Importance of mentors to young people

Thoughts

Flinders Ranges

I was asked by a friendly person this afternoon who's writing a book what I thought of the importance of mentors to young people. In 140 character Twitter goodness:

I’d say mentors are applied educators that take help young people develop. You can’t learn such experience from books or classes.

I can really attest to this. When I left high school in 2005 I got a job a Veritas writing Perl and MySQL code for a friend of my mother here in Singapore. I drew a paycheck, I had a desk in their offices, I worked alongside other people, and I reported to someone who was genuinely interested in my progress and offered patient help and guidance. I learned more from studying and working with Mr Whiting for several months than I have from several long years of university education that are still ongoing. It's absolutely, 100% true, and I suspect a great number of people who've experienced both would agree with me.

Unfortunately the prestige bestowed upon people with a magical piece of paper that says that person completed a university degree is still far higher than those who developed experience and character in the workforce under the watchful eye of a mentor. I think this really needs to change.

Author bio and support

Me!

Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or buy some silly merch. Thanks!