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Mentoring Developers is a podcast for new and aspiring software engineers and their mentors. In each information-packed episode, senior and junior software professionals talk about their first forays into programming, their struggles, their goals and passions, their thoughts on mentorship, actionable advice for newbies and their managers, and much more. This podcast is for you if you have ever struggled with or wanted to help someone with technical and career decisions, resources for learning, anxieties, fitting in, or achieving success.



A new or aspiring software developer is faced with a multitude of hurdles on her way to becoming a respected and accomplished member of the development community. Is there anything better than throwing them in the deep end of tight development schedules and hope they survive?



In many years of working with and mentoring new and aspiring software developers, Arsalan has noticed that newbies often struggle in silence and the software development industry has failed to provide a clear path for people to succeed and to understand their needs especially when it comes to minorities, women, and people with disabilities.



It's about time someone talked about these issues from the point of view of new developers. This podcast calls for empathy towards the inexperienced developer who may not fit the mold of a "brogrammer" but deserves to be treated as an asset rather than a liability.

The Mentoring Developers Podcast with Arsalan Ahmed: Interviews with mentors and apprentices | Career and Technical Advice | The Mentoring Developers Podcast with Arsalan Ahmed: Interviews with mentors and apprentices | Career and Technical Advice | Diversity in Software | Struggles, Anxieties, and Career Choices

    • Karriär

Mentoring Developers is a podcast for new and aspiring software engineers and their mentors. In each information-packed episode, senior and junior software professionals talk about their first forays into programming, their struggles, their goals and passions, their thoughts on mentorship, actionable advice for newbies and their managers, and much more. This podcast is for you if you have ever struggled with or wanted to help someone with technical and career decisions, resources for learning, anxieties, fitting in, or achieving success.



A new or aspiring software developer is faced with a multitude of hurdles on her way to becoming a respected and accomplished member of the development community. Is there anything better than throwing them in the deep end of tight development schedules and hope they survive?



In many years of working with and mentoring new and aspiring software developers, Arsalan has noticed that newbies often struggle in silence and the software development industry has failed to provide a clear path for people to succeed and to understand their needs especially when it comes to minorities, women, and people with disabilities.



It's about time someone talked about these issues from the point of view of new developers. This podcast calls for empathy towards the inexperienced developer who may not fit the mold of a "brogrammer" but deserves to be treated as an asset rather than a liability.

    Episode 74 – Sparkbox Apprenticeship Panel

    Episode 74 – Sparkbox Apprenticeship Panel

    It’s rare for new software developers to enroll in a good apprenticeship program that teaches them the ropes in a relatively stress-free environment. Listen in as Arsalan talks to Ryan Cromwell and the ApprenticesTM about the good and the bad of software development apprenticeships.

    Thanks for Listening!

    Do you have some feedback or some advice for us or our audience? Please give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher and share your thoughts.

    If you found this episode useful, please go ahead and share it with your friends and family. You can do that easily using the social media buttons at the bottom of this page.

    You can subscribe to Mentoring Developers via iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, or Google Play Music. You can also listen directly and give your feedback on the website.

    • 45 min
    Episode 73 – These kid coders are cool!

    Episode 73 – These kid coders are cool!

    Timothy’s Bio:

    Timothy Amadi is 10 years old and loves coding. He has built his own apps from the ground up including an eCommerce application, a blog application and even his very own version of Twitter. He also has an app that he is introducing to schools to help kids learn how to spell in a fun way using the computer, and he also participates in speaking engagements about coding, especially when it comes to inspiring other kids to learn to code as well.


     

    Additionally, Timothy brought his older brothers into the fold of coding as well. Now, the trio collaborates on various coding projects and events and share in the excitement of their tech journey. The three boys have also authored nine books about coding that encourage other kids to try it out as well. Their mission is simple: “Everyone can code, including kids.” 

    Episode Highlights and Show Notes:

    Arsalan: Hi, Everyone. Welcome again to Mentoring Developers. I have a very special set of guests today. They are young kids who started programming when they were very little. Now, they are publishing multiple books on programming.  So, they have a consulting practice or some kind of business. Let’s talk to them about what this is all about. It’s super exciting. If you have little kids and you’re a parent or you’re a little kid yourself and in school and wondering how to get started with programming, or whether it’s something that kids can even do, then today’s episode is for you. 

    Arsalan: Hi guys. How are you? Okay, so let’s get everyone’s name. I’m talking to Timothy right now. Timothy how old are you? 

    Timothy: Eleven. 

