I've talked about mentoring quite a bit lately, as well as in a video of mine available on Safari. Although this topic is not that much in vogue these days, I'd like to say a few more things about it and why it is relevant in data science and A.I. these days, perhaps more than ever.
First of all, mentoring is good for both parties and it can even be profitable. Although it's doubtful you'll be rich by being a mentor, you have a lot to gain in terms of a deeper understanding of the craft, once you start explaining concepts for your mentees, while there is the opportunity to revive the "beginner's mind" through this whole experience. If you are a mentee, you'll save lots of time when learning data science / A.I. since your mentor will answer your queries and even guide you towards the resources you need. If the mentor is good, they may even help you develop the mindset of data science, something that's hard to do on your own.
Also, if you are part of the Thinkful online school, you have a whole set of benefits too. As a mentor, you'll have an easier time finding a mentee and even get paid to mentor them. Also, you'll have a structured learning path, through the corresponding data science courses, so that your mentee won't need you for everything since the platform provides him/her with plenty of resources for all the basics of data science. As a mentee of the Thinkful school, you'll have access to vetted data science professionals who will help you learn, while your mentor can help you further through tailored hands-on advice and guidance through your data science learning.
On another note, through mentoring, you get to have a chance to stay grounded, regardless of your role in this partnership. As a mentor, it's easy to get detached from the world, due to the more high-level way of experiencing the craft, while as a mentee it's easy to get lost in the math or programming side of things. Mentoring helps you stay close to the essence of the field, which has to do with how it is applied and the various methodologies involved in its use.
Interestingly, with today's web technologies, it's easy to experience mentoring wherever you are, as long as you have a reliable internet connection and a decent computer, particularly one with a webcam. Although mentoring in person is generally better, you don't have to depend on physical proximity in order to mentor or be mentored in the fascinating field of data science.
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Zacharias Voulgaris, PhD
Passionate data scientist with a foxy approach to technology, particularly related to A.I.