I was at the Pesto office and the co-founder of Pesto — Ayush, happen to ask me some questions to get feedback about the program. I was trying to give him as honest of the possible feedback.
Then came this question:
“How has your experience been with your mentor?”
And this was my quick, impromptu reply:
“If I were to pay through the entire fee of the program, and in return, have to just walk away with this opportunity to get the mentor I have got, I would happily take this deal!”
Ayush was amazed at the response, but after reading this article, no one would be.
To give you a quick overview, Pesto is a career accelerator program, and they match every student with a highly skilled and experienced mentor from the tech industry.
All of the mentors voluntarily approach Pesto.
They do it because they genuinely want to give it back to the community.
In this article, I’m going to show that, how having a mentor rapidly made my life so much better, gave me the right direction and pushed me to do the things that I thought were impossible to do at that point of time.
All of this could happen to you too, only if you can get lucky enough and get a mentor like David Hudson.
This infographic from Duke University very well explains the qualities you should look for in a mentor:
Luckily in my case, David hits every single of these checkpoints.
David is the man!
I feel so much gratitude while saying this that he is my mentor and as they call it — my “Godfather” in the tech industry.
David is the founder of “Few” and is now running his next company called “Work”.
He is a bad-ass coder who has the contributions to “Open Mission Control Software” of NASA and likes. He is a visionary leader, a caring dad, a loving husband, a real family person, and a pilot who likes to perform acrobat stunts while flying a plane.
I could probably write a book detailing about the things that I got to learn from David. That would definitely be interesting for me but not as much for you.
But, what I could do is to express my experience and my storyline with my mentor, to give you an overview and an idea about the potential that having a great mentor like David, could bring to you:
Despite already having so much on his plate, David still manages to have a video call with me lasting more than an hour at least once a week.
We start off with the call, and I share about the things that I am trying to do and what are my goals for the next week.
After listening to me, he would give his expert advice and almost always a new insight or often a new perspective on the situation.
He would often share the stories from his past detailing about the way he dealt with a similar situation.
To recall a few instances:
I was about to start the capstone project with my team.
He pointed out that one of the most common mistakes that most of the developers make is to not pay enough attention to project management.
He told me that there’s a vast difference between a coder and a software developer. Being a good coder doesn’t automatically makes you a good software engineer.
Your end goal should be to get the best solution possible for the business you are working for, with whatever resources you have.
He told me about the importance of teamwork, the importance of taking responsibility for the team.
A good leader always takes the responsibilities and handles the pressure.
The capability of presenting the willingness to take the responsibility and handling the difficult situation would go a long way in establishing you as a good developer and a good human being.
He is an avid open source contributor and has made significant contributions to the Mission Control Software of NASA.
I was very curious about it, and he made me believe that I can do it too.
Not only this, he even went ahead and invested his time in order to find some open issues that I could contribute to.
It was only because of him that I was ready with a PR within a week!
Another time, he told me that how having some particular skills can make you become a much better developer.
One of them is the familiarity with the “Vim” editor.
Most of the newbie developers are either unknown or have too much hesitation with the usage of the Vim.
He explained and showed me that how useful and powerful it can turn out to be.
I was amused.
He encouraged me to explore it, and within a week, I was able to learn it enough to the point that I started using it for most of my tasks as my main editor.
If not him, I wouldn’t even have tried to learn it, at least not for now.
He taught me the importance of valuing my skills and my time. If you don’t appreciate your skills and your time, you can’t expect others to respect them either.
These are some of the many other things that I got to learn from him.
I have just touched the base here, but I am sure that by sharing these few of those many experiences of mine, I would be able to convince you that having a good mentor at your side is a game-changing decision and you should always look for one.
David, Thank you for being so selfless and doing so much for me! I would keep on troubling you. 😀
Andrew, I would always be grateful to you for introducing me to David. 🙏