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I just gotta ask....

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by ffreeloader, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Do the people who inhabit this forum really think they are doing someone a favor by doing the most basic of research for some of the people who post here asking for help?

    Why not just advise those people how to search, and leave it up to them to do the search? All you do by giving people answers is create a dependency in them upon you, and they will have learned diddly-squat about helping themselves in the process. All they will do the next time they don't know something is come back and ask for an answer again, rather than have figured out how to find the answer themselves. IOW's they will remain completely ignorant as to how to help themselves.

    It's far more genuinely caring, and ultimately a far more successful method by all objective standards, to take the time to feed somebody by teaching them to fish, rather than just tossing them a fish as you walk by.

    One way creates a beggar. The other creates a self-sufficient person.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    We can't give away a tech's greatest secret now can we freddy?

    :tongue
     
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I think most people who post asking for help only ask when they have no other option.

    There are some though who ask questions repeatedly because they do not have the gumption to look on google, but I also think there are people who do not realise that research can be done for google.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Wouldn't the site be a lot... emptier, blander and possibly less popular, without the reputation its member's have to be forthcoming in their knowledge?

    Also, it works both ways; by giving advice, we are reinforcing our own knowledge on a topic.

    We're not spoon-feeding them - we're not shoving braindumps down their throat. It's a subtle kick in the right direction. Granted, sometimes people possibly need a frying pan round the back of the head as opposed to a subtle kick, but help is help, and we are here to provide it.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I can't help but feel as if this is aimed at me on this post (as it's the most recent one). While, yes searching on any search engine is a very basic thing for most people, for beginners it isn't. It took me a while to learn how to search properly on these search engines, as for the beginner who just does a "beginners" search then is all of a sudden bombarded by all results of their search, which most of the results are non-relevant added to the fact that alot is in english - and if the person first language isn't english it just adds frustration as all as de-moralizes a person.

    While skills even basic ones have to be learned, just saying "search" is not very helpful. There are different methods of teaching and learning, and one of them is learn by example.

    For example, learning to drive: While you officially learn to drive once you hit the legal age, you actually start to learn as soon as your allowed to ride shotgun* (this is the front passenger side) by watching your parent(s) drive.

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  6. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    good point Ken, but even if someone does a search and returns lots of results, eventuall they can find what they want.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Not necessarily - especially if they're new to the industry, and unsure of what they're looking for. At the very least, people will still need to ask basic questions such as "which Certs are best for an entry level role" and "is training provider 'X' going to be good for me"

    Search engines are all well and good, but if you're not good at using them, or if you're too vague about what you are looking for, then you may come unstuck.

    At least on somewhere like Certforums, you often get a balanced view, from a range of members in a range of countries, across a massive variety of skillsets and levels of experience. And this counts for everything, from advice on entering the industry, to advice on why your motherboard won't work and, oh by the way, the capacitors look like they have gunk on the top.......
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I know, just do a search for "adult material" :tune:lol:

    -Ken

    p.s. this is a joke, don't do it at work incase your company logs web traffic :)
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I agree with the which cert is best point but if someone is asking questions like what is NetBUI then that could be easily googled.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  10. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Definitely, no doubt about that :) even Wikipedia do a good job on a lot of topics... but in these cases, I refer back to my 'reinforcement of knowledge' point, of the people replying to the posts. Since my N+, I've avoided the N+ forum somewhat... and I became shoddy. Replying to these things help keep topics fresh in your mind that may otherwise stagnate. Call it proactive revision :rolleyes::biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  11. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    If a guy doesn't even know what a fishing pole is and how to use it to catch fish, just handing him one isn't going to do him very much good.

    I remember starting out on this trail a few years back and I asked the same questions on forums as any other newbie and many times, got the same sort of response..."look it up yourself". The problem was, I didn't know enough to figure out how to look up want I wanted and even when I found it, I didn't know enough to understand what I was looking at.

    Eventually, I managed to gain sufficient knowledge to do most of my own research, but I still ask questions from time to time (see the General forum under Microsoft for my latest "newbie" thread). Sometimes it's not just the information a person is looking for but the perspective and experience in order to interpret that information and constructively organize it.

    Granted, there will always be people who don't want to do any work for themselves, regardless of how much advice they've been given and I think we've seen that sort of behavior here from time to time. Eventually, that person's questions will get tiresome and the collective response of the forum ends up not being a response at all (unless ignoring someone is a response).

    If a person is new and young (or young at heart), I will tend to give them the benefit of the doubt and try to help out when I can. You especially see this sort of behavior on Linux forums when even seasoned Windows people suddenly discover they have no clue about what's going on. Convincing people to adopt Linux on the desktop and in the server room is as much about being friendly and helpful as it is about showing how Linux will do a fabulous job in those areas. A lot of people have been turned off to Linux, not for technical reasons, but because they've been rebuffed by Linux gurus and veterans who've gotten tired of answering newbie questions and now just gruffly reply "RTFM".

