2019-07-08 22:08:02

Preface: This is about the "developer community" as a whole, not the community on this forum.

One of the biggest issues I faced when I began programming was debugging. If I encountered an error, I didn't have anybody who I could ask for help face-to-face. It was in my programming infancy that I struggled with researching things online and reading through forum posts to help me learn. Fortunately, it worked out that I was able to figure out my bugs and fix them. (I know, such a big accomplishment, right? After all, that's what people in this field are supposed to do).
After but a few years and a handful of tiny projects, I've become at least somewhat stable in my abilities to search, read, learn, and improve in my programming career without having to rely on others to continually encourage me to do so. Along the way, I've had nothing but others to point me in the right direction, push me to do my best, and try things that would help me become a better developer.
What really frustrates me, though, is seeing certain folks resort to the general toxicities of petty drama when not seeing eye-to-eye with other developers, whether their disagreement is rooted in fact or not. All too many times I see people post simple questions like, "what programming language should I start with?" "what are the best resources to learn Java?" so on and so forth, to which their greeted with condescending, unwelcoming, and sometimes even nonsensical answers that inevitably warrants others to respond. This creates the unnecessary frictions that detract from the main focus of the inquiry and can deter newcomers from pursuing programming.
Developers have high horses, too, and it's clearly evident, sometimes on this very forum. My main point to all of this is to ask the question of why? It's already confusing enough out here as is, what with the vast resources and different technologies and languages at our disposal that we couldn't possibly be able to hold all answers to questions whose nature deals with relativity or comparisons. I suppose it comes down to people just want to act like they're the big cheese and know more than you or the next guy, but it makes less sense to me for this kind of thing to happen in this field among others because it's so effing huge. I feel like you have no choice but to be open to learning about things you haven't heard of, because if you aren't, how far can you really go? Half of working with technology is realizing that you're stupid and don't know everything (sarcasm about the stupid part), which I regard as the humble nature of the folks who I've encountered.
At the end of the day, we're humans just like everyone else, and no matter how different development may be from other disciplines, we falter with the rest of them.
Personally, I admire those who have more experience because they've already done the hard work and can give me the answers to things wink but seriously, is it too much to ask for people to be comfortable where they are? The "we're in this together" attitude is what drew me in, and it's truly upsetting when there are people out there who get worked up for whatever reason and project that onto perspective programmers/developers.

2019-07-08 22:29:41

A couple things. Programmers can have god complexes, which I guess is a hold over from the 70s and 80s when they kind of were in a burgeoning field. Now, they are just people and they have to work in companies with other people. Second, they can have pretty shitty social skills. So I guess that contributes to it. I can see how it might be frustrating if you ask a question oin stack overflow and it gets closed or flagged as a dupe, but you could have searched first. Also, if they didn't do that, the place would become a mess in a hot second. But yeah it does delve into some pretty petty things.

You son of a bitch tab using scum bag!

If you don't know C, you don't know shit!

I felt the wind of your passing
        is preferable to
I felt the passing of your wind

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2019-07-08 22:43:42

I do my best to not be in my high horse when posting answers to things. The thing that irks me though is the fact that we have newbies like Jonikster happily posting wrong information, which causes the misleading of future developers. Its incredibly irritating to me when I post something on, say, Python or Java, and someone like Jonikster comes in and makes claims that are downright fallacious.
I actually read an article about this over at the OSI, wishing that the developer community was less toxic and more welcoming to newcomers. I do desire same, but it will only happen if we ge people (especially newbies) to understand that posting misinformation and saying it as fact is going to mislead developers and they will be conflicted on who's right and who's wrong. I went through this phase; I still do, accidentally, sometimes. But I try to consciously suppress it until I've done research when I consciously know I'm doing it.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2019-07-08 23:39:44

during the last couple months, I have followed/read a lot of posts both on this forum and other places (Stack overflow, Quora, ETC). I have frequently seen answers that wer very long and detailed to very simple questions. they have often made me feel the need to personally thank the owners of the answers for their effort, although the answers wer not directed to my questions. My point is, while there are indeed condescending people who make you regret asking questions, And there are others who look down upon those who are not as technologically informed as they are, The helpful developpers actually make up for them. In my little experience in this field, The newbie who faces such problems with the seasoned developpers is often at fault himself.
There are also questions that get old and annoying pretty fast. There are only so many times where you can answer questions like C# or python, What's the best programming language ETC with patience. If you have a specific task in mind for which you are not sure what programming language is the most sutable one,   Then by all means ask. Otherwise The internet is full of such questions, go do as much research as you want.

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2019-07-09 02:01:06

See, we don’t have any specific rules. I believe the reason why we get such questions is because we do not have an official guidelines as to what you can and cannot post.  It is a lot simpler, and I’m speaking from experience here, to pull this site up, type in your question, and hit submit, rather than go on Google and look through the topics. At least, it is simpler for somebody who is just starting out.  I am not saying that having guidelines will fix the issue, but it is something to consider.
Also, There could be made a sticky topic that has coding resources for various languages. Obviously the developers that have used languages will need to contribute, but I don’t think that would be an issue. This will solve the issue of where can I learn X Y and Z, Because we can just point the person asking to the topic or don’t reply at all. If they don’t bother reading through the topic or miss it, chances are they won’t go far.

