While earning his degree in Computer Science, Mahmoud found he really enjoyed creating content and started publishing it in a few different places. He was very interested in getting a job as a Developer Advocate once he graduated.
"A developer advocate is a content creator and your goal is to help other developers succeed," says Mahmoud. "If I can get paid for something that I enjoy doing, then I'm winning. It also is very rewarding to see someone say, 'Hey, your piece of content helped me succeed or build something.'"
He reached out to us about becoming a learner advocate for egghead. Learner advocates help learners reach their potential by creating and sharing supplemental community resources for egghead talks, courses and workshops. Mahmoud was interested in the role since it aligned very much with what he wanted to do in his career and would give him an opportunity to work alongside some of the best instructors in the industry. His infectious curiosity and initiative to learn in public made him a great fit for the program.
In addition to taking notes for egghead talks as a learner advocate, Mahmoud also continued to learn in public, exploring different concepts and teaching what he learned online in other places. He blogged, made YouTube videos, and became an Auth0 Ambassador creating content around security and identity. His continual knowledge sharing with the development community to help others improve led us to invite Mahmoud to become an egghead instructor.
Learning how to create excellent screencasts
Mahmoud joined as part of an instructor cohort, a small group of instructors that we collaborate with and guide over the course of a month on how to publish lessons and collections on egghead.
Through the process, Mahmoud worked on his first lessons and planned his first collection, iterating based on constructive feedback from egghead team members and his peers in the cohort. The group met weekly with egghead team members to discuss learnings, any struggles they encounter, and tips on how to become better.
"It's kind of like a bootcamp or a crash course and they really nail down the egghead style," says Mahmoud. "They have a very clearly defined process for how they work and everything is just so organized. There was a lot of mentoring and it was really fun also meeting other instructors who were going through the same process."
Even though Mahmoud had experience creating video content, going through the process helped him discover and overcome challenges he encountered with screencasting. He became better at managing the back and forth between writing the code and talking. He also learned to remove assumptions in the language he uses regarding the difficulty level of what he's teaching.
"I'm kind of used to saying things like 'simply what you need to do,' or 'this is easy'," says Mahmoud. "I actually learned these terms are not really helpful. It's not relevant really when it comes to sharing an idea with someone or trying to explain something to them. To me, it's easy, because I'm teaching it, but for the person that's learning, it might be challenging."
🎉 Becoming a better educator and achieving a major career goal
Mahmoud successfully completed the onboarding processed and published his first three lessons. He made quite a few improvements as a result of everything he learned. One of the takeaways that made the biggest difference for him has been learning how to deliver the best experience for the learner.
"Focusing on the learner became the number one priority for me," he says. "Understanding what is the goal of this lesson? What are they supposed to learn? What are the outcomes? And make sure that it's very well defined and that I get the idea across as efficiently as I can, not wasting their time."
The content he's created during his journey with egghead — including his community notes, lessons, and giving an egghead talk — helped Mahmoud build his portfolio and resume. He was able to demonstrate his experience and style as an educator in interviews for jobs as a content creator.
In November 2020, Mahmoud started a new job as a Developer Advocate 🎉
"egghead definitely gave me a boost in the community and a boost in terms of skills as an educator," says Mahmoud.
Mahmoud says collaborating with egghead as a leaner advocate and an instructor has been a major part of his journey to level up his skills and help him achieve his professional goals.
"It's made me a better writer, educator and taught me how to create high-quality technical screencasts. I've also met awesome people, had some awesome conversations and got a lot of opportunities based on just joining them. I would say definitely collaborate with egghead if you want to become a better educator and if you want to be part of a great community. They care about quality so much and this inspired me to also care a lot about quality as well."