thirty people who don't want to learn much.  W.C. Sellar ˆ Don't be so full of yourself that you refuse to listen and learn ˆ Don't let your own ego come in the way of receiving guidance ˆ Don't enjoy your apparent status and think that being a student somehow makes you worse 21
  21. The Oath of the Mentor The crowd at the registration

    desk gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until the end of the sprints. I shall speak no jargon, feign no surprise, well no actuallys, and avoid all subtle isms. I will remember what it was like to be a beginner. I shall wear no crowns and seek no glory in geeking out with all my conference mates, and instead will drop anything at a moment's notice to help any beginner with sympathy, patience and a smile. I am the mentor in the darkness. I am the friendly coach in the halls. I am the dunderinit for new happy programmers. I pledge my life and honor to the Beginners Watch, for this day, and all the scheduled conference days to come.  Harry Percival (@hjwp ) & Nicholas Tollervey (@ntoll ) With apologies to George R. R. Martin 22