Why are some people working so hard to answer others' questions?

Discussion in 'Java' started by www, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. www

    www Guest

    Hi,

    I am just curious about that. I have noticed several people in Java news
    group are so hard-working and extremely patient to answer others
    questions anytime and any day, much, much better than university
    Computer Science professors treating students' questions, even though
    professors are paid with a great salary. Why are they doing so? It seems
    almost like doing a full time job. Are they paid by Sun to promote
    Java's usage or they are extremely unselfish people with spirit of
    sacrifice?
     
    www, Jan 17, 2007
    #1
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  2. Simply because most of them have a true pleasure to share knowledge and
    make the things working. There is no sacrifice with answering questions
    and digging the books, BTW I have an IT degree but I will not work in
    the IT field anymore (law enforcement is now what I am aiming at) mostly
    because of the selfish people I have been faced with.

    -----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
    Version: 3.12
    GCS d--- s: a C++ UL+++ P-- L+++ E--- W++ N++ o-- K-- w---
    O- M- V- PS+ PE-- Y+ PGP- t 5 X+++ R* tv++ b+ DI++ D--
    G e++ h--- r+++ y+++
    ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
     
    Laurent D.A.M. MENTEN, Jan 17, 2007
    #2
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  3. www

    Daniel Pitts Guest

    Personally, I enjoy discussing problems with people. When you work in
    the field long enough, you are greatful to work with people who know
    these things. I feel like the more I help people learn to program
    well, the less time I'll have to spend later dealing with poorly
    written software :)

    Joking aside, I get as much help from this newsgroup as I put into it.
    My questions tend to be more advanced, but discussion almost always
    leads to new insight. Also, helping people solve their seemingly
    trivial problems gives me opportunity to consider better solutions than
    I had previously used.

    In other words, it helps keep my skills sharp, not only as a
    programmer, but as someone who has to help other people understand
    things. The only time you're not explaining things to someone is when
    you're the intern :)
     
    Daniel Pitts, Jan 17, 2007
    #3
  4. www

    Mark Rafn Guest

    Why are some people working so hard to answer others' questions?

    Because it's fun and educational to do so. I learn a lot when I answer a
    question and see other people comment on my answer.
    Many people put more care into their hobby than into their job. Also, here
    I'm free to ignore topics and questions that don't interest me, so I don't get
    burnt out on stupid repeat questions in the same way that a professor might.
     
    Mark Rafn, Jan 17, 2007
    #4
  5. I've really appreciated the help I've received in other forums (unrelated
    to Java) when I was new to a topic, and so I try to help others in the
    same way -- you could consider to be a form of "community involvement" or
    "community service."

    Although there isn't really a motivation to profit from this, these
    contributions do occasionally result in gaining new clients (most of the
    clients I've received from this simply searched for a problem they were
    experiencing, read my answer, then contacted me and hired me to solve it
    for them). My first client from this was roughly 8 years after the date
    my message was posted, and came totally unexpected. The others were
    similar as well, thus I doubt most contributors actually see short-term
    profit in this. Also, those who do gain clients from newsgroup and eMail
    list postings are most likely those who post useful responses frequently,
    and for many years.

    For those companies that hire experts to post on varoius forums, I doubt
    they'd want to do so in secrecy since it would definitely be more
    beneificial simply from a marketing perspective to not hide this fact
    (which would likely result in bad press down the road anyway), and have
    their brand name (and web site address) in every posting signature to
    indicate their active involvement. Sun should hire experts the likes of
    Roedy Green ( http://www.mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html ) to do this type
    of community-oriented work for them.

    The people who do this are obviously not selfish, but I don't view it as
    a sacrifice, rather I see it as a community-oriented contribution to
    global progress.
     
    Randolf Richardson, Jan 17, 2007
    #5
  6. www

    Mickey Segal Guest

    That sums it up nicely. People read newsgroups for their own information
    needs, but once you've read someone else's problem it is often very quick to
    pass along useful information. Also, helping people solve problems getting
    Java working often makes us experts when our customers have a problem.
     
    Mickey Segal, Jan 17, 2007
    #6
  7. "What Mickey and Daniel said" basically sums up why
    I post, and try to 'help out'* about the place.

    * Of course, my penchant for making posts intended
    to keep the place 'neat & tidy' (according to my
    perception of 'neat & tidy') does cause occasional
    challenges to the effect that I am not here to help.

    I'll leave the distinction, to the interested reader.

    Andrew T.
     
    Andrew Thompson, Jan 17, 2007
    #7
  8. www

    Hal Rosser Guest

    Those who help others help themselves. Its a learning process for all
    concerned, usually.
    Some answers you get here may not be direct answers, but a shove in the
    right direction (usually toward a reference or the API).
    University instructors also often point us toward a reference rather than
    answer outright - so they are really doing us a favor by making us discover
    several sources of information (Like this newsgroup, various texts, the Sun
    website, and the API.)
    When you get on the job, the University professor may not be there to answer
    your question, but the sources he pointed you toward will probably persist.
     
    Hal Rosser, Jan 18, 2007
    #8
  9. www

    ali Guest

    i really loved the answers on this topic if all the groups and all
    other groups members think the same way we would be in a perfect world
    :)
     
    ali, Jan 18, 2007
    #9
  10. While reading this group, and giving (at least intendedly) helpful
    answers, probably all think alike. That doesn't necessarily mean,
    that in real world we are even remotely as altruistic ;-)
     
    Andreas Leitgeb, Jan 18, 2007
    #10
  11. www

    blmblm Guest

    Others have already given the reasons I'd give for why I help, on
    the rare occasions when I do [1]: because it teaches me something as
    well, and as a way of, um, "giving back" to the Usenet community for
    the excellent help I've received in various newsgroups over the years.

    But a few words in defense of those university Computer Science
    professors [2]: For some of them, promotions and pay raises and
    professional recognition depend on lot more on publishing papers
    and bringing in grant money than on doing a great job of teaching
    classes, and it's probably not too surprising that they're apt to
    focus on the parts of their jobs that "count" most. Whether that's
    a good way for things to be -- well, probably too far off-topic for
    this group. And while I'm pretty sure they're paid a lot better
    than professors in fields where there's not an industry market for
    PhDs, I'm told that industry pays better still.

    Not that there aren't some bad apples in the barrel, but maybe some
    of them aren't as bad as they might seem?

    [1] It might be more often, but usually by the time I get to a post
    with a question I can answer, someone else has already posted at least
    as good an answer as I could give!

    [2] I'm not unbiased here, being one of them. I teach at a
    school that *does* value teaching, and I like answering questions
    (and usually spend a lot of time doing so), but not everyone's in
    that camp.
     
    blmblm, Jan 26, 2007
    #11
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