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Learning through Mentoring

Learning through Mentoring

A talk about mentoring, Sean Connery, movies, and what you can learn from your mentees.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y9DPdDOGxc


Ricardo J. Méndez

April 26, 2017


  1. Learning Through Mentoring Ricardo J. Méndez ricardo@numergent.com @ArgesRic

  2. @ArgesRic Show of hands • Who here has a mentor?

    • Who here is currently mentoring or has mentored someone?
  3. @ArgesRic About me • Software engineer, started Numergent. • Doing

    software professionally for 20+ years, from writing low-level code to running distributed teams to starting companies. • Have had the opportunity to mentor people in different areas. • Currently taking over technical leadership at XapiX.
  4. @ArgesRic What’s in it for you?

  5. @ArgesRic There’s a lot you can learn while mentoring someone.

  6. @ArgesRic But first, let's talk about movies

  7. @ArgesRic Giant movie nerd warning.

  8. @ArgesRic … so of course, I looked at movies for

  9. @ArgesRic Most movie mentors suck.

  10. @ArgesRic Show of hands again…

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  16. @ArgesRic Why movies?

  17. @ArgesRic Media informs identity.

  18. @ArgesRic Willingness

  19. @ArgesRic Movie mentors just “show up”.

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  22. @ArgesRic “When the Pupil is ready, the Master will appear”

  23. @ArgesRic It implies you should be on the lookout for

  24. @ArgesRic When the Mentor is ready, the Mentees will appear.

  25. @ArgesRic Confidence

  26. @ArgesRic Are you ready for mentoring people?

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  28. @ArgesRic Imposter syndrome will bite down hard.

  29. @ArgesRic Advise feels easier.

  30. @ArgesRic Agreeing to be a mentor is agreeing to being

  31. @ArgesRic They are asking you for a reason.

  32. @ArgesRic Get comfortable with not knowing.

  33. @ArgesRic It’s not about you. You are not here to

    call the shots.
  34. @ArgesRic Ask questions. Your job is not to provide answers.

  35. @ArgesRic Benefit! It’ll get you comfortable with uncertainty.

  36. @ArgesRic Deceiving yourself into confidence is not the same as

    having a clue.
  37. @ArgesRic … and speaking of answers

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  39. @ArgesRic I’d actually say Obi-Wan is a teacher.

  40. @ArgesRic A teacher is there to impart knowledge.

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  42. @ArgesRic Chances are they know more about their area than

    you do.
  43. @ArgesRic A mentor is there to provide guidance.

  44. @ArgesRic Ask questions instead of providing answers.

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  47. @ArgesRic “Do you believe that my being stronger or faster

    has anything to do with my muscles in this place?”
  48. @ArgesRic “Do you think that's air you're breathing now?”

  49. @ArgesRic Help your mentees figure out which questions they aren’t

    asking themselves.
  50. @ArgesRic Ask open questions. It’s about stimulating the thought process.

  51. @ArgesRic Benefit! You’ll stop yourself from jumping to a solution.

  52. @ArgesRic Be approachable

  53. @ArgesRic You have to be approachable. You have to volunteer.

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  55. @ArgesRic Fletcher is brilliant. Fletcher is a famed conductor. Fletcher

    knows his stuff.
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  59. @ArgesRic Be more like Lester.

  60. @ArgesRic Speaking of portrayals…

  61. @ArgesRic Did anyone spot the common factor?

  62. @ArgesRic Literal graybeards.

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  66. @ArgesRic Don’t make that mistake.

  67. @ArgesRic If you see a call for mentors, volunteer. If

    someone asks, say yes.
  68. @ArgesRic Why bother?

  69. @ArgesRic There’s a lot you can learn while mentoring.

  70. @ArgesRic It helps articulate your ideas.

  71. @ArgesRic We build bubbles around ourselves.

  72. @ArgesRic Feed off of other people’s learning.

  73. @ArgesRic Delegated personal growth.

  74. @ArgesRic Improvement requires exertion.

  75. @ArgesRic We’ve all been helped in the past.

  76. @ArgesRic Be open. Be willing. Be approachable. You’ll be better

    off for it.
  77. @ArgesRic … and by the way …

  78. @ArgesRic Be brave enough to ask someone to mentor you.

  79. @ArgesRic Thank you! Ricardo J. Méndez ricardo@numergent.com @ArgesRic https://numergent.com/talks/

  80. @ArgesRic Questions?