As I watched the hack.summit() presentations, I saw another initiative there. It’s called hack.pledge() and it’s a mentoring program. Mentors pledge an hour of their time to help others in a particular area they are experienced in. It’s not for profit, there is no money involved.

I find it an interesting opportunity. Not only I could practice my communication skills, I could also master my craft. I am using some highly-demanded technologies daily, and I’m quite sure I could make a positive contribution to someone else’s craft. As the saying goes, you understand something once you can teach it.

I’m a bit reluctant to register because of the many uncertainties and a general nervousness when trying out new things, but I’m gaining momentum. See you there, if you need some front-end or cloud advice!

A few weeks ago I read an interesting article about a weekend startup MVP. The main idea was a chat where people can go and ask technical questions about their programming issues and an expert join in to help them. The first few minutes are free, then there is a fixed fee every 20 minutes.

The article was about the beginnings of the service, where the idea came from and the different approaches the founders tried until they reached the current state. One of the interesting points was that they had many applications from experts, and some people were willing to offer their help for free.

I think the driving force behind giving advice for free is that developers are eager to offer help to each other. StackOverflow, for example, is a site where people can ask questions and others can answer. It quickly became the #1 source of information when I face a challenging problem. Also I asked a few questions there in the past, and I was surprised how fast and accurate the answers were.

Also there is a social side. Developers tend to master their craft alone or within the boundaries of a small team. It’s a good feeling to help others outside your social circle.

It’s a bit novel field for me, but I’m toying with the idea of becoming more active in these sites to help others. I’m sure it will be beneficial.