A great thing about being a fan, a gaming geek, a pro-geek, etc. is that we can find all sorts of role models – from famous programmers to great artists and the like, there are people whom we can model ourselves after and learn from.
Let me make another suggestion for using your friends and fandom to improve: what I call Mentor chains.
Mentor chains are when several people at different stages of their career/personal development work together to support each other. Those further ahead advice those less further ahead, their advice not being that of a seasoned professional necessarily, but of someone further enough along in life to learn from, but not so far away that the people or person they advice can't relate.
Thus I am learning from a friend who has his own business and is moving in a career direction I wish to emulate. In turn, what I am learning from him and my own reading is being passed on to others who are just starting to re-organize their lives and careers. By being aware of these links, one can ensure knowledge is passed on, and people reinforce each other.
In fandom, you have an excellent opportunity to do this:
- Heavily networked groups of fans so people can find mentors or people to mentor.
- People with common interests and terms so they communicate easily.
- Similar interests and ambitions.
So ask yourself if you have any Mentor chains – or want to start one. If someone is being your mentor, ask who you can help who isn't as far along. If you're experienced and have your life and career together, encourage those you're helping to help others. Leverage what you know and are learning together and share your experiences.
– Steven Savage