Preparing for great sessions with your mentor

Published Aug 03, 2017

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Joining the Codementor community in May 2017 (so almost 3 months ago) was a great choice for me. It allowed me to have more exposure to other people's problems and way of thinking and also help so many people overcome challenges they faced in their apps.

Helping others is a great way to find fulfillment in what you do.
It's also a great way to broaden your expertise, learn a lot of soft-skills and hard-skills and overall be a better mentor and person.

After 60+ sessions I've managed to see some patterns repeating in my sessions with people all over the world. The problems people face are oftentimes pretty similar. Both the technical and the non-technical ones.

The purpose of this article is to show you ways to get the most of your sessions with mentors on the Codementor platform. As for the most common technical problems people face in the JavaScript/frontend world - that's for another post.

Getting the most out of Codementor

So you've joined Codementor to reach out for help. Congrats! That's a first step, and it required a lot of trust. Now you need to get your problem solved - so here are some good steps to take:

  1. Define the problem you want to solve as clearly as possible. Eliminate unrelated stuff and describe the problem clearly and concisely.

  2. Look for a great mentor to help you on the problem you face - there are plenty of very experienced mentors on the platform.

  3. Pick a mentor and schedule a good time for your session together. Send any relevant information in advance so he can be in-the-loop for the session with you, knowing what to expect.

Reaching this point is great - but not enough. Make sure you also do the final preparations for the session:

  1. Show up 5 minutes before the call and let your mentor know you are ready to start in about 5 minutes.
  2. Prepare the working environment and close any browser tabs that are not relevant. Close any editor tabs that are not required. This is the biggest point I wanted to make - just make sure you eliminate clutter from your session. Having too many open tabs is really annoying for someone just jumping in a call with you. Help the mentor focus on the problem at hand by giving him the minimal setup - after all, he's just a human as well and his attention is limited.

Prepare your working environment by closing any unnecessary tabs/windows! Unclutter your browser and text editor.

  1. If you're on a Mac, make sure you turn off Dock autohiding. The Zoom.us conference window that pops-up for the session is not quite like being physically in front of the same computer. An autohiding Dock is really hard to reach and is hidden behind the Zoom.us chat window toolbar.

All of the above is really common sense, but in the hurry of getting things done and solving issues, it's easy to forget about them and neglect those basic things that can turn a good session into a great one! Plus, it saves you money because it helps the mentor focus on the relevant stuff of your issue instead of fiddling around with browser or editor tabs.

Your turn - what are your tips for having a great session?

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