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.


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

(Image used from this post:

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Format USB Drive to exFat on Mac OS

OS X has been slowly hiding things, limiting things and making things for professional harder to do. The Disk utility used to be significantly easier to use as an multi-platform disk preparation tool. I had all gave up on it recently when attempting to setup an ubuntu image (.iso) on a thumb drive to setup a new developer server. How-to.

Well it happened again when trying to transfer large files between Mac and Windows. I recently learned about exFat, the new FAT32 that supports massive files. With video, images and images getting large than the 3.7 GB limit of FAT32, its necessary to start preparing my new devices at purchase to have them capable of the large formats before its to late to change.

The option for the exFat format is there in the disk utility and I did format a drive with that. It worked just fine between to Macs (It did seem slow reading the file system but no test to prove that). I needed to get a large video file off of a windows machine so I plugged in my exFat drive in and it said it wasn’t formatted. After a few different attempts and was about to give up, I tried one more google search and came upon this very helpful tip. Using a simple command, it gives you a new option for the type of boot partition – Master Boot Record. Now you can format as exFat and windows will now love the drive and your mac still won’t care. With this solved, I will be formatting all my USB drives as exFat from now on.

The Disk Utility advanced options of El Capitan are hidden and you needed, first:
Quit Disk Utility.
Open the Terminal utility.
Run the following Command:
defaults write advanced-image-options 1
Relaunch Disk Utility
And now, just format your USB with MBR Partition (Master boot record) and exFAT file System.
The USB now can mount in OSX & Windows.

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I’ve worked many different developers from Senior to Junior and they all have one thing in common, they are looking for a mentor but also want to teach. Some may call it sharing ideas or showing off something cool but they want to describe the details of the code, their thought process on how they got there and why the end result is great but could get better.  I look at this and see teaching moments. 
I feel so many developers want to have a community that is open and sharing but many don’t feel ready or have the time. I’m hoping to challenge you all to start wanting to share. If you feel like you could write a post, feel free to message me and I’ll add it here. If it’s something small, tweet it and hashtag it #osrmentor and I’ll try and add them to a future post.
I’m also challenging myself here to take more time to share ideas, finish thoughts and open up channels to help teach, guide and come along side other developers to make projects go better, careers to advance and make life just a little easier on this journey we call development.

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