    Arsalan: Eleven. Okay. Can you guys get a little closer to the computer so that I can hear you better? 

    Timothy: [inaudible]  

    Arsalan: We’ll try to make do with what we can make do with. I couldn’t hear you very loudly, but that’s okay. So, that’s Timothy and who else do we have? 

    Daniel: I’m Daniel. 

    Arsalan: Hi, Daniel. How are you? 

    Daniel: I’m 13 years old. 

    Arsalan: You’re 13. Okay, and we have one more. 

    Eugene: I’m Eugene Amadi and I’m 12. 

    Arsalan: Eugene Amadi and you’re 12 years old. Wow. So, we have 11, 12, and 13. Is that right? 

    Timothy: Yes. 

    Arsalan: Wow. Okay. So, if you guys could speak a little louder so that we can hear you, that’d be better. Okay? If you can … if you can’t, then we’ll just look at your faces because that’s pretty awesome too. 

    Arsalan: So, you guys were little kids when you decided one day to get into programming. How did you come to programming and then think about writing a book? Tell us a little about why you started and how you got here. 

    Timothy: I began coding so that I could help my mom pay her bills. I tried making apps so that I could accomplish this task, but I didn’t know that I had to code to create an app. So, we went to school. There was this one time when we met with the student board and they told me that if you want to create an app, then you have to learn how to code. So, I told Mom that I wanted to code, but she didn’t believe me. So, she started buying books, but it still wasn’t enough. I looked all over the place for schools, but none of them had kids. Then we found one called Tech Talent South. It was our first code camp and lasted eight weeks. 

    Timothy: So, on Day one, everyone was looking at us. We did ice breakers where we all introduced each other. 

    Arsalan: How old were you at that time? 

    Timothy: I was nine when that happened. 

    Arsalan: Nine years old. Okay, and everybody else was probably in their twenties. 

    Timothy: Yes, they were older. 

    Arsalan: So, you were like “Oh, everybody is older” and they were like “What is this kid doing here?” How did you feel about that? Was that hard for you? 

    Timothy: No. 

    Arsalan: OK. So, tell me how your fi

    • 40 min
    Episode 72 – New Beginnings!

    Episode 72 – New Beginnings!

    A New Beginning!

    Hi There!

    So it’s been a while since I last wrote to you! My apologies. I had been traveling and also working on various projects. To be honest, the time-off really helped me focus so I hope everything is going great for you and you are looking forward to the rest of this year and beyond as much as I am!

    So what’s been happening in my world? I finally started my YouTube channel. It was a challenge getting all the equipment and learning the basics of video recording and editing but the first video (What’s It Like To Work At … Sparkbox) I ended up doing wasn’t up to the mark – the horror! 🙂 There were several reasons for that but mainly it was shot without a tripod in a noisy environment so the audio and video quality was not that great. Later, I heavily edited the video to produce a more streamlined version. I encourage you to check it out and let me know what you think. Visit https://youtu.be/rQlp0iYQKfo and do give me your feedback.

    There should be a lot of different kinds of videos I could make for YouTube that is hard to do in an audio podcast so hopefully, you will find them useful. More on that later…

    This should be a year for new beginnings, don’t you think? What have you planned for the rest of this year? Have you stumbled and recovered in your life’s pursuits?

    Here’s to new beginnings …

     

    THE LINK TO SHARE

    Here’s the link for the email course: http://mentoringdevelopers.com/how-to-be-a-professional-software-developer

     

    THE PODCAST

    As the host of the Mentoring Developers podcast, I would love to get your feedback on any episodes that you have listened to recently. You can leave a comment on the website either by typing it on or recording a voicemail for me. 

    The latest episode can be found at http://mentoringdevelopers.com/latestepisode.

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    Important Links



    * YouTube video on what it’s like to work at Sparkbox



    Thanks for Listening!

    Do you have some feedback or some advice for us or our audience? Please give us a review on iTunes or Stitcher and share your thoughts.

    If you found this episode useful, please go ahead and share it with your friends and family. You can do that easily using the social media buttons at the bottom of this page.

    You can subscribe to Mentoring Developers via iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Spotify, or Google Play Music. You can also listen directly and give your feedback on the website.

    • 12 min
    Episode 71 – Ross The Music Teacher Is Now A Coder?

    Episode 71 – Ross The Music Teacher Is Now A Coder?

    Ross’ Bio:

    Ross Trottier attended CU Boulder as a Classical Guitar Performance Major under the virtuoso Jonathan Leathewood, where he received the highest marks for theoretical studies. He currently resides in Colorado Springs, where he teaches and performs full time.  Additionally, when he isn’t teaching and working with his music students, Ross is coding a game-based music theory app to better engage his students and boost their overall learning experience in a fun, creative way.  

