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Be a Mentor

Dear Reader,

A lot of developers I know think that they could be so much more if they could just find a mentor to show them the way. This may or may not be true, that’s not the point of this thought.

It’s find spending time looking for a mentor, I even give people advice on how to find one form time to time. However, don’t spend all your time looking for a mentor.  Occasionally, look around to see who else is looking for help and see if you can lend them a hand.

There are very few of us so far down on the ladder than there’s nobody below us to give a hand up. Look around, see who you can mentor. See who you can help up onto the next rung of the ladder, even if you are helping them get to the rung above you.

Helping others is a great way to show potential mentors that you understand. That you are not only seeking help, but seeking to help. They you won’t waste their time.

Also, if you help someone up, they might be in a position one day to help you up.

Give to get.

Look around right now. Check your email. Is there someone reaching out to you for help? If so, take the time to really listen (because real mentors listen first) and then help them solve their problem. help them understand their situation. Help them up the next rung on the ladder.

Be a mentor.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

Gardeners, not Gatekeepers

Dear Reader,

In IT, for the longest time, we have been the gatekeepers of technology. The old guard, the Night’s Watch dedicated to keeping mere mortals safe as we handle the pointy bits of technology.

All of that has changed while we were busy keeping watch.

Today, the world does not need us to protect them from technology, they need us to show them how to use it so they can do what we do.

It is incumbent on every programmer, designer, DevOps, SysOps, SecOps and any other *Ops out there to open up what we do. We have to show others how to do it so that they can apply their unique skills to solve problems we don’t even see.

Gone are the days of the IT Gatekeepers. Today we need to mentor as many people as we can in what we do. We need to help them understand, not do it for them. Our systems are no longer citadels, they are gardens. We need to teach others help us tend our gardens.

We need to move from  gatekeepers to gardeners.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

Invest your time wisely

Dear Reader,

The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.

— Steven Spielberg

Time is the only thing we cannot get back.

Invest your time wisely by investing some of it in someone else. Help them become every thing they can be.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

Who do you look to?

Dear Reader,

When you get stuck, who do you look to? I’m not asking in the spiritual or existential sense, I mean, in real life, when you hit a problem, do you have someone you can ask?

A lot of you who read this are developers – mostly PHP developers. When you hit a wall programmatically, do you have a person you know you can turn to and ask for help? Or even just ask an opinion? If not, that should be a priority for you.

One of the great things about the PHP community is that the members are so giving. I have been a member of several communities revolving around programming languages and have to say that the PHP is by far the most open and giving. It is one of the great assets of the language.

In the past year, I started getting more connected to my local tech and social media community here in Nashville. I am nowhere near being a Social Media expert so I am always looking to add people to my list of people I can look to for help. Lucky for me in Nashville we have a lot of really smart marketing people who are willing to share what they know.

Harvey MacKay summed it up nicely in the title of one of his books, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need“. Start getting to know people now, even if you don’t have questions.

Until next time,
I <3 =C=