Any advice on where to find a programming mentor?
If you’re a programmer, I’m pretty sure there is a programmer that you admire. I’d start there. Ask them a question via email or Twitter. If they answer back, ask them another question. Boom, you’ve now got a mentor. No need to spell it out that you’re looking for a mentor and wait to see if they are available to mentor you.
Most programmers I know are nice and willing to answer some questions.
Want to up your chances of getting a reply? If they have a newsletter, the next time they send out a newsletter, hit reply and write something relevant about the newsletter. Say something nice, build rapport. If they are on Twitter, join in on their conversations. Add something of value to them and it will up your chances of getting a reply.
Another avenue is CodeMentor. This is a site where programmers from all over setup a profile and charge a small fee for help. I’m on there myself as a mentor. The setup is pretty cool. A session is done all online over voice and video and there’s also a shared text-editor that’s in the browser so you can work through some code and concepts.
Join study groups or meet ups and make some friends. When I was in school studying for my computer science degree, I definitely was not the sharpest tool in the shed. Especially when it came to algorithms. I was freaking out about it and often wonder if this was the end of my programming journey.
I’d spend countless hours in the library trying to understand concepts that was way over my head and foreign to me. Then one day, while I was leaving the library after beating myself up, I recognized a couple of classmates studying together. I walked up and made some light conversation and then I admitted that I just wasn’t getting the material. They offered to explain things and from that point on I became friends with them and we had many more study groups together.
If you’re not in school, you could do the same at your local meet ups. Find a meet up around something you’re interested in getting some help in. Then show up and have some light conversations. Slip in there you’re trying to learn something that pertains to the subject of the meet up and more than likely the person will offer to help or direct you to someone who might know.
If none of the above helps you find a mentor or the answers to what you’re trying to figure out, hit me up on Twitter or email and I’ll try to help you connect with someone who might be able to help you out.