“I have done quite a bit of lecturing, teaching and tutoring but, compared to weekly lab tutorials, being a hackathon mentor is a dream.”
Marek Bell is part the OPEN Glasgow City Innovation Team and encourages others to join in and help participants reach their full potential.
Mentoring is fun and rewarding
Participants are extremely self-motivated, highly skilled, and team-oriented. It is a teacher’s paradise. You get to skip the part where you have to convince them that it is in their interests to learn, and go straight to the productive design, planning and then implementation. Once you get going you find that because the individual or team is highly skilled, progress is extremely rapid.
It is amazing to suggest a path to a team, and come back an hour later and be stunned at just how far they’ve taken it, and how much has grown and branched off from the original seed concept.
If you have any experience in teaching, supervising or lecturing, I would highly recommend mentoring at hackathons. It is an awakening. It exemplifies how rewarding sharing knowledge can be.
Mentoring is about…
Being objective, supportive and encouraging. It is about asking questions that might help the participants identify issues and opportunities. It is about helping them widen their point of view.
How much time do I have to commit?
It depends on your availability but an hour or two on Saturday and/or Sunday. To be fair to all teams, mentors don’t “cross the line” into becoming an extra team member but float between teams. They spend 15-20 minutes with each team; participants have a lot to do in a short period of time.
What skills do you need?
Participants will need help is a wide range of subjects: from subject expertise – energy, health and transport – to technical expertise, graphic design, architecture, urban planning, data management, user experience, presentation skills, business, market research…