Coding is not hard. No, not at all.
What is hard is making code that accepts different and sometimes unexpected types of input and still works.
This is what truly takes a large amount of effort on a developer's part.

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2019-07-09 02:29:13

We should do that. Collaborate on coding resources and guidelines for this room. I'd be happy to start the coding resources topic.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2019-07-09 03:50:47

Update: just posted a listing of booksk I have (most of them I do, some of them I don't) over here.

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2019-07-09 12:53:14 (edited by leibylucw 2019-07-09 19:07:58)

I can honestly say that I've had a welcoming/good experience being on this side of the forum. Seeing other devs out here answering questions makes me realize how much there is I have to learn about things, and feel like I can ask questions if something doesn't make sense.
Regarding users like jonikster, I made my opinion very clear on the thread about PHP. I am in full agreement with Ethin, - it's folks like jonikster that ruin this for everybody.
I've had my fair share of condescension, even on this very forum years back. I have since been at least cognizant (or trying to be) of my tone in my posts, because it can be very easy to mince words. Hell, I can think of a time when I outright said something that wasn't true, and still posted anyways. All this is to say that I know what it's like to be on both sides of this coin. Although I'm not a super knowledgeable dev, condescension and an inferiority complex are not discipline-unique, and I certainly had one once in my life.

2019-07-09 14:26:40 (edited by Rastislav Kiss 2019-07-09 14:27:04)

Hi there,
@6: well, that isn't a bad idea, when we take in the fact, that this is a developers section, although I don't think it will solve our problems. Which last topic asking for programming resources do you remember? When we exclude latest php course request, I personally don't remember any.
On the other side, how many topics in style language vs. language do you remember in last few weeks?
I don't know if this is just me, I'm not checking this forum very often, in most times for some period of time, but topics like these were always here, and just for these weeks I can think of at least 3 or 4 of them.
Plus another thing is, that they in general never or in minimum cases fill their goals. Do you remember that one guy asking for help with coding in Python, where I advised him to pay more attention to object oriented programming? And do you remember, how has it ended?
Me and few other experienced devs were arguing about principles of software design, necessarity of object models and it all ended up with dependencies injecting, a topic, which beginner has no chance to understand.
I don't want to revive this topic or point finger to anyone. It's just a example of how topics like this usually end, and it absolutely doesn't matter who acts in them.
It's clearly enough, if there is at least one experienced dev for each side and a flamewar can start.
Just to clarify this, I don't mean here topics where one side is explicitly wrong, like thatone from the recent past, I mean discussions where both sides are in general right, they just support their opinions and ideas what isn't bad, but when they use too professional arguments, it could lost the sense for beginners. That has happened in the example topic as well as in many other topics of similar style on this forum.
And why?
Because questions like which language to choose, or which techniques to use are always subjective. There is no way, how to answer them objectively. There are some objective facts in them, for example that C# is faster than Python, but if you really want, you can use a C++ dll and make Python faster, so it again matters opinion.
Plus another thing is, that we devs, although we won't acknowledge it, sometimes like to present our subjective opinions as objective facts, and the general truth. I'm not blaming anyone now, because I do it myself as well, I just want to point out, that this could be another reason, why those discussions, which I'm talking about usually end with flamewars.

May be this will sound harsh, but I personally think, that only solution to this is, that beginners stop asking questions like which language to use, and will rather spend their time with a bit research, which could give them quicker and more relevant answers than our argues. That will prepare them also for patience necessary to debug code. Coding simply requires attention, sooner they learn it, better for them, they will be many times in position to answer subjective questions, and must learn, how to deal with them.
Of course, I'm not saying, that subjective questions are bad in general. For example thatone about composing guis was also subjective, but absolutely in place imo. I just want to write, that building your own opinion from already existing resources may be better and more useful, than asking the same thing again and again, especially things like language vs. language.

That's all I wanted to say, it's just my opinion.

Best regards


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2019-07-09 14:37:39 (edited by Ethin 2019-07-09 14:40:39)

@9, I 100-percent see your point. But its at least worth a try; while it hasn't been shown I believe that the list of resources for sound acquisition has helped many a person. I am just trying to help the beginner who actually does want to learn by providing them a centralized list of resources they can learn from.
Youbraught up how programmers will raise points that beginners are not even close to understanding. This (IMO) usually results because someone who does not know what they're talking about starts such a discussion and gets destroyed for it. Granted, that's not always the case, but it usually is. If we're answering a beginners question and bring up a more advanced subject, usually we tone it down or attempt to describe it in another way that the beginner will understand.
I agree with your point on patience though. I don't think anyone truly knows what patience is until they go and write memory managers, though. Or working with the Win32 API. smile (Sometimes I ask myself whether the Windows API is harder than making an OS. I'd say in some ways yes, other ways... not so much. smile)

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament!]: 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out ?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."    — Charles Babbage.

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2019-07-09 19:55:55

Well @Rastislav Kiss, while I agree, that not many here asked specifically for coding resources, you need to view it from another angle. How many topics in this room, have you seen, where the author asks for something simple (ie, how does x, y and z work in python / php / insert language name here), that could easily be answered if they had taken the time to read an introduction to the language (such as those found in coding resources)
yah @Ethin, I know that list of sound resources has helped a unbelievable amount.

I'm me. Just me. No one else. Only meeee!

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