Self-taught programmers need to invest time and energy in spotting mistakes and solving problems on their own. However, having a mentor throughout the process can help lift some weight while molding you into a better software engineer. 

Programming is a complex field, but there's no denying that it is indeed practical. With that, you actually learn more when you are doing it than reading from a book. But the truth is, that's also not enough at times, and being self-taught can get you stuck in most places. 

Having an expert professional to guide you through your programming journey is crucial to help build your confidence and solve business challenges in the industry. Joining hackathons is a great way to experience working with a mentor and getting that experience to feel more inspired.  

Why Should I Get a Software Engineering Mentor?

Besides joining hackathons for beginners, you get a mountain of benefits when you work with a mentor as you're learning software engineering. This is because they act as your personal guide that will help you complete your course and provide you with valuable knowledge that will help boost your experience in the field. 

  • Mentors encourage focused learning, allowing you to clear out confusion with 1-on-1 help. Seeing as other people learn differently, if a class or self-taught setting can work for some, others may need a guiding hand for additional help. Besides that, you'll get to obtain first-hand experience to become a stronger software engineer.

  • Mentors can help polish your skills by providing you with the best practices to help you produce production-ready code. With their help, they'll find inefficiencies in your work and point out stylistic refractions and errors to help you create a more meticulous strategy for your work.

  • Mentors will hold you accountable, which will help you push yourself to become better in your field. With a mentor, you'll get to prioritize areas you need to work on and encourage you to take bigger risks to help you progress as a software engineer.

  • Mentors encourage long-term professional growth and support you in expanding your professional network. With their help, they can offer meaningful referrals and connect you with employers who could help improve your career.

  • Mentors will continue to inspire you and help develop your soft skills because these are crucial components of your career choice. There are times when you may feel unmotivated to do the work, but mentors will remind you of why you're doing what you're doing. Not to mention, they'll put soft skills in focus, allowing you to adapt to different cultures and environments. 

The Bottom Line: Having a Mentor is a Long-Term Career Relationship Worth Having

It can be tempting to teach yourself software engineering on your own. But besides joining hackathons for beginners, it's worth having a mentor guide you through your career progression. With their guidance, you'll get to set the right goals, boost your skills, improve your work ethic, and formulate your style. If you want to be an excellent software engineer, it's worth working with a reputable mentor to reach that goal. 

If you want to learn more about how you can advance your business, career, and product development efforts, it's best to find a hackathon for beginners that you could join and establish those mentor relationships. is the largest online hackathon community worldwide. We connect over 2000 hackathon organizers with over 10 million member innovators globally. Find a hackathon today!