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Requesting a mentor, avoid requesting trouble

Arrow Image How to request a mentor.

Hey, you. Yeah I mean you, come over here. I saw you in the forum today, requesting a mentor. I (tried to) read your post, I replied with a sarcastic comment to make sure you never, EVER post crap like that again. But now I realize you just need to be informed about the troubles that come with requesting a mentor. So here it is, an article devoted to requesting a mentor, please read this carefully.

You want to learn more about this virtual world. Mystery awaits you, but the coward in you is scared. You look around, giving people quizzical looks, “Excuse me sir, but I wonder if you could help me out here”. You want to learn, in order to learn you need help. A friend, a strong stone statue in front of you that carries brain, sword and a Michelin roadmap. Sorry I have to be the one who tells you this, but: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MENTOR.

Nope, there’s not. There is no mentor that can explain you everything. There is no mentor which can help you be the best of the best. The only way to reach that level of awesomeness is to do it by yourself. You can get some help though, help from a skilled person. Requesting help (in other words: a mentor) requires you to follow a certain protocol, a set of rules. You want to play the game, sure, go ahead but be sure to understand the rules.

First of all: do not request a mentor if you have absolutely no skills. It might be a good idea to learn HTML, basic PHP and something about web-hacking first. Click some links, read some papers, talk to people, read some fora, be someone. Once you obtained some basic skills (not too basic), you are ready for the next step: requesting a mentor.

“New thread”, you click this button in the “request a mentor” category in the forum. You want something like this as title: “Searching mentor, need help with [subject(s) here]”. Always, ALWAYS say what you need help on. You don’t want a web-hacking mentor if you are interested in rooting, or a programming mentor if you search a Photoshop guru. For the actual post, follow these rules:

1) Post your skills
2) Don’t exaggerate your skills
3) Tell something about yourself (age, country and time you’ve been “hacking” are good pillars to construct a small biography on)
4) Post any related things (maybe a website, previous mentors, whatever)
5) Post why you want a mentor (what do you want to learn, and why)
6) Don’t say “I want to be an ethical hacker” even if you want to be one.
7) Be honest


“Hey, I am J0hnK3y and I want to request a mentor. I have been messing around with computers for two years now, I have learned HTML, basic PHP and Javascript. I know some things about web-hacking (XSS, RFI) and I would like to learn more about this. I want to learn things about SQL injections and poison null byte attacks. I have been visiting HBH, ZI and HTS but I am “stuck”. I do not understand some articles I read and I need someone to “translate” them for me. I also would like to learn how to read and code Perl in the future too.

I am 15 years old, I live in the UK. I am mostly interested in programming and hacking on computers. In my free time I design websites for friends. I hope to learn more about hacking because I want to work in the ICT industry, perhaps as security developer.

If you want to help me, please send a PM. I will then give you my contact details (Aim, MSN and Gmail).

Thanks in advance!”

A mentor is a teacher, and probably a friend. He/she will be there for you, answering certain questions (most probably the ungoogable ones), giving you a fair chance to become skilled. Treat your mentor with a certain amount of respect. Mentors deserve respect because they are willing to sacrifice their free time to you.

Keep these things in mind when you request a mentor, this will not only help you, but also your future mentor.

Thanks for reading!


sleazoidon September 29 2007 - 12:36:28
great article, and very true. thanks for posting this man, hopefully people will check here before posting now Smile
Arto_8000on September 29 2007 - 14:12:08
Just be carefull of what you say for point 3, revealing personnal information ain't good at all on Internet. Just imagine your future boss that fall on this site by searching information on you ... that ain't good.
spywareon September 29 2007 - 15:11:31
Revealing personal information is indeed never a smart thing to do, but posting your country can't hurt. Anyway, most people surf hbh without proxy, and they also have a myspace and facebook account. So much for privacy Wink.
Uber0non September 29 2007 - 16:48:50
Another good article spyware, but I'm afraid some of those who need to read it won't do so before posting anyway :angry:
minermonkon September 29 2007 - 18:30:20
not only do i like the content but the style of writting is great to (if you get me) great job spyware Grin
mozzeron September 29 2007 - 22:05:59
The irony being, if they have made the effort to use this resource, wont need a mentor as they are already resourceful
a-hackon September 30 2007 - 01:09:12
A mentor is just an excuse to be lazy, use FORUMS.
mr noobon September 30 2007 - 14:00:04
and of course never forget the golden rule, DO SOME RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN BEFORE ASKING FOR A MENTOR... a mentor will not teach you ridiculously basic stuff like html.
spywareon September 30 2007 - 14:28:04
@a-hack: I disagree. @mr noob, that is included in this article.
dontspitonmeon September 30 2007 - 19:46:25
great article spy, thank God i was lucky enough you took me under wing way back when Pfft
only_samuraion September 30 2007 - 23:25:53
Grin damned good article mate. you seem to hit these things on the head...
thk-h3xon October 02 2007 - 21:51:13
Awesome Spy, great article, hope it will help some new peoplePfft
Zephyr_Pureon October 12 2007 - 01:25:36
Just friggin' awesome... the wave of the inept seems to crash against this pillar of precise structure. I like how you balanced the actual redeeming factors of a mentor with the fact that a mentor is, in most ways, a cop-out for a "lazy hacker".
thejason October 26 2007 - 17:17:48
Nice Style Spyware
Frogguyon November 01 2007 - 02:17:48
Nice article, I also like how you created the word ungoogable hahahahaGrin
TNice01on January 17 2008 - 18:30:27
Nice Article
K_I_N_Gon March 05 2008 - 23:21:15
I wish I read this before actually requesting a mentor. I see you used my line: The best of the best. Overall, great article.
pt00on May 19 2008 - 23:47:18
Nicely written!Smile
japanesedudeon August 04 2008 - 16:08:59
Spyware is truly a God amongst men.
Le_Gr0son August 22 2008 - 12:10:21
That was a work of art-icle!
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