Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

  • (4 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

48 Replies - 12502 Views - Last Post: 13 December 2011 - 08:48 AM

#31 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

  • Can grep dead trees!
  • member icon

Reputation: 2250
  • View blog
  • Posts: 9,245
  • Joined: 18-February 07

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 05:21 AM

You know I have to say that the forums can be a harsh place. In fact the internet as a whole is a pretty harsh place. There are a lot of rude responses and many times are unfairly thrown as people just for "being new".

I recall when I was kid I wanted desperately to utilize the mouse in my QBasic programs. The editor utilized the mouse but the language didn't and it frustrated me. If DIC excised back in 1992 I would have been here saying: "Can anyone show me how to use the mouse in QBasic?"

My first post would have been flagged as "gimme de codez" and I probably would not have been back.

Did I want someone to hand me the solution: sure. but I also would have taken a link to more information a tutorial, an article, heck even a LMGTFY might have helped. (people always assume that using Google is easy as pie, but actually many people find it vary hard to know how to really drill down a search to something useful -- someone should write a google-skillz tutorial someday).

point is. I wanted an end result. I would have loved the shortest path, but I would gladly take the long road so long as someone could point in the right direction. In the end it was a Byte Magazine snippet of code for turning off the cursor that gave me the hint that I would need to use interrupt 33h and from there it was literally just moments (and this was back in the days of searching libraries) before I had all the information I needed to write my own mouse routines.

So I am a big advocate for being a little less rude to beginners.

<edit>
Two points I forgot to make:
#1 No amount of whining about how cruel and harsh the internet is will change it. All we can do is try to be a little less rude than our fellow posters and hope it rubs off.

#2 If someone had given me int 33h I would have begged to know how to use it. If they had given me the code in C I would have begged to know how to integrate it in QBasic, and on and on.

As stupid as it sounds. Having no one help me made me into a programmer. I went out and found a C reference to the int 33h routines. I broke the down and learned how to use them. I learned assembly language and translated the code over. I learned how to extract the machine code bytes from assembler list files, I learned how to poke in parameters to the assembly routines, I did it. I admit it took forever -- but I learned a metric TON, and gained huge amounts of self confidence.

That is what students who have everything handed to them miss out on: Conquering the problem, climbing Mt. Everest, facing a defeating obstacles. Winning.
Was This Post Helpful? 4
  • +
  • -

#32 CTphpnwb  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 2889
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,010
  • Joined: 08-August 08

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 05:28 AM

View Postroyce, on 13 July 2011 - 11:09 AM, said:

I'm a cut & paste programmer. I consider myself a smart guy who needs an occasional bit of code to make my own projects better.

That demonstrates the problem with copy/paster programmers. Royce has made a contradictory statement showing (unsurprisingly) that a copy/paster has no understanding of the issue. You can't be a copy/paste programmer who is a "smart guy who needs an occasional bit of code" because the latter is the definition of some one who is not a copy paste programmer.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#33 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

  • holy shitin shishkebobs
  • member icon




Reputation: 5933
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,346
  • Joined: 28-September 07

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:01 AM

For the first time in four years, I am in full agreement with CTphpnwb. :^:
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#34 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

  • Self-Trained Economist
  • member icon




Reputation: 10376
  • View blog
  • Posts: 38,415
  • Joined: 27-December 08

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:35 AM

@kiwinc: Currently, we do have the Gimme Teh Codez forum for posts with no effort or unintelligible posts. They are removed with canned replies and the OP is notified via email. Team members, mentors, and forum leaders have permissions to use this macro. If a member believes a post to fall under this category, he or she can report it and it will be reviewed. With this policy, I have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of "Google it" or "do your own homework" responses, as we are pretty on top of the truly deserving Gimme Teh Codez posts.

Regarding any perceived defensiveness or harsh posts, let's flipside this a little. Conversations like this one happen daily, if not more:

Quote

Quote

Hello sirz. I haz palindrum assinmentz and I duz not no wear to startz.


Quote

So what can we help you with? Have you broken down the problem? What part of it don't you understand or are you looking for assistance with?


Quote

Teh entire thingz, sirz. I iz a noob. I duz not no wat to do.


