WhyTF Would You Mentor at a Hackathon?!

Hackathons bring a wide variety of folks together to build new things (we are working hard to support people from all backgrounds again this year at ETHBerlin Zwei!!). Engineers, designers, artists, people with a business background, and more. Folks from all over Germany, Europe, Egypt, India, and the whole globe. Different social and ethnical backgrounds. They come together, form teams, and start hacking using new technologies or try out things they haven’t worked with before. Some hackers are just starting out, others come experienced and highly skilled to craft complex systems or approach difficult to solve problems over the weekend. They all come to the event with different skill levels and interests — all leaning on each other’s support to #BUIDL.

One of the most crucial roles at a hackathon, are mentors. Mentors support the teams and hackers to get un-stuck if they run into a roadblock. A mentor might be a specialist in a specific area where she has deep experience to share with hackers and teams. She might also have a broad set of skills to help teams get off the ground quickly. In any case, she is there to support and guide hackers and their projects. Mentors a true multiplier for knowledge, fixes, and support.

Last year, at ETHBerlin, we had over 100 mentors who helped the 500 hackers. This year we are building an equally fantastic support team for our hackers. This means we will (again!) have some of the best folks from the Ethereum (and overall blockchain) ecosystem volunteering their time and brains.

If you wondered why these mentors sign up to support the event and the hackers — wonder no more! We wanted to hear it from them directly. So we asked :) Here is what they said:

Nina Breznik
Remix/Play @ Ethereum

Since I work on building tooling for building smart contracts (Remix and Play editors) I was on stand by at ETHBerlin 2018 for anyone who needed help with using the tooling more effectively and also for Solidity questions. I mentored to be able to see more closely what people are interested in building in the Ethereum space and also to connect more to the community and with other mentors and organizers.
If you have knowledge, you should share it. The world will be a much better place if we build together, not against each other.

Kirill Pimenov
Head of Security @ Parity

I supported teams with different things at different hackathons: I helped them with CI pipelines, Rust and Go code, writing smart contracts, and things like picking the right crypto primitives. I am a generalist and I’m proud of it! I think you don’t have a true understanding of anything until you teach it to someone else. It’s hard to keep “the brain of a novice” after being exposed to a subject for a while. Answering questions of newcomers is the most accessible way of “borrowing” that freshness and it allows me to spot weakness in my own knowledge while helping them.

Leonardo Alt
Solidity Compiler / Formal Verification Engineer @ Ethereum

I’ve recently mentored at ETHCapeTown. I mainly helped with Solidity, which was important given the high number of hackers that were completely new to the ecosystem.I had two goals for the hackathon: help develop the Ethereum developer community in Cape Town and, as a Solidity team member, gather feedback regarding the language and compiler. It’s impressive to see what the teams built in such a short time, and any bit of mentoring we did helped them get further!

ETHBerlin Zwei is coming up soon! Do you have skills, brains, or heart that could be of support to our hackers at ETHBerlin Zwei? We’d love to have you! Hacking, and creating is a team effort. We are excited to build great things together!

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