I was recently contacted by someone who saw my post about being a PHP mentor on PHPMentoring.org and was curious if I was still open to taking an apprentice. This was very neat because most of my outside-of-work mentoring (as an apprentice and as a mentor) has been very informal. I’m hesitant to jump into such a relationship because it really depends on so many factors. We need to figure out what I as the mentor can offer, is it something they as the apprentice want to learn.
One of the first questions was “…anything you consider it’s important in php. Maybe give me tips of what to learn next, or share with me things that you wish you knew a few years back”
There is so much that I wish I knew a few years (or more) back. After sending my response I thought it might be good to share with others.
- No one knows everything, but everyone has unique experiences.
- Never be the smartest person in the room unless you’re the one teaching something
- Learn your tools REALLY REALLY well. (Phpstorm / Vim / Sublime Text/ whatever you like) Don’t be bullied into using tools that you don’t enjoy using
- Find and get involved in the local community, if there is no local community, start one. Community is incredibly valuable.
- Find a mentor, or at least someone willing to share knowledge. Doesn’t have to be a formal mentorship / apprentice.
- Find an apprentice. Even early on you will have something to teach others, teaching will force you to really understand a concept.
And I always like sharing book recommendations so I included these:
- Modern PHP – http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920033868.do
- Functional Programming in PHP – http://www.functionalphp.com/
- Mythical Man Month – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mythical-Man-Month-Engineering-Anniversary/dp/0201835959
- Clean Code – http://www.amazon.com/Clean-Code-Handbook-Software-Craftsmanship/dp/0132350882