It doesn't end with the Etnetera Mobile Academy certificate for its graduates. For some, the newly acquired experience will open up opportunities for attractive internships, while others will jump straight into the workforce and become junior developers. The best ones may might even end up as our colleagues.
Such was the case of Patrik Mokriš, who graduated from Etnetera Mobile Academy 2021. This year, thanks to his enthusiasm and achievements in projects, he has already taken over the role of a mentor for the development of mobile apps for Android. How is he doing at Etnetera Flow and what led him to be a mentor in Mobile Academy? Read the interview!
Hi Patrik! We last spoke to you after you graduated from Etnetera Mobile Academy 2021 - and joined Etnetera Flow. What has changed since then, besides your mentorship?
Hi! A lot has changed in this year - both personally and especially professionally. After graduating from the academy, I got my first taste of what software development actually looks like in real life. I worked mostly only on partial tasks and often a senior colleague had to outline the process for me. Since then, I have been ‘breaking down’ several new features into individual tasks myself, and instead of asking for help, I now discuss the ideal solutions with my colleagues.
Besides this, mobile development itself has become my hobby and I experiment with modern technologies in my free time. I have moved in with my girlfriend, I have become more active in sports... I hope my World of Warcraft teammates will forgive me. (laughs)
This year's Etnetera Mobile Academy you became one of the Android faculty mentors. What led you to this decision?
The motivation for my decision was twofold. The first motivation was the opportunity and challenge to try out presenting in front of an external audience and to deepen my knowledge of the topics in preparation. The second was an inner feeling of wanting to reciprocate to Etnetera Flow the opportunity to springboard into real work by promoting this project so that others could get it.
What was it like to experience the academy from the other - mentor - side?
It was great! I enjoyed planning workshops with the other mentors and dealing with issues around the students. Plus, a bit of responsibility pushes one to be more productive and I welcomed this diversification during that time.
But mentoring new talents in mobile development is certainly not easy. What about the nervousness, were you nervous?
Nervous? If you are prepared, there is nothing to worry about, isn't there... Well, I wish. (Laughs) Three minutes before I started presenting, I apologised to the other mentors ahead of time that I was going to go blank and most likely mix up something. And two minutes before that I was checking with my team leader to make sure I wouldn't get kicked out for the fuck-up. (Laughs)… So little nervous, yes.
You mention a fuck-up and I can't help it - was there one?
I feel sorry for the other nine Patriks in parallel universes, but I was just lucky enough not to mix things up in the presentation! I may have asked other mentors a couple of times if they could help clarify answers to questions from students...But I don't consider that a fuck-up so much as teamwork.
Was there anything surprising to you about being a mentor?
I was surprised by the freedom and trust from the rest of the team. Maybe it could have been the workload of the other mentors and the lack of energy to control and direct me, who knows. (Laughs) Anyway, even though I was the least senior member of the mentor team, it didn't matter at all.
You have built up a lot of trust with us, too. As the interview comes to a close, I have one last but equally important question for you: If you could give any advice to future Etnetera Mobile Academy participants, what would it be?
In general, in any study, once you're stuck for over an hour, ask, ask, ask. The team of mentors are some of the most supportive people I have had the pleasure of knowing, and it feels better to see a student experience a eureka moment (maybe even five times in one consultation) than the demotivation of being challenged too much.
Feeling inspired by Patrik's story? Are you interested in developing mobile apps for Android or iOS, but find online courses impersonal and are unsure of their quality? We are already preparing for you Mobile Academy in a new format. Leave us your email address or follow us on Instagram, so you are the first to know when registration for the next year’s academy is open.