One of my favourite parts of UIT are all the mentors. Everyday there is Eric Lortie and Rob Myers at UIT to help anyone on any general problem they encounter. Not only are they there to make sure the students succeed (hence the job title student success coach), there are many mentors and UIT alumni which any of the students can contact freely over the Slack group messaging app. It is highly recommended for anyone at UIT to reach out to these mentors as chances are they’ve encountered the same exact problems the current UIT students are facing. Simply put, it’s like trying to learn programming in one room filled with over 100 experienced programmers who all want you to succeed. It’s a pretty nice feeling.
The first mentor to visit this week was Gavin Uhma, who if you’ve not heard of him, is kind of a big deal in the tech world of Nova Scotia. Gavin founded UIT, and seeing as I’m currently attending it, means a whole lot to me. Gavin was visiting the current UIT students to meet them and listen to our Chat Application pitches. After doing the same presentation about a few times I was definitely getting the hang of public speaking. The UIT students and staff we’re a great crowd to practice pitching as they understand it’s difficult to do if you’re inexperienced with it. While I was nervous about doing my pitch I was looking forward to someone looking at my slide deck and chat app who hasn’t seen it already. I was ready to get some major feedback from Gavin on my chat app as I’m always looking to improve and I was pleasantly surprised on how much he liked my app idea. I feel like having contact with Gavin is invaluable as he has so much experience with both programming and entrepreneurship.
The second mentor visit was Gab White who is very experienced in the design aspect of web development. She taught us about design using the Sketch app. Her lecture was very helpful to me as I’m not only interested in learning about design, but I feel it’s definitely an area I need to work on as my current chat application is very simply designed with not much thought put into the look of it. She also provided a lot of great resources for design and using Sketch. Looking at the layout of her website and design resources she provided makes me really motivated to completely redesign my chat app and portfolio, however next week we start a service app using Angular. Which I currently have no idea what I’m going to do for it but just like the chat app, the success coaches will help me get started.
I definitely look forward to meeting all the UIT mentors as they are all extremely helpful in many ways and will no doubt give me a boost in my career in whatever I decide to pursue.