What sparked this blog entry was a couple of blog entries by Ivar Jacobson. For those who do not know, he is one of the three amigos that founded Rational Software, along with Jim Rumbaugh and Grady Booch. He had a couple of posts on Rational Unified Process and how it came about, and what he thinks about his intellectual offspring today. I was interested, intrigued, and was educated by his post. In today's oft disconnected world, it becomes more challenging to create and maintain relationships, particularly those that are mentoring relationships. Rarely do we go out searching for mentors. Yet, we need mentors no matter what our age or expertise. There is always something to be learned, and always someone who knows more than you about something. Today I discovered the concept that one can be a mentor without knowing it. I spent many years in volunteer organizations being a mentor, and being mentored. I always new my mentor, and always those that I mentor and still know them all. Ivar has become a mentor to me. He knows me not. I didn't ask for it, I just took his advice. He offered it freely on the web. I would (safely) doubt that he has never read my blog, and certainly does not know me from Adam. Yet, I learned from him two things. First, his thoughts about templates and how they detract from the core of Objectory (now RUP), and the fact that blogging is and could be equivalent to asynchronous mentorship.
So, my advice (a.k.a. my mentorship) to you is to filter the blogs you read to only those you feel add value to you. Whether that be in the form of adding technical skills, financial acumen, hobby expertise, or just all around life skills - read only those that are worth reading. If you blog yourself, take the time to write something of value, something that will improve someone's productivity, lifestyle, recreational enjoyment, etc. If you use your blog to vent about troubles in your life, remember that there are enough complaints in the world to spare. Not many people will care so much to read your negativity, and will most likely not return to read another.
I will leave this post with a list of blogs that I think you will either enjoy and/or learn from. These encompass technologies, hobbies, and art. Its by no means a complete list, but one of many that I find valuable and listed in no particular order:
Labels: blogging, mentoring