SUBMIT


  close
ARABTRON.COM FOR SALE
Hello world, I'm an aging code monkey. When I get something off my chest, it sounds like a rant. So if it seems like I'm too crotchety, remember that I'm here because I have a confession to make. One of the most common things folks like me do is ask each other questions. So we have sites like StackOverflow, mailing lists, chats, etc. These all have the same problem: New users who don't do their own research before asking the *same goddamn question* that's been answered a thousand times before. Working in a support context is a crazy, often thankless job, and you can't be asked to spend hours on people's problems when the solution is next to them, and they'd see it **if they bothered to look**. But hold on. Do you feel that contempt in my writing? Like I'd grit my teeth if I said it? I think that mindset is wrong, it's unfair of me to have it, and I want to be better at controlling it. I actively have to push that feeling down when trying to be supportive of the new and the returning. It's not right for me or us to resent some genuinely curious person who came in with a perfectly innocent question. But *why* would I feel that way? I got to thinking and realized that's basically how I "grew up" as a developer. When I was new, I got a BIG dose of "feedback" that I had to "take" all the time, in all holes. On the one hand I'd like to say that the "do-your-homework-or-don't-even-*speak*" culture made me better at asking questions, but that's the same rationalization stand-up comedians give for their parents hitting them. It also gives you a kind of Stockholm Syndrome where you feel oddly attracted to the same brainwashed personalities. I think that's why I can't quit Reddit even though almost all of you want to start an argument out of THIN AIR! You may as well "TA-DA!" when you start antagonizing. I'm just saying: No Paul, your survivor bias doesn't make hitting your kid a parenting technique. And just because you were left unsupervised on Newgrounds.com for too much of your childhood doesn't mean you can shit all over this poor little developer! Maybe when you've been hurt, that made you appreciate love more, so you somehow twist that into these cross-eyed dogshit moral fantasies where punching your only infant son in the face will make him love and thank you. I already see what he's going to do when he gets bigger. It's in his eyes, man. If you AREN'T a stereotypical nerd (or even if you are), you know the kind of toxicity I'm talking about. If you don't know what I'm on about and think I'm meandering off the point like a drunk, then bear with me: You remember talking to an Alpha Pedant, right? Maybe you spoke to the classic Grammar Nazi who makes a snide remark for Every! Single! Grammatical! Error! including my use of those exclamation points just now. Oh! Or maybe you've spoken to the scraggly-beard contrarian who will take everything you say literally, because his moral barometer is the law of supply and demand. You know, *those* pricks. Those personality types are my *peers*, even across workplaces. I am ashamed. If you walk in as a beginner in some of my circles with a "hw doI shot web"-level question, you'll be treated like you just tracked mud. And not enough people are calling us out for it. I'm much better about it today because I give praise openly, and criticism only when asked (this post nonwithstanding). I'd like to think that enough of us has learned that to make for a welcoming community, but maybe that's a question better suited for the one woman in a techbro startup. StackOverflow in particular has so many rules and nuances on *how* to ask a question and whether it can be *considered a question* that they have a whole "meta" site dedicated to *how to interpret it all*. Some years back XDA Developers did a funny video that captures the attitude you will *actually encounter* in developer communities: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmvCpR45LKA](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmvCpR45LKA) But even if you have a thick skin, and you are still expected to read the many, MANY rules of technical forums diligently. And you know what? Not everyone can be asked! I HATE it when a new developer comes in with a valid question that's hasn't been answered before, but it broke clause (i) of subsection blappity fap. Yeah, ignorance of the law isn't an excuse, but even the most evil cops know that no one memorizes a legal code. How about YOU just paste the answer from the documents you find so conveniently easy to reference, Mr. Moderator! Because if you make me read another sticky about how the users are ruining the life you so generously signed up for, I will give your wife everything she didn't have to settle for tonight. She already consented, too. Like, you gave her a *drought*, dude. (EDIT: For those that found this joke creepy, apologies. Not trying to be creepy, just factitious) This isn't going to go anywhere just because I want people to be nicer. Even though I'm just as much of a prick as the peers who made me. Even though I know we're supposed to see "people being nicer" as a puppy-dog's dream. I love people. But I hate what programmers turned me into. TL;DR: I've internalized a culture that treats new members like garbage and I had a moment of clarity. EDIT: Thank you for all of the comments and the warm response! I will answer as many comments as I can.