A Personal Reflection on What Makes Mentoring Great

A Story about Jonathan Darwin, Senior Software Engineer – Android at Tokopedia, Bangkit Android Instructor
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” — Bob Proctor
Jonathan Darwin (25), a seasoned Software Engineer at Tokopedia, embodies the spirit of knowledge sharing and community engagement. Amidst his demanding work schedule, he dedicates time to teaching in Bangkit, a program designed to help students kickstart a career by providing industry-relevant tech competencies and developing critical soft skills.

So, what are Jo’s—that’s what he’s called—motivations and insights for being an instructor in Bangkit? Let’s dive into his story!

Bangkit: A Place to Give Back

Jo’s current role as a Senior Software Engineer at Tokopedia proves his tech expertise. However, his true calling lies in teaching, where he found his niche as an Android Instructor for Bangkit, a program led by Google and supported by industry experts like GoTo, Tokopedia, and Traveloka to cultivate Indonesia’s tech talent.

His first encounter with Bangkit was serendipitous. In 2020, he stumbled upon the program’s introduction through Google for Indonesia. Back then, Jo was intrigued by Bangkit’s mission to nurture aspiring tech talents. Despite his keen interest, Jo’s internship prevented him from participating in Bangkit.

However, fate had other plans. In 2022, as the Kampus Merdeka program gained momentum, Jo seized the opportunity to become an Android Instructor for Bangkit.
“I believe in the power of community. I want to help Bangkit alumni succeed and become role models for the next generation of tech leaders.”
However, Jo’s passion for teaching stems from his involvement in student organizations during college. As the lead of the Google Developer Student Club (GDSC) at Universitas Bina Nusantara (Binus), he honed his public speaking skills.
“Being a lead at GDSC allowed me to develop my communication skills,” Jo reflects.
Throughout his career, he also received guidance from mentors who shaped his professional growth. Recognizing the impact of mentorship, Jo aspired to emulate his mentors by empowering others.
“Having mentors who believed in me and took the time to share their knowledge was invaluable. Now, I want to do the same for others who are just starting their tech journey.”

Empowering Young Minds to Build the Future

Jo's decision to join Bangkit as an instructor was a natural progression of his passion for teaching and desire to give back to the community. He saw Bangkit as an ideal platform to share his expertise and positively impact the lives of aspiring tech talents.
“Bangkit is more than just a coding program,” Jo emphasizes. “It equips students with the skills and confidence they need to thrive in the tech industry.”
His teaching revolves around practical knowledge that aligns with industry expectations. He focuses on sharing real-world experiences that students can apply directly in their careers. Jo's involvement extends beyond the classroom. He is also an advisor for the Capstone Project, guiding students in applying their knowledge to real-world challenges.
“I enjoy helping students navigate the complexities of their projects and providing them with the support they need to succeed.”
Jo is particularly impressed by Bangkit’s commitment to continuous improvement. He highlights the introduction of new curriculum modules, teaching methods, and even an entrepreneurial capstone project, demonstrating the program's adaptability and responsiveness to industry trends.
“The Bangkit team is constantly innovating. They're always looking for ways to improve the program and ensure it remains relevant in the ever-changing tech landscape.”
However, he also acknowledges the challenges of balancing his demanding work schedule with his teaching commitment. Despite the obstacles, Jo finds immense satisfaction in his role as a Bangkit instructor. “It’s incredibly motivating to know that my efforts are making a difference in their lives,” he said.

3 Essential Tips for Thriving as Digital Talents

In Bangkit, Jo taught Mobile Development (Android), during which time he frequently got questions from cohorts. Interacting with students always excites him because he gets a lot of positive feedback.

Aspiring to see his students thrive as digital talents, Jo has 3 (three) tips for them:

#1 Explore and Have a Growth Mindset

“The world of software engineering is vast, and there's always more to discover. Don’t limit yourselves to what you're taught; actively seek new knowledge and expand your horizons.”

#2 Be Aware of the Indispensable Role of Soft Skills

“Soft skills are crucial for navigating the complexities of the workplace. Effective communication, time management, and problem-solving abilities are highly sought after by employers.”

#3 Collaboration and Communication are the Cornerstones of Success

“Software development is a team effort. Working effectively with others, expressing ideas clearly, and defending your opinions are paramount.”

Jo also emphasizes the collaborative nature of software engineering and the importance of giving back to the community. Software engineering is not just about individual growth; it’s about sharing knowledge and contributing to collective advancement. Bangkit provides a platform for experts to give back to the community by mentoring and empowering future tech talents.

“No Greater Satisfaction Than Seeing Your Students Succeed”

Lastly, Jo highlights the opportunity for continuous learning and self-improvement that Bangkit offers to industry experts.
“Even if we consider ourselves experts, there's always more to learn. Bangkit exposes us to new ideas, perspectives, and teaching methodologies, allowing us to refine our skills and knowledge.”
He shares his personal experiences of how Bangkit has impacted his professional growth. Jo said that involvement with Bangkit has enhanced his communication and public speaking skills. He also gained valuable insights into time management and effective teaching strategies.

Jo's journey as Bangkit’s instructor inspires. His dedication to knowledge sharing and his commitment to giving back exemplify the transformative power of mentorship. As Jo himself puts it, “There's no greater satisfaction than seeing your students succeed and knowing that you played a part in their journey.”

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