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  1. #41
    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggy Hiker View Post
    True. There is a strong sampling bias at work here. For one thing, outside of Chit-Chat, almost everybody who starts a thread is confused about something. We never see the ones who are not confused, noob or otherwise.
    So basically what we're saying is that too large a proportion of those who are confused are not prepared to make sufficient effort to alleviate their own confusion.

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  2. #42
    Loquacious User Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Ah, since you put it that way, I do understand the problem, and I see the solution: Gin!
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie


    Gloom, despair and agony on me-e!
    Deep dark depression, excessive misery-y!
    If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all!
    Gloom, despair and agony on me-e-e!


    So when feeling depressed you should avoid these forums huh?


    Good thing we're not mentioning names or this other Hee-Haw classic might apply:


    Now, we're not ones to go 'round spreadin' rumors,
    Why, really we're just not the gossipy kind,
    No, you'll never hear one of us repeating gossip,
    So you'd better be sure and listen close the first time!

  4. #44
    Hyperactive Member Vladamir's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    My 2 worth....

    Posting a question on a forum like this usually means, usually I repeat, that the OP has done at least some research. There are times when I am stumped by somthing that would seem simple to others and I need assistance. That's what forums are for. However, this forum and a few others I won't name have more than their share of pompus members who will make comments to OP's about being lazy, or ask if google is broken, etc... To be honest, I don't understand why people reply to a post if they think the OP is not trying to learn something for themselves. Both parties would be better off if the topic was just left alone. I for one will never reply to anyone with something as lame as RTFM. But there are those who seem to enjoy this...or my all-time favorite reply from the self-righteous is, "If you don't know the difference between a (fill in the blank) and a (fill in the blank) then what are you doing even trying to learn...." I may not know the answer to my post, that's why I'm posting it. And when I read wiseguy replies it make me want to remind them that sure, you're an expert on this topic, but what if you needed to know something that I know and you don't.

    Now, just to give you an example of what one goes through trying to find information....usually it's because something has never been done before. That's at least 80% of my work is something that's never been done before. Now I search on google, bing and yahoo. Many of the search results are bogus, especially if they are up top these days. Many links will contain something near to what you want, but miss the resolution by a mile. Then there are those broken links, or links to someone who had the exact same question 4 years ago and it was never answered. Then there are the real PITA links which are totally criminal in how they make you think the answer is right here, just give us your credit card numbers so we can e-mail the answer to you. And don't forget there are lots of the old bait and switch sites, which have keywords that lead you in but once you're there its an advertisement for a VB.NET college course. Now while, you're going through all this, imagine the sound of cooky (Benny Hill chasing naked women around) music going on in the background. And that's how it sometimes feels.

  5. #45
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    <sarcasm>
    Bingo, there it is!

    Our mistake is in thinking that we don't owe people patient, friendly, free, in-depth consulting and training services as if they were paying us.
    </sarcasm>

  6. #46
    Super Moderator dday9's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    <sarcasm>
    Bingo, there it is!

    Our mistake is in thinking that we don't owe people patient, friendly, free, in-depth consulting and training services as if they were paying us.
    </sarcasm>
    I enjoy it :] seriously, it brings me pleasure to know that I've helped someone. Wether being payed or not. I just think that saying I'm just a newbie is A)Unecessary and B)An attempt to avoid responsibility.

  7. #47
    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by dday9 View Post
    I enjoy it :] seriously, it brings me pleasure to know that I've helped someone. Wether being payed or not. I just think that saying I'm just a newbie is A)Unecessary and B)An attempt to avoid responsibility.
    I think that we all enjoy it, otherwise we wouldn't be here. What some of don't enjoy is being taken advantage of, either wilfully or not. Along with those who do what they can to help themselves, there are those who know that they should but decide why bother if they can get away without it and there are also those who just don't think. A great many times I've prompted someone to look for themselves and they've found the solution for themselves, so they assumed that it would be too difficult and didn't even think to try first. I think that "I'm a newbie" gets used in two ways:

    1. When people know that they should do more but are too lazy too so they try to appear as innocuous as possible in the hope that we'll take pity on them and do their work for them.
    2. As a justification to themselves to convince them that their problem is too hard and it would be a waste of time to even try to solve it for themselves.

