PyCon X


2nd - 5th May 2019

Become a Mentor @ Beginner's Day

The idea of "Beginner mentors" is to provide designated people that beginners can approach at any point during the conference, and ask questions, say what they're confused about, and seek advice about what talks to go to next, what technology to start learning, or whatever it may be. It's just about marking out a few friendly people in what may otherwise be a very intimidating crowd.

For this purpose, we ask to everybody applying for Beginners' Day mentorship to keep their status for the whole conference. Other volunteers might do it as well though!

How to be a good beginner-mentor

So, a good beginner mentor should, first off, actually be prepared to drop everything and answer questions from a beginner. This might not be as easy as it sounds -- conferences are times when we all look forward to catching up with our conference friends that we only see once a year, and we enjoying geeking out to the absolute max and talking about all the tech stuff we've been learning, the more obscure the better. That's a scary conversation for a beginner to interrupt. But it's also a conversation that's very difficult to abandon half-way through to answer some really basic questions; and, not all beginners are charming and polite!

But it's worth it -- programming is joy, especially in Python, and if we can help make more happy programmers in the world, then that's the sum total of human happiness increased.

Read this

Here's a few tips from some amazing coaches and people who've been out there doing coaching for a while.

Just read this -- it's excellent.

(follow the links through to Hacker School and the Dilbert strip ;)

Apply for Mentorship

Please fill out the Google Form Mentors @ Beginner's Day Workshop.

The beginner mentor's oath

And now well all say the oath together:

The crowd at the registration desk gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until the end of the sprints. I shall speak no jargon, feign no surprise, well no actuallys, and avoid all subtle isms. I will remember what it was like to be a beginner. I shall wear no crowns and seek no glory in geeking out with all my conference mates, and instead will drop anything at a moment's notice to help any beginner with sympathy, patience and a smile. I am the mentor in the darkness. I am the friendly coach in the halls. I am the dunderinit for new happy programmers. I pledge my life and honor to the Beginners Watch, for this day, and all the scheduled conference days to come.

(based on this, for any non-GoT fans ;-)

kindly borrowed from the absolute *amazing* Beginners' Day prompt page @ EuroPython 2016 as organised by Harry Percival