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    Episode Highlights and Show Notes:

    Arsalan: Hi, Everyone, and welcome to another episode of Mentoring Developers. Today, my guest is Ross Trottier. Ross is a college dropout, but then, he turned around and became a [music] teacher and wrote a book that’s become a bestseller on Amazon. Ross, how are you? 

    Ross: How are you doing? Thanks for having me. 

    Arsalan: I’m so glad that I could have you on the show. I’ve been following you on YouTube and I want everybody to know your story. It’s fascinating. So, tell us a little about what happened in college and then what happened after that. 

    Ross: So, in college, I was going to school for classical guitar performance. There were a number of things that I was unhappy with concerning the institution and [it was] not what I considered to be the best career path … monetarily speaking. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to become a professor at a school that I wouldn’t be happy at. So, I took my music credits and dropped out and then spent the next few years working at jobs, practicing my music, and continuing my studies with a couple of the teachers that I had back at the college.  

    Ross: My time took me out to Oregon where I played cello on the sidewalk and I worked at Intel as a procurement agent. I then returned to the East coast, where my folks live, for a few months. Then, I went ‘full circle’ and ended up back in Colorado where I had started. What I wanted to do was teach guitar. So, I was driving from one house to the next teaching people and living out of my car and sometimes on my friend’s living room floor.  

    Ross: One day my car broke down and I had to turn it into a semi-permanent dwelling. I took whatever money that I had left and rented an office. In Colorado, it is very cold at night. So, I spent lots of time in that office and I decided to use that time to make music websites, which started me on the path that I’m on right now — learning to code apps that systematically teach you music in an arcade game format. 

    Arsalan: Fascinating story. So, you had a situation where you were going to college and, obviously, when you started you wanted to finish, right?  

    Ross: Yes. 

    Arsalan: At some point, you realized that it wasn’t worth it because you realized that you were going to spend all this time and money getting all these credits only to get a job to do for you what you wanted it to do. So, when you’re starting out as a freshman and going through the classes and learning, what changed? I’m assuming that your perception of college changed along the way? 

    Ross: It started out as [a feeling]. A lot of it seemed practical at first: writing papers and trying to figure out what you wanted to do. I didn’t start out as a music major. I went through a few majors and did a lot of science credits on the side. I did a lot of math as well. Eventually, I landed on music because I fell in love with the classical guitar, which is a bad reason to choose a major and probably why I dropped out. 

    Ross: Over time, as I saw how the classical music world worked and how people interacted with each other, it gave me a sour taste. I didn’t like it and I’m not really a big fan of going out to concerts and things. I realized that I really didn’t want to play concerts. I was just in love with being in the practice

    Episode 70 – How to start when you are clueless about technologies?

    Episode 70 – How to start when you are clueless about technologies?

    Richard’s Bio:

    Richard is the co-founder and CEO of Kronick Enterprises, a passive income website development company. 70% of all the websites the company has produced currently receive thousands of daily visitors via organic search results. He has experience with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WordPress. 

    In August of 2018, Richard decided to become a software engineer and is working towards this goal. He is enrolled in a .NET class where he has been learning C#, ASP.NET MVC, Entity Framework, SQL Server and Object-Oriented Programming concepts. 

    Previously, Richard spent 13 years as both an English and Chinese instructor, having learned Chinese while living in China. He has taught at both the high school and university level. He is also a life-long learner and student. 

    Richard believes in a life of service – that the great goal of life is to be useful and that achievement without fulfillment is empty – and a life of continuous growth. He hopes to join an organization where he can be a part of a team that contributes to the organization’s success and serves its clients and customers. 

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    Episode Highlights and Show Notes:

    Arsalan: Hi, Richard, how are you?

    Richard: Just fine. How are you, Arsalan?

    Arsalan: Pretty good. Alright, everybody. This is another episode of Mentoring Developers. I’m talking to Richard about his career choices. We’re doing a little bit of counseling here. He really wants to do well in his fledgling software development career. He’s really passionate, but he has so many questions as I’m sure that people who are listening and watching right now will have questions as well. I love to help and I’d love to help you. Richard reached out to me and I’m here to see what we can do to help him.

    Arsalan: So, how are you feeling this week?

    Richard: I’m alright. I have no complaints. As time goes by, things become clearer and clearer, which is always a nice feeling.

