[GRLUG] Distro's - GRLUG test comment, dead thread
zdennis at mktec.com
Sat May 13 23:07:52 EDT 2006
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I agree with Ron's Guide, and appreciate Ron for posting it.
Ron Lauzon wrote:
> Robert G. Brown wrote:
>>I beleive what is being objected to is behavior such as
>>described in the article at:
> That was an interesting article, but the "sobbery" that they see doesn't
> really exist, but I can see why they
> think it does. So I've created:
> Ron's Guide to Asking Technical Questions for Newbies
> Many of us who can answer such questions are often the people who are
> more technically advanced or talented at the companies they work for.
> In short: we are the answer people. At work, we are paid to deal with
> newbie questions (either officially or unofficially), so we answer your
> questions at work with a smile (after all, we LIKE getting paid).
> Outside of work, however, we answer questions out of the goodness of our
> hearts and out of a desire to educate people. But we are not OBLIGATED
> to answer your question.
> In my personal experience, I have been:
> + Treated as an employee by someone I don't know looking for an answer
> and demanding it NOW.
> + Called, at home, by someone I barely knew demanding (not asking) for
> technical help with his school work.
> + Treated as a Google-surrogate (i.e. they were looking for answers that
> were easily Google-able).
> So, helpful hints for newbies asking questions:
> 1. Ask. Ask nicely. I recently started to learn Japanese and they have
> a whole separate set of "polite" words. Learn the English versions of
> those words and use them. Copious use of the words "please" and "I
> would really appreciate..." are obviously very helpful here.
> We aren't looking for you to beg for help, but we are looking for
> appreciation for our help and not to be treated as peons (who aren't
> getting paid to answer your questions).
> 2. Try first. Who do you you feel better helping: the person who has
> made it half way up the mountain on his own, but is stuck and needs help
> - or the person who is still at the bottom, not having made any attempt
> to climb?
> Telling us what you did to find the answer yourself when asking the
> question tells us that you want to learn and makes us more willing to
> help. Which leads me to ...
> 3. Learn. 'Nuff said.
> 4. Accept that you may not get the "step 1, step 2, step 3..." answer
> that you are looking for. You may just get a little bit of information
> - and if you asked a good question, that little bit of information may
> just be the missing piece that lets you figure it out for yourself - and
> learn something in the process.
> Remember, we just don't want to spread Linux to everyone. We also want
> to spread knowledge. Because if everyone is smart, we can spend less
> time answering questions and more time doing cool techie things 8-)
> 5. Accept the answer "you've bitten off more than you can chew".
> Remember that you are asking questions of people who are more
> knowledgeable and experienced than you (if they weren't, why are you
> asking them questions?). Remember that we became knowledgeable and
> experienced by doing simple tasks, learning and then doing more
> complicated tasks. Some of us went to college, some to the School of
> Hard Knocks. We didn't get our knowledge from the magic lamp. We
> earned it through many trials and failures.
> I have a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science. I have almost 20 years
> experience. I've worked with many flavors of Unix over that time. When
> I tell you what what you want to do is outside of your abilities, it's
> not a slam - it's just the honest truth.
> 6. Remember that techies can be bribed. An offer of a dinner to help do
> something when we have free time stands a good chance of being taken
> up. Money works too. I've bought computers from the Junk Store and
> built them up with Linux for people to have something to play with - but
> I've been paid for that.
> 7. Respect. Remember that we aren't your employees, we aren't your help
> desk, we aren't under any obligation to you. Treating us with respect
> keeps our attitudes nice, and makes us much more willing to answer
> newbie questions.
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