Software developers are self starters and self learners. Or at least thats what we all believe. Software developers may have the tendency to not reach out. They feel like learning and coding is all they need to do to improve their career.

E-learning websites such as LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, CodeAcademy, PluralSight are among some great resources for developers. Further there is an endless supply of Youtube videos, developer tutorials on Apple, Google, Microsoft and Google websites.

Certifications are another way to improve your chances for career progression. Certifications offered by Google, Microsoft and AWS are the most sought after, but there are plenty others . I found this article listing several of the top certifications useful.

While learning and certifications are important, software developers can best improve in the following areas only through real life experience of a good mentor.

Navigating Corporate Culture – The point of the story is that programming languages, project management techniques, tools can be learned through training, but corporate work environment issues, personality clashes, peer and supervisor interactions are best discussed through mentoring. Development of soft skills such as public speaking, establishing a social presence, building github repositories that serve as a resume, are techniques that mentors can help you with, especially if they have used these techniques themselves..

Best Practices– Mentors who are good programmers can also help with problem solving techniques, or help explain design patterns such SOLID, DRY , KISS or methodologies such as the 12 Factor App.

Pace of change – Technology is moving fast, and no matter how hard we try , we will all struggle keeping pace. Mentors can help widen our understanding. They can be our eyes and ears looking for things that can help move us forward. Resources such as Gartner and Forrester can help, but mentors may have practical explanations of trends.

Time Sink – Programmers tend to invest a lot of time and energy into learning certain skills. Learning and chasing down a certain skill pathway can make or break careers. Mentoring sessions can help developers decide if they need to learn different programming languages or tools to keep up with the times.Further mentors can advise mentees what languages, tools, processes really benefit their work, rather than scouring online forums and websites for advice.

Buzzword Mania – Tech buzzwords are everywhere. A mentor could help you parse through what these buzzwords really mean, and how and if they are applicable to you and your career.

Now more than ever , mentoring is important for all of us.

I hope this post helps programmers understand why mentoring may be useful for programmers/developers.

Now go forth and find a mentor on the Gunschu app. Best of luck !