    If people really have done all they can for themselves before posting a question then all they have to do is say so. If they say "I've tried A, B and C and this is what happened" then I won't hassle them at all. Too many people assume that we will know what's in their head.

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  8. #48
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Some effort gets some points, more effort more so.

  9. #49
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    I get that people trying to coast can be annoying but I still say the answer is simple: just ignore them. What I don't understand is the mentality that just posts a RTFM response. To me that does smack of pomposity I'm afraid. OK, so you see a thread and think "that guy's lazy and clearly on the blag" so why not just ignore it? Why feel the need to tell them they're lazy? What do you actually gain by doing so other than a falsely inflated sense of self-worth?

    I have to say that this site is pretty good and I don't see a great deal of stone-walling (it's one of thereason I've stuck around here for so long) but I still remember my early days as a programmer when I was struggling to grasp the concepts, let alone the syntax, and I was on the recieving end of plenty of pompous and unhelpful behaviour. I think my worst experience was actually on the Sun Java forums when I was trying to do something non-standard with Enterprise Java Beans (I can't remember exactly what now, I think it was something to do with pointing a bean at a different record from within it's own accessors). I wasn't sure whether I could do what I wanted to, let alone how. I posted my question and got a lengthy diatribe from an established member that started by basically calling me an idiot and then went on to prattle about totally unrelated issues regarding the EJB architecture. It was quite clear that the respondant was far more interested in the opportunity to appear informed than he was in helping me find a solution. It left a bitter taste in my mouth and I never used that forum again.

    Prompting someone to help themselves and giving them a gentle nudge in the right direction is one thing, making them feel small just so you can feel better about yourself is another.
    When one of my minions says, "Hey, he's just one guy, what can he do?" I say "This"... and shoot them.

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  10. #50
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Truth is, even for non-awful questions of a simple nature I lay back and let the eager bottom-feeders deal with them these days. There seems to be little hesitation to trot out a half-baked "solution" but most of the time somebody else contributes a satisfactory answer.

    I'm interested in the more exotic problems as long as it doesn't mean doing the entire job for the O.P.

    I also try to look at the ones that get ignored (0 replies) and fall toward the bottom of the first two pages now.


    A whole 'nuther category are those "egad, this guy has bitten off far more than he can possibly chew" questions. These can be like the Tar Baby and I try not to go near them for risk of suffering through days of tutoring. These kinds of threads grow to 20 or 30 or 40 posts in just a short time.

  11. #51
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    @Funky... unfortunately the posts that get totaly ignored... then get bumped... and bumped and then bumped... or sometimes by the time I realize the poster is a complete dolt, it's too late... example, there is an active thread where I had to pull out a trout to slap him with... geezes it's been a LOOONG time since I've needed to do that... despite two or three posts of mine which clearly explained the problem... the problem was that he was using CType to cast a control as a WebBrowser... in one line, he correctly typed the control as WebBrowser... to invoke the Navigate method... but then in the very next line, he tries to CType it as WebBrowser.URL ... because that's the property he wanted to set... although now that I think about it, if he navigates to a page, why set the URL ... crap, I need to go revise my reply... anyways.... it went back and forth... I kept trying to tell him that the second parameter for CType is a TYPE... and that WebBrowser.URL was not a type... needless to say he came across with the same attitude my 10-yr old has a bout math... the indignant "It's too hard... *humpf*" attitude... so I whipped out the trout, reiterated the point I was trying to make, slapped him with the trout, and then spoon-fed him the code.

    It's going to be an interesting year for me... I didn't make MVP again... which means I don't feel this need to check what I say and run it through a filter...