    Arsalan: So, what were your impressions when we had the first session last time when you had to force yourself to think about this in a different way. A couple of weeks have passed since then. So, what happened in the meantime?

    Richard: Over the last few weeks, the biggest result of our chat was that it directed my attention more to thinking about deciding when I wanted certain things to be done. When you spoke to me about what interests I had and what area of web development might be most suitable to me, it really helped focus my thoughts in a direction, which resulted in a written plan of attack, really. I know that we planned this meeting to lay that all out, but it feels like it’s all sort of falling into place just from being forced to really take a serious look at it.

    Arsalan: So, it’s always a good idea to take a step back if you’re in the middle of something. If you’re in the middle of a forest, you can’t really see the big picture. You don’t know where, in the scheme of things, you are. It’s the same for everybody. It happens to me a lot. When I’m in the middle of something, I forget why I’m here and where I’m going.

    Arsalan: It’s always important to know where you’re going. It’s like a lighthouse back in the day … I think they still have lighthouses … so, if you on a ship and don’t know which way to go, you have this lighthouse and if you follow that, you’re going to get there, but along the way, you’re going to have challenges. You’re going to have minor goals and milestones. It’s common sense, but only seems to be common sense to you once someone points it out and then you’re like “Oh yeah, of course. Of course, I should have goals … and mile markers … and milestones.”

    Arsalan: It makes sense, but it’s hard to do that when you’re in the middle of it because you’re stressed out. You have life issues. Some people have health

    Episode 69 – Mauro Chojrin from Standup Comedy to Coding Success

    Episode 69 – Mauro Chojrin from Standup Comedy to Coding Success

    Mauro’s Bio:

    Mauro is a PHP trainer and consultant from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He’s been teaching programming since 1997. He has learned several different languages and technologies along the way and has been working as a professional web developer since 2003.

    Mauro has worked for different-sized companies, acting as an architect, a technical leader, and a project manager among other roles. Today, his main activities aim to help PHP dev teams improve the quality of their deliverables through more streamlined processes.

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    Episode Highlights and Show Notes:

    Arsalan: Hi, everyone. Welcome, once again, to Mentoring Developers. Here we are with a very interesting guest today who was doing programming and had a nice job, but then he got fed up with it and decided to go into standup comedy. We want to know why it happened and what didn’t work. So, are we talking to a software developer or a standup comic? Welcome, Mauro, how are you?

    Mauro: Hey, Arsalan. How are you?

    Arsalan: I’m pretty good. Tell us a little bit about your foray into standup comedy.

    Mauro: Well, the thing is, I was working full time for a large software company in Argentina. At the time, I had it with software. I had been a software developer since I was very young, and I had always liked the standup thing. One day, I picked up a flyer that read Come Study Standup Comedy with Us. I saw this is my chance. So, I went into it and did a couple of shows. I was considering ditching my computer completely. Then, I realize that it would be really hard for me to make a living out of standup comedy. So, I made peace with the computer side of my life and I must say that I do always enjoy programming and stuff. So, I put standup comedy aside and went back into development and computer-related tasks.

    Arsalan: So, how long did you stay in the comedy world?

    Mauro: Approximately a year and a half, maybe. The other thing that happened was that once I decided I wasn’t going to pursue it as a career, I still wanted to keep doing it because I really enjoyed the activity. Then, I got married and between all the preparations for the wedding and my two teachers that were fighting between each other… there wasn’t really much to go back into. It’s one of those things where you say to yourself, “I will pick it up later,” but that day never came.

    Arsalan: Tell me honestly. How much of this was your wife’s idea to quit?

    Mauro: I thought about quitting, for real. I never really wrote any…

    Arsalan: You realize that there’s no money here. In software development, as boring or as repetitive as it can be, it’s still one of the best careers and you could make a pretty good living and software development. All of us have realized that. I went into artistic endeavors in my own life. At one point I had considered leaving software development because I thought I was good at other things. Then, I realize that software development is pretty cool. You can carve your niche. You can make a good living and you sometimes it’s just a give-and-take. So, it’s wonderful.

    Mauro: Yeah, it’s about finding the niche to make it interesting for yourself. I usually consider myself a very creative person and I don’t like doing the same things all the time. Yet, I think it’s very possible within the software industry to have many different roles.

    Arsalan: You can have different roles within the company. The company can change directions and start to do different things and you can get involved with that. Or, you can change companies. You can move around. You can move to different countries if you don’t have opportunities where you are. Okay, that’s pretty good. Take us back to when you were a kid and you said that you got into programming early. What was your first experience with programming and how did you know that there was a thing c

    • 56 min

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