Beginner's Assumption - 0


How far getting experienced in a field can push you from the basics? In this new series, I'll write about the challenges a beginner programmer faces as a mentee will challenge my perspective on programming

September 10, 2019

During my vacation I learned a friend has decided to join the world of Web Development and he wanted me to help him into this journey. Accepting this invitation promptly I told it would only be possible after I was back home, where i have everything to help him.

After some days home, we started talking so we could figure out what area of web development he would like to focus. Always saying he liked visual things, like animations, how things are presented and all, we got to the conclusion that we'd start with front-end technologies.

Even though he knows his way through Linux OS; or how to create a network of computers; or even how to open computers and reassemble them, he had almost no prior experience with programming. He knew one thing or two about HTML and CSS, and basically nothing about JavaScript.

We talked even more and while having this conversation, I was already preparing mentally some resources he could start reading. I presented him MDN, asked him to view the source of the pages he liked the best to familiarize himself with code he would write in the future.

One thing that I was not expecting, however, is the number of assumptions he and myself make about things. On one hand, due to having more experience than my friend, I take certain things for granted and even have my own strong opinions about certain topics.

Some of his assumptions got me off-guard.

On the other hand, as he started reading some blog posts, some news and books, some of his assumptions got me off-guard. Listening him (yeah, we keep in touch through WhatsApp) saying certain things that are not wrong but are not entirely true, and I consider the 101 of front-end, really made me question what else both of us would assume in this mentor-mentee relationship.

Another really important thing those assumptions made me question is my approach to mentoring/teaching. Until now, the people I mentored had some prior programming knowledge, had even programmed some interfaces themselves, but wanted to go above and beyond.

Now, this friend will force me into new perspectives and I'll write about them on this series. I hope you keep an eye here. There are, at least, 5 assumptions I need to write while their context are still fresh. See you next post =)