Just give solve it for them?

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25 Replies - 1261 Views - Last Post: 31 August 2007 - 09:36 AM

#1 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Just give solve it for them?

Posted 22 August 2007 - 02:33 PM

How do you learn best?

Someone gives you a problem and...

Scenario A:
...you have to go out and find the answers youself. You may get hints here and there, but for the most part, the work you return with is yours.

Scenario B:
...you get stumped, ask for help, and someone just does it for you and hands it to you on a silver platter.

I think the answer is obvious. So, why is it that on programming help sites (many of them), when a newb gets stuck people gladly bail him out by writing code for him? There's something to be said for examples that a he can use to model his own code after, but just doing it for him? I don't think that helps. For one thing, the newb doesn't get the benefit of doing it himself. For another thing, the newb expects that kind of help all the time and gets annoyed when someone tries to help by offering hints or pointing him in the right direction.

So, here's my challenge to you. The next time a newb posts code and asks for help, see if you can help without just giving him the answer or writing code for him. Yeah, it can be more work because sometimes they come back again and again for hint after hint on the same problem. But at least make them work for it.

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Replies To: Just give solve it for them?

#2 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 22 August 2007 - 02:38 PM

that's kind of the site policy.
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#3 Thorian  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 22 August 2007 - 03:31 PM

yeah if you see anyone doing others work let one of us know about it.
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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 22 August 2007 - 09:36 PM

Quote

Yeah, it can be more work because sometimes they come back again and again for hint after hint on the same problem. But at least make them work for it.

No, usually they just ask you to do the work, because the deadline is due & they don't know what they are doing.

Sadly, I've done homework for others on rentacoder & in the real world, but it came at a hefty price. My thought on it was, If they are going to pay to have their homework done for them, they won't make it far in the work world anyhow, so I may as well get a free meal, since I'm familiar with the subject material.
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#5 BrainStew  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:29 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 22 Aug, 2007 - 09:36 PM, said:

Quote

Yeah, it can be more work because sometimes they come back again and again for hint after hint on the same problem. But at least make them work for it.

No, usually they just ask you to do the work, because the deadline is due & they don't know what they are doing.

Sadly, I've done homework for others on rentacoder & in the real world, but it came at a hefty price. My thought on it was, If they are going to pay to have their homework done for them, they won't make it far in the work world anyhow, so I may as well get a free meal, since I'm familiar with the subject material.



I feel the same way. In school you have the guys that cheat off each other and never do work or learn concepts on their own. 3rd semester in all these types of people are failing or have dropped out. Doesn't bother me, I enjoy smaller classes :D
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#6 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:42 AM

View Postalcdotcom, on 22 Aug, 2007 - 05:33 PM, said:

So, here's my challenge to you. The next time a newb posts code and asks for help, see if you can help without just giving him the answer or writing code for him. Yeah, it can be more work because sometimes they come back again and again for hint after hint on the same problem. But at least make them work for it.

Many (I would wager to most) longstanding members adhere to that policy- examples can easily be seen in any forum here at DIC. Many newer members tend to provide complete solutions with no effort on the part of the original poster - perhaps in an effort to display their own knowledge of the subject. moderators should be monitoring such occurrences and removing the given code where warranted.
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#7 PsychoCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:47 AM

Ill admit a time or 2 (when I first joined here) I kinda did the work (not all of mind you, but gave very specific examples), now with no code from the user I tell them to research and attempt the problem themselves then come here for help if they run into problems.

Like a guy in the C# Forum wanting to know how to retrieve the text from under the mouse pointer, I gave example code on doing it, then he wanted me to implement it for him :crazy:

<edit>He thought the API calls were C++ code</edit>

This post has been edited by PsychoCoder: 23 August 2007 - 05:51 AM

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#8 Thorian  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:04 AM

I ask for some code from time to time but then again yall know im not in school and have never claimed to be a coder. Usually it is like hey what is the command to do this in this language or point me to a refrence of how it is used. If someone wants to pay for a coder they can hire someone. If they have enough money to hire out every assignment they obviously 1 dont need the money or 2 are just going for some kind of management and need a paper tech certificate.

A real programmer that does not know the material will not have a job in programming for long.
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#9 Louisda16th  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:46 AM

I should keep that in mind next time. I do get a little soft sometimes. Most noobs don't understand the purpose of the assignment.
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#10 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 24 August 2007 - 05:29 AM

View Postsupersloth, on 22 Aug, 2007 - 02:38 PM, said:

that's kind of the site policy.

