I’ll keep this short and sweet: one of my professional goals for 2021 is to establish formalized mentorships with one or more of my peers in the tech community.
Through the course of my 8-year development career, I have aimed to increase my knowledge and improve my technical skills in a variety of ways. Like others, I’ve read numerous books to learn about new languages, design patterns, tools, and approaches to engineering. I’ve attended conferences and local meetups to build relationships with others in my field, and of course, to attend presentations and discover what additional tools I can add to my skill set.
In July of last year, I joined the product team at Rocketgenius. There, I work on the add-ons crew where I am responsible for developing and maintaining our collection of WordPress plugins that further extend the functionality of the Gravity Forms plugin.
Moving from the agency space into product has long been one of my career goals, because I think it provides me with the opportunity to apply a lot of the “ideal engineering” scenarios that seem prevalent in all that book-learning: test-driven development, continuous delivery and deployment, domain-driven design, agile development, etc. I’ve had exposure to certain aspects of these concepts in my agency work thanks to working with large corporations that adopt them, but because those projects are so fluid, I’ve typically used what had already been established by our clients instead of working to build something of my own.
Needless to say, I recognize that there are shortcomings in my current skill set that I can work to improve upon in 2021, and I think it would be helpful for me to collaborate with one or more folks over the course of the year. In my mind, this collaboration would entail semi-regular (monthly, perhaps?) calls to discuss challenges working in the technical field, and to share resources and ideas around how to grow one’s professional skill set.
Some initial topics that come to mind:
- Modernizing legacy codebases (in particular, those which can be extended by end users)
- Developing and maintaining custom build processes
- Test-driven development
- Domain-driven design
- Engaging with open-source communities
- Avoiding burnout
If you have expertise in any of these areas and would be interested forming a mentor/mentee relationship, and especially (but not necessarily limited to) if we already know one another, then please get in touch. I think there’s likely a lot we can learn from one another.