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#1 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 16:42

Moderator note: this thread was stickied by moderation, and moderation will enforce these rules on this forum. 

Thanks, Andre S.

 

It seems to be that we've got a lot of people in this subforum at the minute looking for help with school/college programming projects at the minute. I thought I'd share my 2 cents for both askers and answerers.

#1 WE WILL NOT DO YOUR HOMEWORK FOR YOU.
See below...


#2 WE WILL NOT DO YOUR HOMEWORK FOR YOU.
While I don't think anyone here will refuse to help a struggling student, a certain amount of offence is taken when you try to take advantage of our help to get your homework done without putting in any effort yourself. If you copy and paste an assignment without evidence that you've attempted it yourself, you're likely to get hostile responses (see here).
 
 
#2a Show Your Work
If you're struggling with an assignment, show us what you've done so far (or at least the relevant portion). If we can see what you've done, we're going to be able to help you more easily!
 
 
#3 Use Code Tags
Reading unformatted code is a pain in the bum. Using code tags will make your code easier to read, and make it easier for other members to help you with your problem.
 
This:

int main()
{
    if (true)
    {
        std::cout << "TEST" << std::endl;
    else
    {
        std::cout << "WUT" << std::endl;
    }
}

vs this:
 
int main()
{
if (true)
{
std::cout << "TEST" << std::endl;
else
{
std::cout << "WUT" << std::endl;
}
}
 
 
#4 Simplify
Sifting through piles of irrelevant code makes debugging a pain. If you find a bug, make an attempt to reduce it to it's simplest possible form before posting. Remove any functions or variables that don't contribute to the bug. You never know, you might even find the bug yourself in the meantime ;).
 
 
#5 Ask a Question
We've got some talent in this forum, but none of us read minds (AFAIK :shiftyninja:). Dumping a load of code and announcing "it doesn't work" is likely to leave your topic unanswered and/or ridiculed. If you ask a specific question, you're likely to get a proper answer.
 
Examples:

If you are unsure how best to ask your question, stackoverflow.com offers some great advice on how best to ask questions and stack the odds in your favour getting the appropriate answer.


#6 Give Us All The Information
Like was mentioned above, saying "it doesn't work" isn't enough information for us to solve your problem. If you're getting errors, either from exceptions or from the compiler, tell us what they are. We could spend all day guessing the specific error, or you could just tell us and save hours of wasted time.


#7 We Won't Do All The Work For You
Sort of related to #1 and #2 above. While we'll try to help as much as possible, it's counter-productive if we help you with your homework and you don't learn anything from it. If we modify your code for you to solve your problem, you didn't learn anything! In some more encompassing questions (e.g. here), we might provide pointers and help, but leave the actual coding for you to do. You wouldn't give us your diploma, so we won't give you it either ;).
 
 
#8 We're Not Avoiding Your Problem If We Tell You To Ask Your Teacher
If someone says "you should discuss this with your tutor", they're probably not trying to avoid answering the question. It's probably because you're missing some fundamental knowledge. If you're lacking basic knowledge that's required for the assignment, you're likely to struggle later too, so asking your teacher is for your own good. If they're unaware that you're struggling, they might leave you behind and you might end up failing! Nobody wants that, even us on this forum.
 
Teachers are paid to help their students, and most professors will have time for students to ask questions (some will have an open door policy, others will have allocated time for you). USE THEM IF YOU'RE HAVING PROBLEMS.
 
 
#9 There are No Stupid Questions
Guys, we're being pretty harsh on some of the newcomers. While it might be hilarious or frustrating seeing some poorly started topics, we should still strive to be helpful. Berating newbies for asking questions poorly or lacking fundamental knowledge or not asking a proper question makes us appear hostile, and this is a quiet subforum as it is! If we're going to shun homework topics, at least do it politely.
 
Salutations!




#2 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 17:17

Great post. Mods should sticky this.



#3 Andre S.

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 17:59

Yeah I've been thinking we need something like this for a long time. Might be worth putting a link to http://stackoverflow...ions/how-to-ask as well. The problem beginners have is often that they don't even know what a good programming question is, i.e. they don't know what others are likely to know or not know.



#4 shozilla

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 18:47

If they need help, tell them to ask their friends that they go to school together or ask their teachers for help. That simple.



#5 +Frank B.

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 18:49

Great post. Mods should sticky this.

Seconded.



#6 Richard C.

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 19:07

Stickied



#7 OP +Majesticmerc

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 00:26

Yeah I've been thinking we need something like this for a long time. Might be worth putting a link to http://stackoverflow...ions/how-to-ask as well. The problem beginners have is often that they don't even know what a good programming question is, i.e. they don't know what others are likely to know or not know.


Good idea, I've added the link.

#8 Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 00:49

I think this is a wonderful idea. Should've been implemented long ago. Good job mods!



#9 Grinch

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 00:59

Excellent!



#10 Terabojin

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 22:20

I hope you don't think that I'm trying to exploit the help of you all with my issues in my code.  I am trying to do as much as possible before I ask someone for help with my code.  I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. 



#11 Anibal P

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 22:31

I hope you don't think that I'm trying to exploit the help of you all with my issues in my code.  I am trying to do as much as possible before I ask someone for help with my code.  I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. 

 

Your one question I saw was exactly what they are talking about doing it the right way, you explained your issues, showed the code you had, at least from my perspective



#12 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 15:25

I hope you don't think that I'm trying to exploit the help of you all with my issues in my code.  I am trying to do as much as possible before I ask someone for help with my code.  I apologize if I have offended anyone, that was not my intention. 

 

As z0phi3l says, you did as much as you could yourself before asking, and that's all we ask; that you try.  What was annoying people was the folks who just joined, dropped off a bunch of homework questions, and then f***ed off again.



#13 +Nik L

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 16:29

As one of many people here who have been to Uni/College/School to learn computing - I would attest that you are not given assignments that you are not prepared for if you actually studied and read as you are supposed to.  The further you progress within your academic life, the more you are meant to understand "self-directed study".  Meaning that you are given an assignment that may not be 100% related to what you have been taught, but you have been taught enough to know how to find out.

 

When I was learning back in my uni days, heck even before then - there was no really useful Internet to find the right information, we relied upon books and asking for a little guidance off people who knew (including lecturers - they are a resource).  Now you have the web, and it's a REAL boon for you - it helps you massively.

 

So why are there so many lame idiots who don't even know how to ask a question correctly, and rather just want someone to do the work for them.  Learn to ask the right questions!  Ask about the theory behind what you want to know, not just the answer.  When someone helps, thank them rather than come back begging because they didn't provide 100% full code!



#14 Nick H.

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 16:45

So why are there so many lame idiots who don't even know how to ask a question correctly, and rather just want someone to do the work for them.

I'm not going make the sweeping statement "it's a generation of laziness," as that wouldn't be true. But just like the media makes you think that the world is a worse place than it was in the past (it's not, it's just that the media is all around us compared to the past, and shocking events get more air time than happy events,) the Internet makes it easier for lazy people to be more viewable to us. That's my thinking, anyway.

#15 +Nik L

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 17:03

I argue that IT as a sector has grown, and more people are going to uni (some that I genuinely believe shouldn't).  As such, the percentage of laziness has grown.  But as an employer I don't think it's as bad as people make out.  Also as an employer it's on me to make sure I don't employ these people.

 

I value the ability to ask (THE RIGHT) questions very much!