View PostThorian, on 22 Aug, 2007 - 03:31 PM, said:

yeah if you see anyone doing others work let one of us know about it.


Well, usually it kinda slips under the radar because the person asking for help has already done some work, so it's not a situation where someone is doing their complete assignment for them.

View PostAmadeus, on 23 Aug, 2007 - 05:42 AM, said:

Many (I would wager to most) longstanding members adhere to that policy- examples can easily be seen in any forum here at DIC. Many newer members tend to provide complete solutions with no effort on the part of the original poster - perhaps in an effort to display their own knowledge of the subject. moderators should be monitoring such occurrences and removing the given code where warranted.

I think you hit the nail on the head.

View PostThorian, on 23 Aug, 2007 - 06:04 AM, said:

I ask for some code from time to time but then again yall know im not in school and have never claimed to be a coder...

That's different. I'll gladly offer help/services to someone outside my profession. We're harder on our kind because we don't want "weak links" ending up working on our team. Buf if someone has no aspirations to be a dev, then I'll gladly write and package a solution...ahem...sometimes for a fee. ;)
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#11 Louisda16th  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 24 August 2007 - 07:29 AM

People think we're gonna fall for larger font size now.
http://www.dreaminco...mp;#entry249004
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#12 1lacca  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 24 August 2007 - 07:55 AM

About the original question: sometimes a complete solution might be useful, too because it can demonstrate other things than the exact question asked and propagate good practices, maybe even suggest a better way to solve the original problem, but it will be only taken up by somebody who has already researched enough, but I would assume that he is typically not the person who comes begging for the complete solution.
Anyway, I completely agree with everything mentioned above, and I know I am much more likely to remember the solutions I've researched myself, because I HAVE TO understand it, in order to use it. If something works out of the box, I just integrate it and only deal with it's interface from that time. It is also a skill that is good to practice (a programmer friend of mine likes to refer to himself as a balcksmith, because he only smelts the components together, and he doesn't care what is inside them).
OK, since I know this is not the case with the majority of questions here, I usually try to post a link to a page where it is explained, or a sample is found, but the user has to modify it enough to suite his needs so that he actually understands what is happening.

View PostLouisda16th, on 24 Aug, 2007 - 04:29 PM, said:

People think we're gonna fall for larger font size now.
http://www.dreaminco...mp;#entry249004


Maybe we should restrict the use of the font size for members with less than 10 posts...
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#13 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:14 AM

View Post1lacca, on 24 Aug, 2007 - 07:55 AM, said:

About the original question: sometimes a complete solution might be useful, too because it can demonstrate other things than the exact question asked and propagate good practices, maybe even suggest a better way to solve the original problem, but it will be only taken up by somebody who has already researched enough, but I would assume that he is typically not the person who comes begging for the complete solution.

Agreed. I think there are also ways to provide an example of a good solution to someone without writing it for them. When I want to do something like that, I often change things a little and use pseudo-code in many places. This forces them to do the work, while also having hints and a structure along the way. Sometimes it works. Sometimes you just get more questions about the places where you were intentionally vague (hoping they'd try to find the answer themselves). You can lead a horse to water. :)
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#14 1lacca  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 24 August 2007 - 09:55 AM

Yes, I've tried and experienced exactly the same things, looks-like we are on the same forum :o
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#15 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Just give solve it for them?

Posted 24 August 2007 - 12:47 PM

On several occasions I have taken various approaches with answering questions and I think it all depends on what is being done. For instance, if someone offers no code or little code, I try to ask them to provide code or show them at most a function that might push them in the right direction.

Other times they post an entire assignment in which case I take the assignment and might rearrange some things to show them a better design... often times skewing it a little so they are still forced to think about the next step.... other times I provide full solutions on some nice topics that I think other people might benefit from (the latest being the product / inventory project in the Java forum). Even in those cases I do leave out things and suggest other things to either strengthen their project or force them to think when tying in the next phase of their project. With any level of answer I provide I full documentation on everything (inside the code or around the segment) to explain what I am doing.

Personally I have always found full and complete solutions the easiest to learn from. Whenever possible I try to make mini tutorials out of a good question.

I think it is working, and along with Psycho and Penny pitching in, the Java category seems to be one of the hottest forums on DreamInCode.

:)
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