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  12. #52
    Hyperactive Member Vladamir's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    I think that we all enjoy it, otherwise we wouldn't be here. What some of don't enjoy is being taken advantage of, either wilfully or not...
    This says a lot about this issue. If you feel you're being taken advantage of then leave it alone. There are many other things in this world to involve your time with. I for one take a great deal of satisfaction knowing I've helped someone even if I end up spoon feeding them the answer. Which as a fast typist I usually do without hesitation. I'm often criticized for saying more than I need to because I can fill up a page full of text in a matter of minutes. There are always differing viewpoints but I still say that if you've got the answer, and you have the time to spare, what's wrong with sharing a detailed paragraph or two. I will share this one analogy and then leave it. Years ago while working in the LA area of southern California we hired an elderly old man to supervise some of the crews which were made up of much younger workers who knew very little compared to what this seasoned old master knew about the industry. He was the first person who would try to help but he complained every step of the way about why don't these kids learn this stuff themselves. Deep down, he loved the attention and admiration from us but he complained relentlessly. I once told him that he could have the entire Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad gang rape him and he'd figure out a reason to complain. The look on his face was first pleasing when he thought about being in that situation but then he laughed saying he'd love to show the cheerleading squad the proper use for knee pads.

  13. #53
    Hyperactive Member Vladamir's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    technome....you'll always be an MVP on this forum. Take it from someone who knows. Titles are just letters after your name and have no real reflection of what's in your head. It wasn't that long ago that I finally discovered, (after working with more than one of them) that PhD stands for "Piled High and Deep".

  14. #54
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    I realize the poster is a complete dolt, it's too late...
    I admit that that's the thing that tends to push me over the edge too. You start with a simple nudge towards the answer and the next thing you know you're 16 posts deep, you've given chapter and verse on the principles, you've given working code on a plate, you've even offered to fly half way round the world to do the actual typing for them and it's still not enough. The trouble is that once you start trying to help someone you get an emotional commitment that's hard to walk away from. Even when you realise you're wasting your time you just can't help yourself and feel you have to continue until the OP "gets it"... even though they never will. Finally you explode in a super-nova of frustration. Sometimes the trout is the only recourse left.

    I didn't make MVP again...
    Yeah, I saw that in Szlamany's thread and was quite surprised because you still seem to be active and helpful from what I can see. Still, ours is not to reason why...

    Deep down, he loved the attention and admiration from us but he complained relentlessly.
    Ah, a man after my own heart. There's nothing worse than when someone ruins a perfectly good moan I'm having by offering a simple solution. That's just downright unreasonable in my opinion.
    When one of my minions says, "Hey, he's just one guy, what can he do?" I say "This"... and shoot them.

    The problem with putting your lair in a volcano is keeping your robot army from melting.

    I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully - George Bush

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Yeah, I saw that in Szlamany's thread and was quite surprised because you still seem to be active and helpful from what I can see. Still, ours is not to reason why...
    Based on the wording... I suspect it was more about the quality than the quantity... that's fine... I'd been finding it harder and harder to not whip out the trout... so ... maybe this is what I need to help get it outta my system... that and quite frankly, based on the postings here sometimes... I worry about the future of this profession... or have I simply become cynical in my advancing age?

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Ah, a man after my own heart. There's nothing worse than when someone ruins a perfectly good moan I'm having by offering a simple solution. That's just downright unreasonable in my opinion.
    Oh those people are the worst... complete jackwaggons they are... you're right, completely unreasonable and unwarranted...

    -tg
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  16. #56
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    I wonder how much my opinion on this issue is informed by the fact that I hang out almost exclusively in the DB section. While there are some occasional lost causes in the DB section the quality of questions is generally a lot higher. I guess that's probably because DBs are generally something people come to as a second technology after they've learned some winforms/web UI stuff. They've already had a bit of time to get used to how best to find information for themselves and/or ask for it in a sensible way. I will say, when I find myself straying into the main VB section the levels of stupidity in both the questions and the answers does seem to be multiples higher.
    When one of my minions says, "Hey, he's just one guy, what can he do?" I say "This"... and shoot them.

    The problem with putting your lair in a volcano is keeping your robot army from melting.

    I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully - George Bush

  17. #57
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    I will say, when I find myself straying into the main VB section the levels of stupidity in both the questions and the answers does seem to be multiples higher.
    I think that might be going a little too far. For one thing the levels of complexity, in my opinion, are much higher there than straight database interaction. There also may be more database related questions posted there than in the actual database forum. I especially disagree with the answers being stupid in "multiples higher" being true in those forums.

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Prompting someone to help themselves and giving them a gentle nudge in the right direction is one thing, making them feel small just so you can feel better about yourself is another.
    I totally agree.

