Metal Toad Mentorship Saturdays
Metal Toad Mentorship Saturdays are a place for people of all skill levels and development disciplines to get help and advice on their careers and projects.
It was born out of Metal Toad University where I taught a 12 week course teaching the very basics of development. My motivation back then - and today - was simply to help others start or progress in the field of web development. It evolved from the class to this group. I find that the individual attention I'm able to give to each participant to be much more helpful than the classes were.
Here's generally how it works: We all meet up at Metal Toad and I make a pot of coffee. We start a scrum-style meeting where everyone states in turn what they worked on the past week, what they will be working on, and any blockers standing in their way to accomplishing their goals. We then talk about each person's blockers in turn, making sure that no one is stuck and everyone understands what they need to do to continue. Sometimes the conversation will turn into a bit of a lecture with me talking about a certain topic, but I like to keep those limited as they usually have a small specific audience. Once we're all clear on what we're doing, we get to work.
Everyone who comes to the meeting is looking for something specific to them, so for me to outline what everyone works on would be daunting. I tailor my mentorship to each individual. We have UX designers, Systems Administrators, and Developers and each discipline requires its own tools and processes.
The software industry is immensely rewarding, both in a personal and financial sense. I truly love working in this field and I've achieved great success in it. Since I've reached some lofty heights as a developer, I have now shifted my focus into giving back to the community and trying to help others jump in. While this is a personal endeavor, Metal Toad is very gracious in providing space and amenities simply because it's a good cause.
Starting a new career can be a daunting task. While I've always stayed in the technology field, I've reinvented myself a number of times. I started as a graphic designer, switched to animation, moved to programming, spent time as a project manager, went back to programming, and finally here at Metal Toad moved into people management. It's always scary to switch, but I've learned enough tricks over the years that I'm no longer worried when it happens and embrace the fear like a habitual skydiver.
I'm not saying everyone should or even can become a developer, I'm just saying there's a good chance you'd enjoy it and make a lot of money doing it.