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.
Mentoring - What, Why, and How
PyCon India 2017, New Delhi
November 2, 2017
The Oath of the Mentor
Who am I?
Founder of Hamon Technologies, Pipal Academy, and The
Involved with the rst PyCon India in 2009
My own journey
2001 to 2009 - Regular job in the industry
2010 - Started freelancing
Started formal corporate training in 2010
Started student mentoring in 2014
This talk is about the training/mentoring parts of my life
It's broken into three parts
What? - To dene our terms
Why? - To justify the eort
How? - Operational details
A mentor is an "experienced and trusted advisor"
Mentoring is a long term advisorial relationship between a
mentor and a mentee
Transmission of knowledge
More importantly, transmission of accumulated wisdom
Is it teaching?
Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee.
R. W. Emerson
Send the lift back down when you reach the top
Remember that someone sent it back to you
Don't imagine that you didn't have any mentors or help to get where you are
Keep the profession alive
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its
pupils. Louis Hector Berlioz
Keep the profession alive and progressing
No one wants new engineers to start from square one every time
Mentor : Someone whose hindsight can become your
Helps to cultivate good talent for your organisation
A place where you can take in the average people with high potential
And grow them into assets
Rather than waste time hunting for ninjas and rockstars
Compensates for the failure of the technical education system
A good x for the hiring problem and culture t
Useful to the mentor as well
To teach is to learn twice over. Joseph Joubert
You have to know something really well to teach it
Allows you to revisit and rene all your assumptions
Makes you better at your craft.
Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add
what is specically your own. Bruce Lee
Mentoring is intensely personal
There is no "one size ts all" approach
These thoughts are unstructured and my own opinions
The Socratic Method
The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
Mark van Doren
Questions reveal assumptions and gaps in understanding
Be bridges over these gaps and encourage students to cross you
Then collapse and encourage them to build bridges of their own
Don't just tell them what's on the other side
Repetitio Est Mater Studiorum
Long term consistency trumps short term intensity
Bogging early students with details can hurt momentum
Help them develop the mindset to keep improving themselves
Specic details can come later
Learning after all is cyclical and comes only by repeating and rening what you know
Success consists of going from failure to failure without
loss of enthusiasm. W. Churchill
The fear of failure (and being seen as "stupid") is a huge obstacle
Actively encourage people to fail repeatedly so that they lose this fear
Impress upon people that without failure, there is no progress at all
Make examinations diagnostic tools rather than instruments of judgement
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
Simple exercises and tasks have their place but you should continuously push harder
People have a lot of potential. Don't be the crutch that prevents them from realising it
The secret in education lies in respecting the student.
Students have dierent potentials and skills
And also dierent obstacles to overcome and enemies to conquer
Your job is to realise this and guide them on their journey
Don't be a bully
Remember how hard it was
The expert at anything was once a beginner. Helen
We forget how hard it was
Some things we take for granted are hard for beginners
Try teaching yourself to write with your non dominant hand
Criticism and Feedback
Criticism is a necessary evil. Don't make it more evil
than necessary. Me
Criticism and course correction are vital
If done wrong, they can destroy a person
Don't berate or publicly insult a person
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
Many teachers feel hurt or inadequate when their students exceed them
They react negatively and this hurts the relationship
Don't. There's no greater sign of success than a student who has exceeded your own skill
That's progress for the whole community and it would not have happened without you
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."
It's a heady feeling when you have a small army of people who look up to you
Get rid of that feeling
For every person who wants to teach, there are
approximately thirty people who don't want to learn
much. W.C. Sellar
Don't be so full of yourself that you refuse to listen and learn
Don't let your own ego come in the way of receiving guidance
Don't enjoy your apparent status and think that being a student somehow makes you
The Oath of the Mentor
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
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