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    OK, let me qualify that a bit:-
    The stupidity of some of the questions and answers there is multiples higher.

    I agree with you about the complexity in that it does get much higher (or possibly broader... or both) than the DB section but the dumbassery I encounter is also much, much higher.
    When one of my minions says, "Hey, he's just one guy, what can he do?" I say "This"... and shoot them.

    The problem with putting your lair in a volcano is keeping your robot army from melting.

    I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully - George Bush

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    I just act like I know what I'm doing so I can keep my job. "Newbie" and all. I even have 4 people working under me now. Its crazy, they ask me a question; I come on vb forums and ask the same question, unless its simple and I don't have to think.

  21. #61
    Hyperactive Member Vladamir's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by thebuffalo View Post
    ...Its crazy, they ask me a question; I come on vb forums and ask the same question, unless its simple and I don't have to think.
    Sssssh! You're giving away all our best tricks.

  22. #62
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    When I managed a team I made a point of referring them directly to VBF and tried to coerce them into creating accounts and asking questions themselves. I was surprised how much resistance I got. I think alot of people regard having to ask a question as a sign of weakness and find it embarressing.
    When one of my minions says, "Hey, he's just one guy, what can he do?" I say "This"... and shoot them.

    The problem with putting your lair in a volcano is keeping your robot army from melting.

    I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully - George Bush

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    When I managed a team I made a point of referring them directly to VBF and tried to coerce them into creating accounts and asking questions themselves. I was surprised how much resistance I got. I think alot of people regard having to ask a question as a sign of weakness and find it embarressing.
    Ive showed all of them these forums, they refuse to use them though. Its hilarious.

  24. #64
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    When I managed a team I made a point of referring them directly to VBF and tried to coerce them into creating accounts and asking questions themselves. I was surprised how much resistance I got. I think alot of people regard having to ask a question as a sign of weakness and find it embarressing.
    Especially if they are "just a newbie" They don't want to be considered stupid

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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Actually, that might be another reason I'm more sympathetic to the apparently lazy noob than most. I'm a bit paranoid I might be slamming someone who'd turn into an excellent dev with a bit of nurturing and driving them off into an embarressed silence. Thinking back, the experience I previously described on the Java forum very nearly did that to me. It was only my heeeuge ego that meant I was able to go onto other forums and post but I never, ever went back to the Sun forums. I'd hate the thought that I'd done that to someone else.
    When one of my minions says, "Hey, he's just one guy, what can he do?" I say "This"... and shoot them.

    The problem with putting your lair in a volcano is keeping your robot army from melting.

    I know that the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully - George Bush

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I think alot of people regard having to ask a question as a sign of weakness and find it embarressing.
    In my team other than three are that way. It use to be two of them asked me question until they got tired of me telling them to hit MSDN as we have a full site license for everything, use Social forums or Google. The other one is strictly Google and one percent of the time MSDN support. When he hits MSDN it is always a stomper for Microsoft.

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Looks like a good place for a Samuel L. Jackson quote from Pulp Fiction about now.

  28. #68
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Or is it that the team members don't want to even search for the answers online? They already have YOU as their leader to supply them with the answers!

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
    Or is it that the team members don't want to even search for the answers online? They already have YOU as their leader to supply them with the answers!

    .
    All I can do is give them a pathway. In the end all I really care about is they don't spend too much time banging at their keyboard going in circle. I tend to walk the floor which sometimes gets them asking when normally they don't or simply ask what are they doing and how is it going? Part of my salary is devoted to this along with a time code for my electronic timesheet for training and assisting team members.

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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    I have been seeing posts lately where members are chastising the OPs for not looking at Google for their answers with snide remarks like "you could have easily found this on Google". While that is usually true and I tend to go there first myself I hate to see that happening. I was a member of a mainframe forum as the mainframe was dying off and a common answer from people, like the Google search responses, was "that's in the manuals". It got to the point I suggested instead of the site pulling up just have it link directly to the IBM manuals on-line.

    Sometimes the interaction with other humans along with the synergy that comes with that is nice. I saw something earlier in this thread that I agree with...if the post irritates you or you have nothing to say but negative things just don't reply. Move on and let it go. Others will probably help out.