The grammar is pretty accurate for a lot of these posts as well. Our frustrations are that the OP's put in zero effort. I get that there are awful intro classes, but surely the OP can think about the problem and break it down. If that person had asked how to reverse the String, remove whitespace between words, etc., they would have gotten the answer they needed. People seem to think that being a beginner means they are entitled to hand-holding, which is not the case (even though a lot of very generous people, including myself once in a while) do end up holding their hands. It's frustrating, and that post would probably be Gimme Teh Codezed after that.

Quote

That is what students who have everything handed to them miss out on: Conquering the problem, climbing Mt. Everest, facing a defeating obstacles. Winning.

I couldn't agree with NickDMax more here. Please keep in mind that we're not necessarily going to be providing a step-by-step solution each time, but ways for the posters to keep going and tackling their projects. If someone asks me to demonstrate some syntax, I will. If there is a concept the poster is supposed to implement, I'll be happy to explain it, even providing pseudo-code in a lot of cases, which the OP can almost directly translate into their language of choice. If there is a truly cryptic piece of syntax or a more advanced algorithm, I'll write up a tutorial or snippet after the fact. I'm not simply going to implement someone's selection sort program, though. It's not going to happen, as it takes the pedagogic value from the program.

While I'm sure that there are a few Gimme Teh Codezed posts now and again, and a few are perhaps called on for being ambiguous, almost all of us are willing to help someone who puts in the effort. Things like asking questions the smart way and not being a help vampire will also improve the quality of the questions.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#35 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

  • Please show what you have already tried when asking a question.
  • member icon

Reputation: 5436
  • View blog
  • Posts: 11,653
  • Joined: 02-June 10

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 08:19 AM

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

I actually agree with you and the others who have dealt with whiners and slackers. Yep, there are some out there who would rather spend vast amounts of energy avoiding the problem than on actually tackling it. I tend to avoid those people until they figure out they really want help or that they don't want to pretend any more. Saves me a lot of heartburn.

But attitude, and how things are said, count for a lot.I've encountered a lot of while reading multiple forums.

I've seen an incredible amount of harsh words and flat out refusals on this and other sites in the past three years. No, never registered, because the tutorials were very new last time I was here (there weren't very many) and the answers were, frankly, cruel. What's the point? I was, at that point, TRYING to get help with a particular subject, but all I found was anger.


Let me summarize what I have told many folks (mostly newbies) about my own attitude and 'tone' to certain posts. I don't make any claim as to the 'tone' of other experts' posts here.
I presume you, like most people have an adequate support system at home: Parents, friends, clergy, professors... all telling you "atta boy, you can be anything you want if you want it bad enough." The last thing you need is yet another yes man as part of your cheer squad. I'm not here to become your next best fishing buddy. If being your cheer leader was going to work then you wouldn't be here trying to get someone else to write your code or spoon feed you the same information that is in your course text book. So I choose to offer a more frank and grown up style of response. If you're being lazy I'm going to tell you "you're being lazy" not "oh honey, I think you're just too tired to concentrate." The vast majority of our newbies are first year college students. (Read 'slightly older high school slackers') Who haven't yet figured out that life is a competition for resources: Teacher's time, friends' attention, high grades on a bell curve, and that one job slot for 500 interviewees. They've had it very easy for years. Talking to them as a grown up, from a grown up is new. And sometimes confused for anger because being frank is not something mommy and daddy have done much of.

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

As evidenced by both the original post and your response (ie, the attitude about me only being a member for 5 hours. How is that relevant to this particular discussion?
It is relative only to the section that I responded to: You're casual inclusion of yourself in how the member of this forum respond to newbies. Don't get me wrong; I think it was a smooth and slick way of trying to gain legitimacy for your statement by making it sound like you are one of the long term members of DIC and then saying "We have a tendancy to flame these people out." It gave the impression of someone speaking from the inside advocating change from within. That simply isn't the case. And I wanted to make that clear to those reading this thread.

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

People who challenge and throw things at those asking for help don't help.

I would disagree with that. Some times, a challenge is exactly what someone needs. A verbal swift kick in the ass. Something to get their emotional juices flowing. SOmething that makes them say to themselves "What a DIChead. He's telling me that I shouldn't be doing this because I'm not ready. I'll show him. I'll find out how to do this and prove him wrong." Which is the whole point behind challenging the lazy: To get them off their ass and trying to learn.

