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Connect with Brett Crowe,

Career Mentor for New Developers

from Vancouver, Canada

Connect with Brett Crowe,

Career Mentor for New Developers

from Vancouver, Canada

Introduction

Headline:

Career Mentor for New Developers

I am a(n):

Founder & CTO of Pick My Brain Web Developer Bootcamp Instructor Elaborate Planner Student of Rhetoric and Logic Player of Trumpets Vegetarian Alex Trebek Wannabe Intramural All-Star Bokononist Enjoyer of Puzzles Riddles & Board Games Packers Fan Survivor Fan (the TV show - yes it’s still on and yes it’s the ultimate strategy game)

I know a lot about:

Web Development Bootcamps Ruby On Rails Developer Career Advice

I am the go-to for:

Getting ridiculously prepared for your first coding interview

I can help you:

  • Learn how to play to your strengths and give yourself a leg up in interviews
  • Talk about whether web development is right for you
  • Talk about web dev bootcamps
  • Brain about building your own startup
  • Learn srategies to stay organized and more efficient
  • Work on better communicating and presenting your code, projects or ideas
  • Talk about anything and everything Ruby on Rails

Why me:

I’ve worked with hundreds of bootcamp graduates to help them find their first job. I’m also still fairly well connected to employers and developers who have been in the job market for years. As a result I’m always picking up new insights into what works and what doesn’t. In some local cases, I may also be able to make an introduction/referral to a specific company as well.

I am available for:

📞 Telephone | 💻 Virtual | 🤙 In person

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Pick My Brain Customer Support

Free


  • Over the phone
  • 20 minutes
  • Currently available

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Pick My Brain Call

Free


  • Over the phone
  • 30 minutes
  • Currently available

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Coffee & Conversation

Free


  • In person
  • Nemesis Coffee Gastown
  • 30 minutes
  • Currently available

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Career Asset Review

USD $30.00


  • Over the phone
  • 30 minutes
  • Currently available

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Mock Interview

USD $75.00


  • In person
  • CodeCore or a Convenient Coffee Shop
  • 1 hour
  • Currently available

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Shadow me

Free


  • Online
  • 3 hours
  • Currently available

Resume

Professional experiences:

  • CTO/Co-Founder at Pick My Brain
  • Partner/Economist/Co-Founder at D.E.W Consulting
  • Competition Law Officer at Competition Bureau of Canada
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Educational experiences:

  • Full Stack Web Development Certificate at CodeCore Developer Bootcamp
  • Program on Investment Appraisal and Risk Analysis (PIAR) Certificate at Queen's University
  • MA Economics at Queen's University
  • BA Economics at University of British Columbia
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Portfolio

My Platforms:

My portfolio:

Teaching at CodeCore College (the full stack web development bootcamp program) is my main side gig.

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I also do a ton of 1-on-1 work with my students, from working through specific coding problems, to helping them prepare for interviews, to being a glorified therapist and talking through the uncertainty and doubt they constantly face, the imposter syndrome they inevitably feel, and the seemingly endless possible paths to follow/things to learn within this one particular field.

I’ll use the rest of my portfolio section here to talk through a few of those very real issues that I help new, and even veteran web developers push through.

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Peaks and Valleys

I regularly describe my day to day programming internal voice as:

“I’m an Idiot”
“I’m an Idiot”
“I’m an Idiot”
“I’m a genius”

And then after soaking in your genius for a few minutes, it’s onto feeling like an idiot again with the next task or bug. Whether it’s solving a specific problem, or learning a new language, framework, or tool, being a developer is filled with those peaks and valleys on the road to ‘success’. You have to learn to love the ‘feel like an idiot’ valleys because that is where you really improve. I certainly do most of my growing as a developer in those moments. Which is good, because I spend a lot of time there! And that’s ok.

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Imposter Syndrome

I primarily work with new developers coming out of a bootcamp program, but imposter syndrome or just generally feeling like you don’t belong in the technical world is a problem that persists throughout a developer’s entire career. There is SO much to learn, and developer’s are often so deep in their own work, or working on something so specific, that hearing them talk about it can make you feel like a complete outsider. But the world of web development, and expanding out to programming in general, is just so massive. There is way too much to truly be an expert in everything. And no one is. All developers are constantly doing the same level of Googling you are. They might be Googling more advanced things, or different things, but there is a lot you can do in terms of attitude and action to push down the inevitable imposter syndrome you will face as a new developer.

