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The Need & Importance Of Code Mentor-ship.

Published on 22 September 16

Have you ever heard the Chinese proverb, You can’t clap with one hand? There’s a good reason for it. Many times we go through life as though we are a one-man band, but that was never how we were created to be. We are social creatures -- hence the popularity of social media -- and we need each other to become better versions of ourselves on a day-to-day basis. That’s why mentorship is so important. One of my mentors once told me, You learn one of two ways - either the hard way, or through a mentor. Since then, I have purposed to always learn via a mentor. It has not always been easy, but it has been a lot easier than trial and error.

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But what exactly is Code Mentorship, and what makes it the proven apprenticeship model to become a professional developer?

You can read the detailed article, What is Code Mentorship? How to get a Code Mentor on to understand the concept. You can also read the steps to apply to become a Code Mentor here, and also learn how to obtain a mentor if you are a beginner or intermediate programmer by reading Code Mentorship: 5 Steps of Epiphany to Get a Code Mentor.

What is Code Mentorship?

Code Mentorship simply put is a relationship between a mentor and a mentee whereby the latter learns from the former how to take his/her coding skills to another level. The Chicago Computer Society defines a mentor as someone who can patiently assist with someone’s growth and development in a given area. This assistance can come in the form of guidance, teaching, imparting of wisdom and experience.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s look at the diagram below:

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As you can see from the diagram, the Mentor/Mentee relationship involves four primary practices: visualization, demonstration, observation and imitation. It is not enough to troll forums, scour technical books, or even watch online tutorials. Programmers also learn by imitating and putting into practice what they observe senior programmers do.

Code Mentorship facilitates a one-on-one relationship between an expert and a novice, or someone who is not really a novice, but has not reached expert level. He or she has taken coding as far as possible and is now stuck. A gentle nudge in the right direction from a Code Mentor may be all the mentee needs to take coding to the next level.

With Code Mentorship you can also build projects together. On Livecoding, there are several mentor/mentee relationships where coders collaborate on projects such as Livecoding’s TV App for iOS project. Watch this video to see one of their Broadcasters, Karrmarr, collaborating with the young programmer, Kreskow.

Kreskow is a 14-year-old programmer from Poland. Kreskow loves to code. He also loves to cook. As a teenager, he codes for fun. On Livecoding Kreskow meets Karrmar, a coding veteran who loves to help others improve their craftsmanship. Karrmarr is from Germany, and his favorite language is Swift. As you can see, it doesn’t matter where you are from. As a matter of fact, Livecoding’s policy is not to have both mentor and mentee from the same country.

The concept of Code Mentorship is not new!

Lysa Banks is an excellent example of a female software engineer who mentors young programmers. In her article, Why I Mentor… she writes, It is incredibly rewarding to help these young future engineers start to realize their potential as leaders and critical thinkers. Lisa is Lead Architect for Industry Cloud Solutions at IBM. She builds cloud solutions. She even built her own house. According to Lysa, she is simply giving back what was given to her, as she has had mentors who have enhanced [her] technical skills and business acumen or served as an emotional rock and professional guide. You can read the full article at Other software developers who have also benefited from Code Mentorship include MySQL creator, Michael Widenius.

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Why Livecoding’s Code Mentorship through the Apprenticeship Model works!

What makes Livecoding’s Code Mentorship the proven apprenticeship model to become a professional developer is its advantage over other traditional methods of learning. For instance, according to Airpair, a website that offers on-demand software expertise and free programming resources, there are several drawbacks to traditional approaches such as: when working on practice projects there is no feedback loop and it’s easy to get stuck in a rat hole, spending hours or even days on trivial problems. However, Code Mentorship picks up where other methods leave off. Livecoding uses this model to pair their beginner and intermediate software engineers with their expert programmers who are willing to offer code mentorship. Livecoding’s Code Mentorship through the Apprenticeship Model works as evidenced by their success with the Karrmarr/Kreskow collaboration mentioned above.

The Apprenticeship Model assumes you cannot acquire competence in coding by going to a class and listening to a lecture, or watching a video on YouTube. The apprenticeship model is more hands-on. And that’s why Livecoding’s Code Mentorship through the Apprenticeship Model works.

Here are just a few benefits of Code Mentorship:

  • Mentors get to improve their communication skills
  • Mentors also get to learn more as they collaborate with their mentees
  • Your mentor can help you understand the best coding practices
  • You get feedback on code architecture
  • You may even start a new fun project with your mentor from scratch
  • As a mentee, you can build projects with your mentor to improve your portfolio and become job ready.


Code Mentorship: The proven Apprentice Model to Become a Professional Software Developer, is Livecoding’s latest initiative to assist young programmers to become professional software developers by working with seasoned programmers, who are experts in their category. Code Mentorship brings many benefits to both the mentor and the mentee, including getting feedback on projects and code architecture. Code Mentors also get intrinsic benefits such as the joy of seeing a young programmer finally getting it.

So what do you think of Livecoding’s Code Mentorship through the Apprenticeship Model? Do you believe a mentor can assist young programmers become better coders? We’d love to hear from you so leave a comment below.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and IT Compliance & Audit Community

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