Since a couple of months, I have an idea that I cannot implement because of other priorities. It’s about a project regarding mentoring in the IT. I understand mentoring as finding someone in your profession who is willing to share his knowledge, experience, time and resources to help develop yourself in that common profession. I had the luck to have several mentors since I went to the university. In this article, I want to share my idea in the hope that someone will have the time to implement it.
One of the most annoying problems of Mentoring is the difficulty of finding a Mentor. If you are lucky, a coworker offers himself to be your Mentor or you stumble across a suitable person in one of the many corporate Mentoring programs. But mostly, it will be very difficult to find your Mentor. Finding people with specific background, vita, knowledge and resources has long ago been solved by several networking platforms in the internet. So my idea is basically a network page to find mentors in the IT industry.
This platform would have the following goals:
- Pupils and students get orientation and help in choosing their profession, their first employer and their technological specialization.
- Young developers gain knowledge from more advanced developers.
- Enhancement of the Software Craftsmenship movement through professionalization.
Here are some ideas about the implementation of this platform as a website:
- Every mentor has a public profile.
- There is a map in which you can research mentors living near you.
- A search function lets you search mentors and mentees in your area, in your technology stack and with your desired resources.
Every mentor and mentee can describe his goals via tags:
- Technology stack.
- Preference for the mentoring.
- Available time for the mentoring, reaching from “fulltime”, “several times a week”, “every couple of weeks” to “every couple of months”.
- Contact via “physical meetings”, “Mail / chat etc.” or “telephone / voice”.
As a name, I would likely have chosen one of the following
- IT Mentors
As I said above, the main goal is to make the mentor-mentee-matching easy. Hence, part of the project would be to promote the concept in the following ways:
- Buttons that you can stick on your shirt to show that you are a mentor / mentee searching for a mentee / mentor. This button could have icons for the tags listed above. That way, it’s fairly easy to spot a potential mentor / mentee and see what he offers / needs.
- QR-Code on that button so you can scan potential mentors at conferences.
- Icons with this information for the homepage of the participants.
It has been pointed out to me that the networking aspect of this is already implemented in platforms like Xing or even Facebook. Although this is true, I think a specialized website for this specific goal is better.
I know these ideas are pretty roughly sketched out, but they also allow for many cool ideas. Maybe someone will have fun implementing this. If this is the case, please let me know. :)
I have the idea but not the resources to implement a platform on which young developers can find themselves a mentor (and vice versa).
(Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osa_hub.svg, Ysangkok)