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Watch out for Bias and Overgeneralizing

Programming can be a lonely profession and you absolutely have to lean on other developers to be effective. One small word of caution though, as you do learn from other developers, you’ll notice that some of them have incredibly strong opinions about how something should be done, or what language/tool is right for the job. I’ve had really smart people drop the line ‘Javascript is trash’. Now admittedly, Javascript has some weird nuances ([] + {} =/= {} + [] ? Wat) and is not always the best tool for the job. But calling what is by far the most widely used programming language according to Github’s 2019 rankings ‘trash’ is not exactly informative. You will run into these kinds of statements all the time. Often developers will joke about this stuff, and it’s completely harmless in that way, but learn to be suspicious of serious overly generalizing statements, then dive into the nuances yourself.

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Don't Isolate

That said, especially as a new developer, be a sponge to senior developers. Programmers arguably rely on Google more than any other career on the planet, but the fastest way to grow is to soak up the knowledge of other people in the industry. It’s easy to feel insecure (imposter syndrome, ‘I’m an idiot’ moments) and choose to isolate or not share your code, or your projects in general. But programming is a lonely enough profession, find a way to use and learn from your industry colleagues.

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Seriously Don’t Isolate

The world of web development is too big to learn on your own, and inevitably you’ll end up out of your wheelhouse. The worst thing you can do is try to bullshit your way through life as a programmer. Check your ego at the door and try and become a sponge!

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Communication

The picture here is a cheap representation of an oversimplified picture, but it is a very real thing that developers often aren't the best at communicating with other humans. You can be the best developer on the planet, if you can't explain your code and ideas in general you will not be a valuable team member. You don't need to become an extrovert, but there's a lot you can do to improve your communication skills in the web development field. And it makes a huge difference for yourself and those you work with.

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Have Fun

This has always been my favourite web related comic. A lot of what I mentioned above talks through serious issues and the mental and human-to-human struggles that developers face. Make sure your work is still fun for you regardless! I mean sometimes you’re going to spend 2 hours trying to get a button to show up in the right spot on the page. That’s not fun. But if you can’t laugh about it after then you’re maybe not approaching things the right way!

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Reviews

My Overall Rating:

(8 Reviews)

Written Reviews I've received:

Kenneth Augdal, Prototype Guru
June 11, 2021 | Shadow me
Review:

Long talk about many things 👌


Carolynn Nguyen, I help uplift, inspire, and motivate people to live their best fucking life.
May 3, 2021 | Coffee & Conversation
Review:

Hey, Brett. Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with me. I know you're busy working on Pick My Brain, so I appreciate your time and all that you do. You are so wise and I learned a lot from you about the monkey tree...

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Arnav Bathla
March 9, 2021 | Pick My Brain Call
Review:

It was great chatting with Brett.
He was more than happy to share his thoughts and go beyond the scheduled time to provide value.


Kazuma Tonegawa
December 19, 2020 | Career Asset Review
Review:

Even though I am in a slightly different area in tech compared to Web Development, Brett has been a tremendous source of insight on how to bring past experiences to display relevant skills for any tech interviews, as well ...

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Amit Roy
October 23, 2020 | Pick My Brain Call
Review:

Thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Brett. I had booked this call to learn more about Samurai Brotherhood, which he had briefly mentioned last week during an online brain dating event hosed by PMB.

Brett is extreme...

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Dr Marion Piper, Hell bent on making you FEEL creative
October 22, 2020 | Coffee & Conversation
Review:

The conversation Brett and I meandered our way through was fun, vulnerable and unique. It was such a treat to bend the ear of Pick My Brain's CTO to learn more about how he found his way as a Developer and what he's workin...

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Jürgen Strauss, Transformational marketing, podcasting and building deep connection with dream clients
August 4, 2020 | Pick My Brain Call
Review:

Really enjoyable conversation with Brett, to learn about his journey from economist to coding expert and co-founder of Pick My Brain, and then find out about the exciting things planned with the PMB platform. He also prov...

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Josh Hanson
June 21, 2020 | Pick My Brain Call
Review:

Brett gave me great information on where to try out coding and see if it's a good fit for me! I will certainly use his services again if I decide to pursue a career in coding.