Cranky? Nah, just human

Seth Godin says "have you noticed that people who want you to help them are getting a lot more insistent?". Yup, certainly have. I notice a new plague of "comment spam" asking - nay, demanding source code, emails saying "I like your stuff. Write my project for me, cheers." and "You wrote an article I once read so now you must do my work for me. I pay your wages. I own your ass."

I try my best to answer questions that I get emailed but it just isn't possible to reply to them all so I only end up answering the ones I A) Have the time to answer, which usually means B) The ones I immediately have the answer for and C) The ones that only take a few scentances to answer. Any request for code that requires me to actually write something new get ignored.

It's painfully obvious that a lot of people ask for help but what they actually mean is "I want some code for free".

Having said all that (got it off my chest finally) there are a great many nice people who I would never have met if they hadn't contacted me first. I am not one of natures natural networkers. I don't have a stuffed diary full of dates and telephone numbers, I don't really have what you would describe as a social calendar reminding me of so-and-so's birthday bash. I make friends and contacts by other people introducing theirself to me. And for that I am grateful. Once I make a friend I am very loyal but getting to that point requires a great deal of effort on the other party! What a git I am!

For anyone suffering a similar issue, here is the solution ;O)





  • You'd be used to ignoring people if you spent some time reading (and answering) newsgroups. My ballpark guess is that at least 90% of the posts are things that are being answered over and over again and would never have to show up had their authors done some reading (be it documentation or the actual group they're posting into). This is what you get when you make programming look like any idiot who can drag a mouse can do it.

  • Newsgroups absolutely suck. I use them mostly as a read-only reference. :)

    I try to help people out on the ASP.NET forums, but some people say stuff like "My server has an error and my boss is angry. Please send me the fix!!!"

    Like you, I don't really write code for people. They should be sufficient enough to write the code if I point them in a very focused direction. For example, "Read the XML into a DataSet, then set the DataSet as your DataGrid's datasource, then DataBind the DataGrid."

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