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

That doesn't mean there aren't lazy little creeps out there. But most of us, as students, are not.
I would like to beleive that most students are not. But keep in mind we don't see most students. We see a subset of them that come to the forum looking for a hand out. You can say that most Americans are employed. But if you do your survey at the bar at 2pm on a Tuesday, or the unemployment office then your numbers will be skewed. Same here. We receive a skewed demographic of the total student body.

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

I think you'll find that cheating in this country in EVERY subject has increased dramatically in the last 30 years.
You're the one in school. So I'll take your word for it. But it is truly sad. And pretty much shows why more and more employers are caring less and less about hiring graduates and going back to looking for older employees with experience even if it means little or no college. You're saying the students are ruining their own reputation. How short sighted.

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

If you don't like it when people do this, don't post an ugly response. Just remove their posts. It's pretty straight. Why so defensive?
They are removed and placed in our "Gimme teh codez" section with an explanation as to WHY. Rather than just remove them with no explanation so they get posted again and again. Sometimes they get what you call an 'ugly' response because the 'pretty' response didn't work. It is posted all over that we don't do your homework, that you have to post your good faith effort. That you need to use code tags and so on.
Spoiler

That was the first, second and third time the newbie was told this information politely. By the time they write begging for code they have ignored all the politeness, so a more stern answer is what comes next.

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

For the record, all but two of my college instructors were awesome. One could not teach, period. One was just a desperately unhappy person and took it out on us. So I had to hire a tutor to get through that class. I was lucky. It irritates me to no end, though, when people blame the victim. I've seen a lot of that, both here and elsewhere, and that's indefensible behavior in my book. And that unhappy professor? When asked for help, his response was invariably loud sighs of exasperation and the words, "WHY don't you understand this?"

At least he didn't bite my head off too often.

And the tutor I paid was very pleasant.


For the record, there are a lot of unhappy and unqualified people in the world. And you're going to wind up working for them at some point. What do you do then? Hire a supervisor-coach to re-explain the job material to you? This is part of the current college attitude I don't care for. The expectation that ever professor is going to teach you in the exact style that you require to learn. That somehow magically with a class size of 50+ students this one teacher is going to get everyone exactly the amount of friendship+challenge they require. That they are someone going to be able to go slowly over some material that you personally don't grasp and then speed up over the stuff you find easy.

Then when the student gets behind they come to a forum and ask someone to explain it to them so they understand it. Which is all well and good - If they had first made some small effort on their own to research it. They are NOT the first CIS101 student. They are NOT the first student to not grasp a concept. Someone some time has to break it to them that they are NOT special. They are yet another student that didn't grasp a concept and needs some help. Just like the thousands churned out by colleges across America over the last 20+ years. There are HUNDREDS of websites for this. There are THOUSANDS of article and tutorials. Yet most of these newbies can't be bothered with doing a Google. For Pete's sake I had to write an article on How to do a good search that will get you targeted answers. We're basically saying we had to show 20-somethings how to Google.

tlhIn`toq said:

There are many different kinds of nebiew posters on DIC.

By far the majority of newbies are people asking for code that solves their needs/homework. It doesn't seem to matter to these people that DIC has posted all over the place "We won't do you homework" and "You need to provide your good faith effort to code a solution to your problem." These people have already demonstrated with their first post a complete disrespect for the site rules and by extension the people on the site. They have also demonstrated their view of the volunteers here as being their personal code generation servants. Since these people have already insulted everyone on DIC with their arrogance it is not surprising that I or anyone else respond in the same manner in which they started their topic.

Next come the people that aren't exactly looking for a complete code dump of the solution. These are the people that are just too lazy to google and experiment and do tutorials or too lazy to learn before trying. They just start typing and *think* they know what a function should do based on nothing more than the name of the function. Then when it doesn't work as expected they declare it broken and ask for help to get around the *problem*, without every trying to look it up on MSDN or crack open a book. This doesn't disrespect the site, but it does disrespect the volunteers by reducing them to the OP's research slaves. Again, it's not unreasonable to expect a volunteer to respond with a tone of "I'm not your goggle-bot. Try looking it up and following the example."

