Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Breeding lazy developers...

Andy Kramek asked back on February 19th (I've been badly missing my reading and Alex pointed me to it - since he's first on my alphabetical listing of Fox bloggers)

Are on-line technical forums breeding lazy developers

The discussion (found in the comments) is a good one but what it also illustrates is a lack of resources or pointing to resources about how to get started in certain issues. As our development environments get larger and more features, it's hard to know where to start. In addition, the help files are often written to say "here's what this does", not "how to do it". I fully agree with Andy's issue about using CREATE CURSOR from ARRAY. That's just crazy. But for those who are posting "How do I create this...", these should be used as great fodder for the various How To sites and I think everyone should be linking to them.

For example, Craig Boyd's posts about learning Visual FoxPro

Craig Bailey's Screencasts on the same

The great VFP Seminar series from VisionPace

I'm sure there are some more - but while developers may seem lazy when they don't RTFM or google for examples, it's also the case that searching between 12,000 articles in Google can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Asking the "forums" may be a way of trying to filter it down.

I'm not saying anyone should be writing the code for anyone - but pointing them to places where they can find basic introductions is a great way to redirect them. Maybe every forum should have pinned topics that say "Before you post a "how do I" topic, go here first"


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