Advocate – the brother of mentoring.

Why do this?

Often when mentoring you are “advocating” to use a certain method than another but being an advocate for a certain technology or product is a much larger subject and I would even advocate … Sorry… That it’s the brother of mentoring.

I want to preface this entire topic that when you advocate something you shouldn’t be doing it to dog something else or to prove your point. There is already to many selfish and complaint filed developers that we don’t need another one that’s also influencing others. A much more thought through and eloquent post by a much more established developer can be found here.

Being an advocate takes a lot of energy and a passion for teaching and a heart for helping other succeed around you. Not often will you be recognized for the effort you put in, you might even be instructed by bosses to spend less time talking and more time coding (be mindful of this but also have an open conversation of what your role is).

I’ve found even putting in a small amount of time to really get someone to understand a “computer sciency” topic can be a game changer in their growth. It could be the first established root into the much deeper and stronger soil of career development.

How does this work?

  1. I’m glad you asked. If you think you know enough about a framework, library or learned something unique will writing some code, please share it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it still could help another developer who has been struggling for hours, complete their task and go home and see their kids that night or the spark that gets an entire new pattern to come about. So simply, its start by putting things you learned onto the web.
  2. You are already mentoring right? Good.

  3. Start doing lunch trainings, google hangouts, consistently tweet something useful and provide some kind of meet up with a physical location.

  4. Keep doing it!

What else?

  1. Keep learning, find yourself some advocates, mentors and resources that keep you extending, strengthening and clarifying your skills.
  2. You might be wrong. Its ok, you will learn.
  3. You will be tested by others on why, given crazy situations that might not be solvable with your current method. Keep in mind that those scenarios are just another learning experience or a teachable moment.

Summary

Being an advocate can take some amount of time but really is fulfilling and can change someone’s life.


(Image used from this post: http://lifehacker.com/this-chart-shows-how-computer-literate-most-people-are-1789761598)

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