Next comes the rare person who has made an effort. This highly prized newbie is working through a book or on-line tutorial... get's stuck {usually on something poorly documented}... takes it upon themselves to research... does their own trial and error... But still can't get an answer so they are left with having to ask for help. In my book these are the only type of people that will ever amount to anything in the coding world (but that is personal opinion). This rare third type of newbie is someone that we all like to see, want to see more of, and we do our best to give as much attention and patience as we can muster. Can I get a 'Hell ya!' ?

It should also be considered that being frank and honest with someone is not the same as being rude. Just because a volunteer doesn't blow rainbows and sunshine up someone's skirt doesn't mean they are rude. Honestly advising a student they lack any amount of understanding on a topic, and they need to seek out the teacher or tutor is not rude. It is frank honesty, aimed at convincing them to seek help so they don't become further lost and waste more time and money while loosing out on an education.

As frank as I have been with a lot of newbies, I don't think you could find an instance where even *I* have called someone stupid. Lazy perhaps. But it is not in my nature to call someone stupid. I know I have suggested (more than once even) that someone might not be equipped for programming as a profession. Some people might think that rude. That may not be what someone wants to hear. But it could be what they *need* to hear. Some people really don't have what it takes. I would not be a good airline pilot or food server: I'd kill someone by the end of a day at food service. Some people are not equipped to be cops, or air traffic tower controllers. Should those people receive nothing but encouraging but polite lies? I think not. At some time all people have to grow up and accept frank honesty and a realistic self-image of their capabilities.

Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#36 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

  • holy shitin shishkebobs
  • member icon




Reputation: 5933
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10,346
  • Joined: 28-September 07

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 08:45 AM

*
POPULAR

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 14 July 2011 - 11:19 AM, said:

This is part of the current college attitude I don't care for. The expectation that ever professor is going to teach you in the exact style that you require to learn. That somehow magically with a class size of 50+ students this one teacher is going to get everyone exactly the amount of friendship+challenge they require. That they are someone going to be able to go slowly over some material that you personally don't grasp and then speed up over the stuff you find easy.


THIS is exactly why I changed my major in college OUT of the education realm. As a kid, I always wanted to be a teacher. Then I started taking the required hippie-dippy, you must cater to every student's individually because each one is a unique individual snowflake, failing a student is akin to killing their puppy, you must forever walk gently because someone might get offended by every word/gesture/hairstyle/pair of shoes you wear bullshit. I tried to make it through the crap - not once - but twice. I've had more ethnic sensitivity/learning style/religious awareness/differently-abled neutrality classes than I care to remember. And it's all bullshit.

When you are staring at a sea of faces with a finite amount of time to accomplish the goals set forth by people who haven't set foot in a classroom since they themselves were school aged, you're fighting a losing battle from the very start. It's why No Child Left Behind is a crock. It's life. It's natural selection. At some point in life, someone is going to be left behind.

This post has been edited by BenignDesign: 14 July 2011 - 08:46 AM

Was This Post Helpful? 5
  • +
  • -

#37 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

  • Self-Trained Economist
  • member icon




Reputation: 10376
  • View blog
  • Posts: 38,415
  • Joined: 27-December 08

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 08:48 AM

That brings another good point up. I've seen threads where the poster complains "my professor hasn't taught us that method." Any API in any language is too vast to cover every single method for every single component. You could be there forever trying. The point is to learn how to do a little research and read the documentation.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#38 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

  • XNArchitect
  • member icon



Reputation: 1356
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3,528
  • Joined: 03-May 10

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 09:15 AM

*
POPULAR

I really only have one thing to say about this. A programmer is someone who writes code to solve an issue. If you're copy/pasting, you're NOT a programmer in my opinion. I can copy/paste the entire works of J.R.R Tolkien, but that doesn't make me an author. If you cannot understand the code well enough to write it for yourself, then you need to do some research and reading to figure out how to do it.
Was This Post Helpful? 5
  • +
  • -

#39 iniaes  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 34
  • View blog
  • Posts: 142
  • Joined: 23-October 10

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 11:31 AM

When I started my consolidation project I asked a lot of questions and asked for examples on the LB forum, and bless them one of the members there gave example and pointers over and over, and I owe her an awful lot. Now I find myself with time to continue my project I am probably going to be back there again, after I have got a grip on save files and file extension. . Uhmmm. . Stuff, I don't ask for the code to finish my program, if I don't ow how to implement something, or can't make sense of the help file, I ask for an example of how to use a statement or command, the reverse engineer it, such as cases ( that was an enlightening lesson).

