940808_93173245In my post yesterday, Turn Your Future into a Hobby, I talked about getting into new technologies by building apps and gaining real experiences (and earning rewards via Developer Movement). For some, its easier said than done for many reasons. The common one, though, is trying to build something that you haven’t done before takes time and rarely does anyone have extra time. But let’s think for a sec – what actually takes the time? Is it sitting down to write the app? Figuring out what you need to do to get started? Solving problems when things don’t actually work?

For me, when I sat down to write my first app (talked about it here), it was the latter – when things didn’t quite work as anticipated (Async data binding/refreshing in my case!), figuring out what the problem is and then how to fix it is what took the time. Writing the app itself, not the issue, as at the end of the day, 80% or more of what you need to know, you already know. It’s that 20% that eats away at the time you have available to invest in your “hobby” (a.k.a. your future).

Get Help for that 20% – Introducing Developer Mentors

What would make that extra 20% as efficient as possible? Help. Interactive help. Like a mentor who would be available to bounce questions off of, help troubleshoot, give recommendations, point out improvements, and more.

Well the great news is that we want to help you be as efficient as possible! We’ve put the word out there and have been able to get together a group of fellow Canadian developers have volunteered their time and joined the Developer Movement as Developer Mentors. They’re here to help you get to where you want to go, learn what you want to learn, and publish those apps to show what you’ve learned.

How do you get a Developer Mentor? Simple:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, join the Developer Movement. You have to be part of the Movement to leverage its benefits!
  2. Send your Developer Movement Team an email with your mentoring preference (online, in-person, either/or), as well as any specific cities where you’d want to meet up with your mentor.

The Developer Movement Team will take care of the rest, pairing you up with a Developer Mentor that is closest to you or is available online, or both. Once you’re paired up with your Developer Mentor, you and your Developer Mentor can connect directly, get to know each other, and decide what will work best for the two of you.

Use the relationship with your Developer Mentor wisely and you will not only learn a lot, get your apps published, earn rewards from Developer Movement, and gain real experience, but you may also gain a technical advisor for future endeavours, a new member in your people network and access to new opportunities through them, and if nothing else, a knowledgeable friend and/or contact.

Win-Win.

With this bonus “feature”, the idea of turning your future into your hobby just got a bit more enticing, no?

 

About Developer Movement

180x150_DM_CDC_v1Developer Movement is Canada’s app building rewards program. As you build Windows Store and/or Windows Phone apps, backed by Windows Azure services, you earn points that you can use towards rewards such as gizmos and gadgets, home theatre systems, laptops, and others. You can also earn additional points by complete Windows Azure hands-on labs and participating in Developer Movement challenges such as this one. If you’re not already a member of the Developer Movement, join today! (You actually start earning reward points simply by signing up.)

Photo credit: sachyn