I’ve been teaching and mentoring trainees and junior-level developers since I’ve started working as CTO several years ago. There were several ways of doing this like Ruby on Rails offline courses called “Ruby Ninja” we organized locally for students, small developers group learning for local companies, individual Skype lessons, and courses, and finally online mentoring via HackHands or Codementor these days.
The first time I’ve taught someone (and “someone” was actually a class of 10 people) was a need of Ruby on Rails developers for our agency (to be honest) and I can’t say it was really comfortable for me. Rather, that was an exit from a comfort zone. After several lessons, I’ve felt more confident and understood the first benefit of teaching:
While teaching, you’ll improve and polish your public speaking skills
Next time, I told in-house course for a small group of company’s developers. That was a more special course (based on their wishes) and more advanced (compared to Ruby on Rails basics course for students) with some pieces of knowledge I didn’t know myself well enough. After completing that course, I’ve covered knowledge gaps and felt I’ve reached to a new level in Ruby (and actually course was mostly about Ruby, but not Rails). And came to probably the most obvious benefit of teaching:
While teaching, you’ll improve your primary skills
After spending more time on teaching and mentoring, I started to notice which people are more motivated, self-disciplined, talented, and which are don’t endeavor enough, try to find reasons for not doing and justifying themselves. And what’s good is the more you work with people (applies not just to teaching, but any communicative work), the more you discover these special behavioral triggers and quickly distinguish one type of learner from another by recognizing such triggers. A little bit of psychology lesson comes from this:
While teaching, you’ll learn people better
So, while doing regular learning, consider teaching someone at the same time — and you’ll double your skills set and learn speed.
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