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Mentoring Lessons Learnt From Code/Word/Play

By now, you must have read Pratik Saurav’s fantastic recap of the event Code/Word/Play. If not, go over to this link and check it out. I think that you will find that if you didn’t attend it, you missed out on a good time!

But I didn’t miss out. I was there. As a part of both the organizing team and a participant. An unusual position for sure! Hitherto, I had always been one or the other.

And as both a participant and an observer, I’ve got quite a unique perspective. However, I’m not going to recall the events of the activity. No. Pratik already did an amazing job of that!

Instead, I’d like to give my impressions of the networking that happened. Not from a participant’s point of view but from a mentor/facilitator’s. Specifically, I’ll show how this sort of exercise enables the mentor and the participant to engage at an extremely personal level. And how this level of engagement leads to great discoveries.

But before all that, I want to digress a bit. While prepping for this event, we realized that we needed a person experienced in the I.T. domain to help us facilitate and steer the discussion.

So we called upon T.B. Dinesh, co-founder of Servelots, and the organizer of Anthill hacks to aid us. Dinesh is well-connected, and has worked for nearly all his life in technology. He was just about the most perfect choice for this. And he added the necessary color to enrich the participants’ experience. (Thanks Dinesh for taking time out from your busy schedule to take part in this endeavor! – Author’s note.)

Coming back to the event, what struck me was the number of personal interactions going on. The atmosphere was so awesome that people lingered even long after Code/Word/Play ended. In fact, I suspect that many relationships, both personal and professional, formed that day at Church Street Social!

According to Dinesh, this was expected. He feels that in events such as these that bring together people who are “grounded in a reflective manner in their development, there’s just not enough time to indulge in this deep learning.”

The discussions were not limited to the intersection between code and literature. This is not so surprising after all! If you give a space for people to open up their creativity, magical things happen.

Dinesh pointed out that the unstructured nature of the event made many avenues of exploration possible. Some were interested in the theoretical discussions. Others enjoyed the hands-on session at the event. Basically, everyone got something out of it – including the organizers and facilitators!

I would say especially the organizers and facilitators. I agree with Dinesh’s opinion that these activities represent “the new phase in facilitation co-creation.” Here, the lines between organizers and participants are blurred. As a result, the potential for collaboration and networking is almost limitless. If even such a person as Dinesh found that this provided him with an opportunity to increase his network, then the average mortal should not miss such moments! Either as a mentor or participant or both!!

Want to attend more events such as these? Or would you like to be a facilitator for such activities? Better yet, have any ideas for interdisciplinary exercises? Drop us a line at support@venturesity.com and we will get back to you. Also, check out our webpage for more details about upcoming hacks and pursuits.

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Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.