Meet your Mentors
Daniel is a mentor at CoderDojo UWA. He gives some great advice to anyone thinking about mentoring at a Dojo!
What brought you to CoderDojo?
The first time I heard about CoderDojo was when one of my good friends and current champion of the UWA Dojo, Janelle, messaged me one day asking if I might be interested in a volunteering opportunity. Though I was uncertain about my suitability as a mentor, I went along with it, and that’s how I ended up here. As it turns out, throwing myself into the role with earnest effort and a genuine desire to help the Ninjas can be worth more than any of the background programming knowledge that I lacked.
What has been one of your favourite memories as a mentor?
My favourite memory as a mentor has to be all those occasions where a Ninja has come to me with a problem in their code, and we can sit down and work through it together. Nothing is more gratifying than finally seeing a piece of code function after working through problem after problem, and the accompanying look of delight and happiness on a Ninja’s face.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about mentoring at a Dojo?
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of not knowing anything about what the Ninjas are learning, particularly if your background in computer sciences isn’t as strong as you’d like. As mentors, showing is preferable to telling. It’s not just the coding language itself that we want to teach them, it’s how to approach problems in coding, the process of of figuring things out, that we want to impart. More than once, I’ve admitted to a Ninja that I didn’t have any idea how to answer their question. The important part is showing them processes to solve their problems. Looking at the problem from different angles, searching Google and asking other Ninjas, and even just fiddling around with it until it works.BACK TO BLOG