"I've never let school interfere with my education." -Mark Twain
The most important lessons in my life have been learned from people I've known personally- not always friends, but seldom people who'd crosssed my path in an official capacity as an educator. These people have changed my life in ways I'll never be able to fully account for. They've opened my mind to their philosophies and opened doors in my career path; I take comfort knowing that these gifts were given for the pleasure of giving, because otherwise there would be no way to pay them back.
I have, however, reached a point in my life where I can do the same for someone else. Like the folks who've helped me (who I plan to enumerate here- watch this space!), I want to mentor in a way that feels natural, familial. It's not a service- it's the beginning of a relationship.
The obvious place to start mentoring, for me, is in the Software. I learned everything I know about code under the guidance of a few brilliant individuals, starting with nothing but a fascination with machines. I want to connect with someone who feels this same fascination and is in the same energetic "beginner's mind" state that I was. I want pass on the skills I've picked up, share and explore our conceptions of what's possible and worthwhile in writing code for others.
If you’d like to work together, you can write me a letter responding to the questions below; I’ll write back to all letters I receive in this way within two weeks no matter what. In response to the most exceptional letters, I’ll propose further correspondence—and in certain cases, an ongoing mentoring relationship.
Tell me about yourself. How did you become who you are, and who do you want to become?
What do you hope to gain from our mentoring relationship?
What’s the best thing you’ve read, watched, or listened to lately?
This all started with Diana Kimball's concept, which I and several others are forking and contributing back to. Anyone can be a part of /mentoring. All it takes is a few lines of text on your own website, blog, or other profile, expressing your openness to mentoring and offering a specific invitation to get in touch.
She called it "/mentoring" in the hopes that, eventually, it will be as natural a part of the internet as "/about" pages. I'm placing my invitation at http://patrickewing.info/mentoring, and I invite you to do the same.
Over time, we hope that the origin page will become a center, though not the center, of community experiences and best practices. Philosophically, that it's on GitHub is no accident: Diana wanted this idea to flourish, and so she set it free. To expand on it yourself, please take the idea and run with it to wherever it takes you. In the best tradition of open-source, we look forward to incorporating many ideas and also celebrating many alternatives.
Are you ready? Let's begin.