The only stuff I have copy and pasted is the code from a GUI builder called freeform, and I learnt an awful lot from that about "style bits".

I the the sin bin for the GTC threads is a brilliant idea and until now was wandering why I haven't seen as many of them as I normally do. But now it means that I get a little more attention when do post my questions here :)

There is a place in coding for copy/paste practices, but it should never take the place of coding.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#40 Slice  Icon User is offline

  • sudo pacman -S moneyz


Reputation: 241
  • View blog
  • Posts: 700
  • Joined: 24-November 08

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 01:22 PM

*
POPULAR

View Postkiwinc, on 14 July 2011 - 04:22 AM, said:

I've seen an incredible amount of harsh words and flat out refusals on this and other sites in the past three years. No, never registered, because the tutorials were very new last time I was here (there weren't very many) and the answers were, frankly, cruel. What's the point? I was, at that point, TRYING to get help with a particular subject, but all I found was anger.


As long as people are having a specific problem they are trying to overcome, then they shouldn't get "flamed" on any forum.

I've been a member on here for years and the only time I see "angry" posts is when someone basically begs for code and shows no effort. But even then, they are not too harsh. In the defence of the forum, there are notices everywhere that give clear guides as what not to do. By ignoring these rules, people are already putting across a message that they don't want to read and don't want to be an active, considerate, member of the community.

Honestly, looking back over every single thread I've started asking for help, there isn't one member who has treated me with anything less than politeness, generosity and patience.

Stick around and I guarantee this will be a place where you can learn a lot. :)
Was This Post Helpful? 7
  • +
  • -

#41 scs12psu  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 12
  • View blog
  • Posts: 6
  • Joined: 18-April 09

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 05:21 PM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 13 July 2011 - 11:48 PM, said:

I think you missed the message in his words. I don't know if that was by choice or not. That professor did not think people were born with C# in their heads. He was trying to say that if people don't want to make an effort to learn a subject... Don't want to make a commitment to their own education on a subject... Then why take the class? If one is going to lie and cheat thier way throughout the course then they should drop the class and open a slot for someone who genuinely wants to learn it.


Thanks for noting what I /actually/ said in the post. Students who want to learn need to put in the time to (1) understand the material and (2) bang their heads against a few problems so that the theoretical knowledge becomes pragmatic knowledge.

I'm very encouraged by most of the posts here.

We need good software engineers; everyone's future depends on it!
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#42 kiwinc  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 3
  • View blog
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: 13-July 11

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 14 July 2011 - 06:23 PM

Awesome post.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#43 ladyinblack  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 9
  • View blog
  • Posts: 419
  • Joined: 08-April 09

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:16 AM

Enough said. This article took a long read, very interesting, indeed.

I'm an occasional copy/paster, only the codes that is required, sometimes they don't seem to work, perhaps syntax or some other error, I usually, enjoy the debugging part of copy/pasting someone else's code, then going a step further with a snippet. However, I fancy typing out the code more, that way gives me a chance to go over the code and make sense of what the code is all about..
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#44 leadfirelf  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 7
  • View blog
  • Posts: 189
  • Joined: 11-February 11

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:35 PM

This guy has a lot to say for someone with just 2 posts
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#45 Duckington  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict

Reputation: 169
  • View blog
  • Posts: 606
  • Joined: 12-October 09

Re: Response to "Are You A Copy & Paste Programmer?"

Posted 12 December 2011 - 12:57 PM

View PostCTphpnwb, on 14 July 2011 - 12:28 PM, said:

View Postroyce, on 13 July 2011 - 11:09 AM, said:

I'm a cut & paste programmer. I consider myself a smart guy who needs an occasional bit of code to make my own projects better.

That demonstrates the problem with copy/paster programmers. Royce has made a contradictory statement showing (unsurprisingly) that a copy/paster has no understanding of the issue. You can't be a copy/paste programmer who is a "smart guy who needs an occasional bit of code" because the latter is the definition of some one who is not a copy paste programmer.


I'd disagree with that. People don't have time to write things from scratch all the time, or reinvent a perfectly round wheel. If there is something they can quickly copy and paste into their code, without wasting time doing it themselves, there's nothing wrong with it. As long as you understand the basics of what it's doing, so you can debug it if it goes wrong.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (4 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4