  31. #71
    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    I saw something earlier in this thread that I agree with...if the post irritates you or you have nothing to say but negative things just don't reply. Move on and let it go. Others will probably help out.
    I don't think that it's unreasonable to encourage people to make effort on their own behalf and I don't think that it's unreasonable to push people to make an effort on their own behalf. Those who are genuine will get the message and benefit from it and those who aren't genuine... well, I don't want those people to be encouraged to join my profession. I've had to work with people like that in the past and I don't want to have to again and I don't want any of the genuine people to have to either. I've seen many, many questions posted on this and other forums that would take seconds rather than minutes to answer with a simple web search. If you're really not prepared to make that much of an effort then I don't mind discouraging you from programming. I've had plenty of pleasant interactions with people, both experienced and inexperienced, who were quite prepared to make an effort themselves but needed some help along the way. That's the sort of person that I believe deserves help on forums. I don't look down on inexperience or lack of knowledge but I do look down on lack of effort and I make no apology for that.

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  32. #72
    PowerPoster TysonLPrice's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    I don't think that it's unreasonable to encourage people to make effort on their own behalf and I don't think that it's unreasonable to push people to make an effort on their own behalf. Those who are genuine will get the message and benefit from it and those who aren't genuine... well, I don't want those people to be encouraged to join my profession. I've had to work with people like that in the past and I don't want to have to again and I don't want any of the genuine people to have to either. I've seen many, many questions posted on this and other forums that would take seconds rather than minutes to answer with a simple web search. If you're really not prepared to make that much of an effort then I don't mind discouraging you from programming. I've had plenty of pleasant interactions with people, both experienced and inexperienced, who were quite prepared to make an effort themselves but needed some help along the way. That's the sort of person that I believe deserves help on forums. I don't look down on inexperience or lack of knowledge but I do look down on lack of effort and I make no apology for that.
    I hope you didn't take my last post personally and I certainly didn't mean it that way. I should have attached it to the previous post that got me thinking of that. I've seen discussions like this thread in other forums and I tend to be a bleeding heart when it comes to being tolerant of newbies and "slackers". I do see both sides of the issue.

  33. #73
    .NUT jmcilhinney's Avatar
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    I hope you didn't take my last post personally and I certainly didn't mean it that way. I should have attached it to the previous post that got me thinking of that. I've seen discussions like this thread in other forums and I tend to be a bleeding heart when it comes to being tolerant of newbies and "slackers". I do see both sides of the issue.
    Fear not, I haven't taken anything that's been said in this thread by anyone personally, so anyone who meant what they said as a personal attack against me has failed miserably I just felt that what I had to say was put in context by what you, and some others, have said.

    Often times I think that I should just ignore some posts. Often times I do. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I'll post a comment that someone should have searched the web or MSDN first and sometimes they'll post back and say that they have - sometimes they say for hours - and they haven't been able to find anything. I know that I have more experience and therefore might sometimes have a better idea of what to search for but sometimes the search is just so obvious that I have to wonder how the person could write code if they can't even search the web effectively.

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  34. #74
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    Re: Rant: I am just a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    Sometimes I'll post a comment that someone should have searched the web or MSDN first and sometimes they'll post back and say that they have - sometimes they say for hours - and they haven't been able to find anything. I know that I have more experience and therefore might sometimes have a better idea of what to search for but sometimes the search is just so obvious that I have to wonder how the person could write code if they can't even search the web effectively.
    Yeah, and I think that sometimes that's the rub... sometimes the key is in knowing WHAT to search for as well as HOW ... And yet, there are times when all I do is take the keywords in their own title, feed them into Google, and I get reasonable results in the first 10 links... cases like that I usually approach with the "you know in the amount of time it took for you to write up this post and wait for a response, you could have gotten the answer yourself... I just typed [what ever keywords here] in to google and got this:" and then give them the link to the results...

    Sometimes they then realize they were over complicating their searches, other times, they really didn't do the search, and very rarely, but I have had it happen, I get the "I tried those and they still didn't work for my for xyz reason." Usually it's because some vital info was left out of the original post...

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