Asking for help

Something I briefly touched yesterday is the impact of having a good mentor, or coach. A person that can look at your career and offer actionable, constructive feedback. People that never had one, can’t really say much of their benefits. But having one can dramatically improve your existing skills, but also reveal blind spots.

A few months ago, I offered 30 minutes of my time for anyone that would like to practise a cultural fit and behavioural interview. I did this with 6 people. After each call, I wrote an email with one thousand words on average. I nitpicked the conversation and provided as much constructive feedback as I could, so that they could succeed in a real life interview. I loved the experience and I honestly feel people benefited from this session.

Unfortunate younger developers that don’t get a good manager, are essentially stuck. For the most part, the biggest source of feedback comes from the person they report to. Our industry is set in a way that it’s almost tabu to either ask for help, or to give it. The latter is something I experienced firsthand in a recent role. A peer withheld feedback that would definitely help me. It’s a shame that it’s where we are as an industry.

When I was looking for a new role last year, I wrote this piece. Of course, what you are now reading is a second version, after an attentive edition by Gergely Orosz. Gergely is someone I have known for more than 7 years. I trust his judgement and opinion, so I asked his help when writing that page. The original one was bad, with a bitter tone. The one you now read, has an optimistic voice. Without a trusted second pair of eyes, I was shooting myself in the foot even before starting.

So where am I going with all this? If you need help, let me know.