Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Mentor Saturday
61 points by eatitraw on May 31, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 41 comments
It is great to have a mentor and it is awesome to mentor someone.

HN is a community with a lot of talented people, and occasional threads[1] show that there is a demand for mentoring, so maybe we should experiment with having regular threads?

Let's talk about mentoring and match mentors and mentees.

[1] Examples: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5696873 , https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7693954 , https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7783517

I'm a cs student in Europe (France), and I'm still struggling to find my road.

I have competence in IA, Machine Learning, Python, JS (node, express, meteor), Angular but also Design (mockup, wireframe, bootstrap, css).

I don't see myself as a front-end engineer, nor a back-end engineer, nor data science man.

So, I'm a full-stack engineer but without a deep knowledge in anything. I have a hard time to feel confident enough to work for someone else, as they might realize that I am an impostor (I know about the syndrome, but how can you be sure not be one ?).

I would really like to have a mentor that could show me where I can evaluate myself and where I should make progress.

Thanks !


I used to feel this way too (knowing about a broad range of things, but thinking I was not good enough at anything specific to be "hireable"), but luckily I realised this is not necessarily bad. Generalists are ideal people to found a startup and they can be a huge asset to have at any company, especially at small companies / startups. And furthermore, don't push yourself too hard, at the end you're still a student. You can specialise later if you want.

I'm a designer who's hoping to get better at engineering. I already know languages and can make stuff with it. [0] However, I have found that especially on bigger projects, the main hurdle becomes my own architecture, or less-than-perfect engineering hampering future development. I want to improve on that.

In reciprocity I can offer design mentorship, in interaction design, mobile and desktop user interfaces, user experience design and user testing.

[0] http://www.getaether.net

I'm a programmer generalist who's on the quest to find specialization in Machine Learning and AI in general. I'm trying to structure and optimize my self-education in those fields to build up a solid foundation over the next few years. I'm more interested in being able to apply those technologies to solve interesting hard problems (with the building company in mind) than in research. Would love to chat to people experienced or formally educated in those fields, to get advice on how to structure the learning process better, what to focus on and so on.

Also would love to meet anyone who has similar interests (or also psychology, neuroscience, philosophy of mind).

Background: engineer with the experience in full-stack. Programmning: Scala, Ruby, Python, JS. C/C++(long ago though)

Machine Learning: only finished coursera course and played with 101 Kaggle competitions.


I'd be happy to help/mentor someone on backend development or general career development. Currently working as a lead developer in Spain (Barcelona) focusing on Java/Ruby Postgres/NoSQL.

I can also speak pretty good Spanish so if you don't feel confident in English I can mentor in that (originally from UK).

thanks for the offer, how can i get in touch with you.

I've been doing software development for about 2 years, still very much a junior. I currently do backend work (Python, Django, asynchronous queue workers, etc.) for a mid-sized startup in NYC. My company currently needs a lot of infra/dev-ops work, but it doesn't have the resources to train a junior to help in this sphere. I'd love to connect with someone who has some crazy dev-ops/general linuxery skills under their belt, maybe just talk about/watch how they work on large scale projects and get some tips on how to get experience in this area without using my company's infra as a guinea pig.

I'm also very interested in audio signal processing. I've done a little work with Apple's Core Audio API, but would love to chat with someone in NYC who has real experience doing hardcore work with audio DSP.

We’re a couple months away from launching a flipping sweet new product, and despite a personal background in UI/UX, marketing & PR I need to cultivate a better mentor network to make this a smooth launch. Frankly, I need someone I can trust to validate the proper way of doing things, since as an intentionally bootstrapped venture I keep making allowances for the cheap & easy way of progressing. I just want to get better at this and give the product the launch it deserves.

Some of the specific challenges:

- Project managing a new product with a remote team member

- Achieving great UX with a limited budget

- How to capitalize on a successful launch & build relationships in the SF tech community

We just submitted our first accelerator application to Angelpad, which would be nice. Email in profile.

We are building a product in India. We are currently working on an app that we feel will change citizen's alienation with the administration and their representatives, and the latter's perceived apathy towards the former. We are also conceptually building a framework that attempts to resolve the internet penetration vs telecom penetration anomaly in this country.

If anyone is interested in the what we're doing, or can offer to answer our stupid questions occasionally (regarding dev, growth, strategy, or life and its mysteries) drop us a line at team at merinagari dot in

I'm a former Googler/Software Engineer who has stepped into a CTO role at a small startup. I'm learning how to deal with people which is a significantly harder problem than dealing with computers :). Specifically, I'm responsible for prioritizing features vs. infrastructure work and conveying the importance of things like testing and code quality to non-technical leadership. I would love to chat with someone in an engineering leadership role that has managed to convince leadership that non-user-facing work is very vital to the company.

advait.shinde at gmail _ com

Non-user-facing work isn't vital. Market velocity is vital. You need to demonstrate you can increase market velocity by investing in non-user-facing work. If your investment in that work slows market velocity then your investment return is negative.

Are you tracking engineering velocity? If so petition to do some internal investment and see if velocity improves afterwards.

Also you should refactor as you go. That isn't even something you break out into a separate task. Clean up messes as you work. Don't leave messes if you can. Code review always and often, and on small changes.

Note: Market velocity is slightly different than user-facing changes. If you have reliability or security failures you are reacting to, fixing them is user facing but not improving your market velocity.

If you're an entrepreneur with a web/mobile startup that's got some traction and you're not sure how to go about forming a business, scaling infrastructure, monetizing, etc. feel free to reach out to me. As time permits I'm happy to help mentor or advise you so you can build a good business without making some of the mistakes a lot of us did when we didn't have that advice. It doesn't matter where you're based, as long as you've got a web/mobile product or service that's got some traction.