    CertForums is a very active discussion forum...more active than most, and represents quite a bit of talent among its members. One of the primary purposes here is to bring newbies in to the fold, so to speak, and teach them the ropes. Part of that teaching process is answering their beginning questions and teaching them what a fishing pole is, what a fish is, and why they want to catch some. Once they've got that part down, you shouldn't have to hold their hand very much unless they've managed to "hook a whopper" and need help reeling it in. :wink:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  12. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Good Explanation
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
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  13. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Yo Trip - 11,000 and counting... :biggrin
     
    Certifications: A few
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  14. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    To all,

    Notice that the implication of what I said is that only some people who post here ask just for answers. You will notice though, that it is pretty much always the same people asking for the same level of help too.

    As to English being a second language for some.... If someone can post here and ask questions in English, they must be able to understand enough English to be able to use a search engine to find this place. Just how did they find this place, read here, and manage to post here asking questions if the above assumptions are not true?

    This is not a way of putting people down for helping other people. If I were doing that, well, I'd be putting myself down for helping others, and I've done my fair share of helping people on this, and other, forums. That's not what this is about.

    Here's an example of what I mean. Say you have a child born with a deformity. Oh, say one leg is a lot shorter than the other, enough to make it difficult for that child to learn to walk. Are you doing that child any favors by never allowing them to go through the difficulty of learning to walk just because it's harder for that child? If you constantly make sure that you compensate for that child's disability, will that child ever overcome that disability and grow beyond it? That's very doubtful, as that child will have learned that someone will always come along to do anything that they struggle with for them.

    If, however, you take the time to give the child ideas as to how they can learn to conquer their handicap and encourage them to work at it you will have taught that child to learn to think, to solve problems, to overcome, and created a child with much more self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-respect. It's a lot harder during the time of need to do things that way. It takes a whole lot more time. But, who wants their child to grow up without that confidence in themselves that it takes to overcome the difficulties they will run into in their lifetime?

    Giving results rather than giving an education in how to find results is doing that same thing. It's robbing that person of the ability to improve themselves, and create self-confidence in themselves. Notice that I'm not saying not to help, but to look at changing the type of help you give.

    If each of you hadn't had to learn to help yourself, where you would be? Would you really rather be in the position of being dependent on others to do for you what you are now capable of doing for yourselves? Somehow, I really doubt it.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  15. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Oh good grief, I did it again. Biggest mouth on the forum. :oops:
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  16. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    Yes, you have just proven to the world that it is men who are blabber mouths not women. Thank you Trip! :twisted::biggrin

    P.S. Congrats on post you big blabber mouth. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: Microcomputers and network specialist.
    WIP: Adobe DW, PS
  17. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    The simple matter is, you can find pretty much anything on the internet, even answers to this very question im sure. So why didn't you just google it? Answer is because people's opinions and thoughts mean alot.

    I do understand what you mean, alot of very basic stuff gets asked, I have been the offender of this before, im sure, but hasn't everybody at some point? I would rather ask a question here and have someone who I respect and admire answer the question, then take some random site's word for it.

    Conclusion? I do see what you mean, and somewhat agree with it on certain levels, but not on the whole :)
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
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  18. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I like to think that it is always helpfull, when I take time to reasearch for others. I did some research for wag one morning on a cert he was studying for. I know he knows how to google, but he is also a busy man and a new dad and I like to research stuff. Then there are the newbies, that don't know how to and usually for them I will put my google link with the ones that I think are best for their situation so they can see how I googled it. Then there are just those times that you can't fig out how to word something to find exactly what you are looking for. I've been there, so I like to help people that are having the same hard time too.
     
    Certifications: Microcomputers and network specialist.
    WIP: Adobe DW, PS
  19. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    We all ask for help sometimes. I do it myself when I'm stumped, or completely ignorant about some subject. The people I'm referring to ask the same level of question again and again, on different subjects. IOW's, they are not learning to help themselves at all.

    Most people on any forum will ask questions, especially the newbies, that seem kind of dumb sometimes(myself included), but if you kind of keep track of the types of questions a person asks over time you will see a progression, a growth, in the types of questions asked, and the depth of knowledge for which they are asking for help. The questions asked will not stay on the same level of ignorance about a subject or even the same level of ignorance about how find answers to any subject. That's most people. They are learning, and at the same time, learning how to help themselves. Those are not the people I'm referring to when I say we create cripples who depend on us rather than learning to help themselves. We do those people a huge wrong by allowing them to become dependent on us, rather than themselves.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  20. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    I understand the point you're making Freddy, but as a friendly discussion board, what range of alternatives do we have?

    Answering "Google it, or bugger off" to every post is ignorant and offensive at worst, and damned annoying at best. We can't simply ignore whatever is posted, as that is tantamount to letting spam slip by; and there's no way someone can be banned from the site for asking questions.

    Truly, your point is well made and understood. But IMO, the nature of what Certforums is (and was built upon) is helping those who ask. It's like working on IT Support; almost identical in fact. We have people working for us who have done the same job, working in the same programs, for years upon years upon years, and they still ask the same questions of support. Yes, I'd willingly go downstairs and shove a keyboard down their throats sometimes. But there's no way you can foster a 'cut them loose' attitude in that kind of environment. If you've built yourself up to provide service of a certain type, that service is expected. I'm not saying CF is a service portal, but we're not the kind of people to say 'bugger off and check Google' either.

    I think at the very least, we're helping them by not saying "Go get yourself a braindump. The rest happens after you're certified."
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA

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