Mentoring in Tech

Published on October 18, 2013


  • Read this blog post
  • If you believe strongly in something, it’s not enough just to get upset about it.
  • I would like to extend the same offer as James and dedicate up to a half-day of my time per week to mentoring people to get started with contributing to open-source code, especially around mobile development or C#-related code. Anything Git or GitHub or career advice or whatever, also falls into this bucket. Skip to the end for more.


It’s easy to get upset in the software development community today. And with good reason, as there are a lot of fucked up things going on; things we should be legitimately upset about, like people not treating their colleagues with respect (to put it extremely mildly). Many people want to help (awesome!), but I noticed that oftentimes, they end up doing so in a way that isn’t actually helpful.

So, you as a person have a limited amount of mental “energy” that you can dedicate to different things. Call it “dedication”, “willpower”, whatever. You can only care so much, and then after that, you’ve run out of emotional steam.

The subtle trap that I see so many well-intentioned people fall into though, is that they burn all that energy by talking, on Twitter or Facebook. Making posts decrying the state of the world, or arguing with people on the Internet, will make you subconsciously feel as if you’ve done something. You’ve used up all that energy.

It’s gone, but what have you accomplished? Have you made the world a better place? Have you helped solve the problem you wanted to solve?

Don’t get mad. Get even.

Getting Even == Helping People

By “get even” I don’t mean beating people up or keying their car or something, but what I do mean is, ”Act to solve the problem”. Given limited personal time and resources, what’s the one or two things that would help the most?

James Golick wrote a fantastic blog post - he was upset about a problem, then came up with an awesome step toward making it better. He’s willing to invest his time into something he believes in. I’m upset about this problem too, and I’d like to totally straight-up copy his idea and make the same offer.

If you’re interested in how to contribute to Open Source, mobile devlopment (iOS / Android / WP8), Git and GitHub, or anything else that I post about on my blog or on Twitter, drop me a line. Even if it’s none of those things, and you’re just interested in talking about what you’re working on or about career advice, I’ve worked in big companies and small ones too.

Anaïs Betts

Written by Anaïs ['is] Betts, who lives in Berlin.

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