Thanks man.

I'm a developer who struggles with interaction design.

If anyone is good at designing intuitive user interfaces, I would like some mentorship.

I know this request is better suited to Designer News, but I'll try here first.

Machine learning focused CS undergrad in Austin, TX - would love to talk to a data scientist in the industry for 30 mins.

I sense there is a large disconnect between ML research at university and application of ML in industry. I'm most curious how teams work at Netflix, Palantir, etc (at that scale and company size). I perpetually feel the impostor syndrome in this space (even though I performed very well in CS course work and research). If you can give me a glimpse of data science at your company, I would be grateful!


I’m a final year CS student who is looking for some career advice from experience developers. I've worked with Java, C#(asp.net) and Ruby on Rails on various college level projects and looking for product/service based company in India.

I would really like to have a mentor who can help me evaluate myself and guide me through various career choices.

You can find me on twitter: https://twitter.com/iamrahulroy Or contact me through email: techniciablog[at] gmail dot com


- Rahul

I've never really been involved in 'formal' mentoring since my first employer a long long time ago.

I try to meet up with young people interested in HFT for coffee or beer if/when they come through Chicago and I've really found the experience profoundly useful to me thus far.

Generally, this has just been facilitated by random LinkedIn messages by bold students from one of my almas, but I imagine if I was less of a slacker, I could more proactively be useful to people with an interest.

I'm an entering Berkeley EECS PhD student starting in August of this year. Willing to mentor local high school or undergraduate students majoring in or considering majoring in CS, EE, Computer Engineering, or similar fields.

My experience is mainly in systems programming, embedded systems, computer architecture, and digital hardware design. I can also talk about general introductory CS or EE topics or how to get into College/Grad School/Internships/Entry-Level Jobs.

zhehao.mao at gmail.com

I have always thought a mentor-mentee relationship is essential for growth, either personal or professional. Even though I am doing things that I want to professionally (working for an early stage startup) I feel at times lost, scared and completely clueless. Being an Indian living in Nebraska it is almost impossible to find someone who can actually understand my concerns, shares my values and provide relevant help.

I am a developer who recently got bugged by Audio processing / Digital Signal Processing. Putting it to use I was able to make a small whistle detection program[1]. I need to know how can I improve this program or better say, a primer on advance aspects of Audio analysis.

[1]: http://shubhamjain.github.io/whistlerr/

Question: Do you guys agree that for the mentorship process to work both people need to live at least nearby, to be able to meet in person one a month at least?

In the past I asked for someone who is in US to act as a mentor, and he agreed, but after a while it died down because exchanging emails and a call once in a while wasn't enough to solidify the bound and it wasn't work as intended.


Although I agree, it's very hard to find good mentors in some places. Specifically, in Brazil. Talk to people from SV is far more useful than talk to local successful businessmen, which is the ones treated as good mentors here. HN offers a lot more good advises.

Hey Guys, I am a coder slash entrepreneur, who is trying something different this time with "Helping Faceless". We are trying to find missing children in india with technology but I am feeling absolutely lost on how figure out a scalable model(business vise). Would love to have a mentor :

Url :www.helpingfaceless.com Email : community-manager at helpingfaceless.com

This is a little different: I'm looking for a mentor who has worked in the behavioral science / psychology field. I used to be a startup founder and software developer, but now I'm looking to combine technology with behavioral science. Also happy to chat with others who are interested. mark[at]markbao.com

Two questions: 1) If you ever considered getting a mentor(or being a mentor), and you did find a mentor(or a mentee), how did you do it? HN? other web forum? Work? Friends? 2) If you ever considered getting a mentor(or being a mentor), but you didn't find mentor(or a mentee), what stopped you?

2) Startup depression. When you most need help, you're the least likely to get it.

Anyone have the patience to mentor a true beginner in developing web apps? It would be mainly answering basic questions and advising on best practises. I feel with some interaction I could become a self-sufficient learner in a reasonable time frame.

I'm my username at gmail.com

If there's anyone in Cincinnati interested in part-time (sporadic at this point) contract work, get in touch with me (email in profile). I'm happy to mentor you ask part of the work. It would basically be an internship and working from home is fine.

Is there no website where you can join as a mentor or a student and then it gives you a list of who you're looking for, perhaps sorted by distance?

It could cover anything, not just programming or startup culture.

I'm sure I've seen one before?

Had awesome experience with Codementor (https://www.codementor.io/) recently, highly recommended for anyone looking for help or helping others.

I am running a small software services business. I really need a mentor a)- who can help me improve our services business b)- help me venture into product development. All help is appreciated.

Thanks. mwyounas@gmail.com

I'm a recent grad with my MS in CS. I mostly focus on information security and cryptography. I want to know everything about the two subjects.

I'm about to start working at a SaaS startup security company.

This sounds good to me. Perhaps the thread could set up short term matches every week just to lower the barrier to entry for mentors and mentees.

Perfect timing. I'm considering starting a mentorship group in NYC for people who are underrepresented in the tech community.

I'm in nyc - let me know if you need mentors, we can talk.

I'm graduating soon and feel lost. Some mentorship and or career advice would help a lot. I'm in Europe.

What sphere do you consider? If it is software Development maybe I can help somehow.

Also, "The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development" is a great book for people starting a career in software development

Thanks for answering. Yes, I'm considering software development. I expect to complete my MSc (major: software engineering, minor: computer science) in sep 2014 but I have no idea what to do next. What kind of company to work for, how to plan my career, etc. Any help would be awesome.

Thanks a lot for the book recommendation. I will be reading it for sure!

I am looking for entrepreneurial mentorship - would be great if you are in Sydney.

I suggest using Quora to get thoughtful answers to startup questions. You can also ask anonymously if preferred.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact