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Programmers new "elitist snobs"

This is a discussion on Programmers new "elitist snobs" within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I have had a majority of polite, helpful and constructive responses to my questions and a few pompous rants, as ...

  1. #1
    False Return hubris's Avatar
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    Programmers new "elitist snobs"

    I have had a majority of polite, helpful and constructive responses to my questions and a few pompous rants, as well. I'm a beginner so they say the "eye rolling" responses to beginner questions is just axiomatic and to get used to it.

    But I've read some really nasty responses to the extreme beginner questions and I've noticed that this is one of the only scientific fields who's culture is akin to artistic elitism. Much like writers, painters and sculptors, coders seem to take such joy and elation at knowing more than someone else, and driving the point through the laymans heart, like a French sommelier.

    This is not a generalization, but an obvious trend, so If you're offended by my comment, you need to ask yourself WHY you are offended.

    hubris

  2. #2
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    I'm possibly one of the ones you target with this, as I often point out OTHER things that are wrong with someones code, than the bits the original post was referring to (e.g. somones code is not working right because of some calculation, and I point out that the code should be done differently in 5-6 different aspects)

    I do this, because I feel that if it is not pointed out what is wrong in someones code, the person won't learn how to do it better.

    The other times when I can be very sarcastic or elitist is when someone is trying to get us to do their homework.

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    Actually, I've only seen those posts to people who deserve it (and to people who don't deserve it, posted by abachler).

    Stupid questions are fine. But there are so many "Please do my homework for me"'s. And those will be insulted - and I'll happily join. Then there's those newbie's who get a good answer and offend the poster saying he's not right - even though he is (this one's not too common but in my relatively few posts I've had that at least once or twice, where I was sure I was right and I explained it properly). Then lastly there are those questions from newbies that get posted over and over and over and over again. Those where a simple search on either this site or google would reveal the answer literally a million-fold.

    It's 100% safe to ask questions for newbies providing they search at least a bit for their answer first. And they actually want help with what they're doing, not a "do it for me". Thirdly, if you don't agree with an answer, provide intellectual feedback or if you simply fail to understand it, explain what you don't understand so the person can elaborate. And finally, adhere to the rules and common sense when posting.

    I'd actually wish every person on this site would stop reading - or just answering - questions with titles like "Please help me" or "Urgent help needed".


    So, summed up. If someone's flamed, either they deserved it or they are flamed by abachler (Or another troll that is yet to surface).


    edit: I read matsp's posts. Matsp, I really, really don't hope the OP is referring to you. Because if he does, he's one of the people I referred to in my post, someone not willing to even learn to code.
    Last edited by EVOEx; 05-30-2009 at 02:38 PM.
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  4. #4
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    >> I'm a beginner so they say the "eye rolling" responses to beginner questions is just axiomatic and to get used to it.

    My guess is that it stems from the fact that nowdays people are more apt to ask questions before they've even gone over the basics of the language, which can be frustrating to those trying to help out. Back when I started programming, I read several books from cover to cover and practiced quite a bit before I posted even a single question on a message board. As a result, I generally received helpful advice.

    >> But I've read some really nasty responses to the extreme beginner questions and I've noticed that this is one of the only scientific fields who's culture is akin to artistic elitism.

    I bet if you got on a chemistry message board and asked "what kind of protons are metals made out of?" or such, you'd probably get some pretty ugly reprimands from the respondants, as well.

    To be sure, you're always going to encounter trolls and rude people from time to time, but for the most part, at least, you should expect fairly constructive input.
    Code:
    if( numeric_limits< byte >::digits != bits_per_byte )
        error( "program requires bits_per_byte-bit bytes" );
    24bbs.cpp

  5. #5
    False Return hubris's Avatar
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    trend, not generalization...

    Actually matsp, you've given me some decent advice, so (at least for me) you don't qualify. I have a thick skin. I just worry about the guys/girls who don't, and might decide to abandon the field altogether. Code doesn't come easy for me. I work like a madman to maintain a C average and there is no tutoring for C++(only C) at my college. I guess I just have exagerated empathy.
    Also, I should out myself on being an elitist snob when it comes to writing/composition. I'm not rude but I do tend to be a bit self important so...
    All responses welcome.

  6. #6
    False Return hubris's Avatar
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    BTW, I agree with the "doing homework" thing. On the blender boards I always point guys to a tutorial when they ask for a .blend file (premade template) cause that's just plain lazy. So, I stand a bit corrected. When someone says "How do you do..." then they should be pointed to an online C manual and told to come back later. or if they are in college they should be told to read the chapters their instructor assigned them. Yes, if you ask a question you should at least have some code ready to look at.

  7. #7
    Registered User BuzzBuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastiani View Post
    "what kind of protons are metals made out of?"
    Ah, trick question. Proton cars are made of plastic. Metal is made of metal - hence the name.

    I am joking
    Any help I give may be classified as:
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    int x = *((int *) NULL); Cactus_Hugger's Avatar
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    We get posts that are:
    • Broken and sloppy English - I'm not talking about posts where the OP doesn't speak English. These are native speakers just not taking the time to phrase their question. If you're going to be lazy with your post, don't expect a gracious reply.
    • Poorly formatted posts - sometimes the poster is wet under the ears, but even then. If you want to be a programmer, then you should figure out how to post correctly. Remember the generic advice about "sit back at watch for a bit, and get a feel for the forum/board/room/etc."? [code] tags. We waste so much time getting OPs to use [code] tags, and then, indentation. (And we take the time to do this - hardly elitist. Exteremly patient.)
    • Off the mark questions - Questions that you either can't directly answer, or you know that you don't want to. These are the ones where you have to poke further at the OP and ask "what are you actually trying to do..." because the way they're phrasing the question, you're almost sure that they've already taken a wrong turn somewhere.
    • Unanswerable questions - Questions that require a lot of background to answer. These are either really vague or simply don't have an answer. Sometimes, the OP doesn't even seem willing to accept that there's not an answer. "Is <= -1 faster than < 0 ?"
    • The sheer amount of ignorance - I'm going to show my "elitist snobs" colors now. There are so many "programmers" out there, and some on the boards, who have little to no clue. (Not that I haven't been proved wrong on more than one occaision myself.) Often, we have to not only provide the correct answer, but correct a false and misleading answer at the same time. Those who don't know why 16 bits is not enough to represent a Unicode code point, what virtual memory is or why it doesn't always apply, why you should not make assumptions about the widths of your datatypes (or know when you can accept that assumption), or why fwrite/send(... pointer to complex datatype ...) is generally the wrong idea.
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  9. #9
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Talking

    I generally try to be as helpful and courteous as I can, unless you are a moron, or really dumb. In cases like that I try to be sarcastic instead. Also, with idiots. If you are a dumb moron, or an idiot and you don't recognize sarcasm, it might seem like elitism.

    Then there are people who are just plain stupid and make the kind of stupid mistakes that stupid people make. Those circumstances almost cry out for snobbery, just to stem the tide of stupidity. Finally, thoughtless, lazy, and intoxicated people who think I am thinking/working hard and staying sober so I can solve some problem for them don't get respect.

    I enjoy trying to help people at cboard and appreciate the help I get and have gotten, and try to foster an environment conducive to that. If that means telling stupid people who are dumb morons that they are stupid dumbtish morons, then I consider that to be not elitism but the opposite: keeping the world safe for egalitarianism. Everybody should feel comfortable to ask an intelligent question, unless that is impossible for you because you are so godblessedly stupid. Then life is hard moron. Oh well.

    [I actually clean the ....... out of this to make Bubba happy, who is a great moderator and much appreciated for his wisdom and insightful ways.]
    Last edited by MK27; 05-31-2009 at 04:53 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I generally try to be as helpful and courteous as I can, unless you are a ........... or a moron. In cases like that I try to be sarcastic instead. Also, with idiots. If you are ......., a moron, or an idiot and you don't recognize sarcasm, it might seem like elitism.
    Hmmm, I'm the exact opposite. I generally try to be a ......... or a moron. Unless you are courteous in which case I simply try to be an idiot.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-31-2009 at 04:27 PM.

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    MK27's reply is case-in-point. I feel that sometimes a poster does not know they are ........ morons. They've made such obvious errors in their beginner code - probably due to poor teacher... or maybe it's just par for the course to start off doing the basic mistakes we all grew up through. To assume it's due to inherent .......... is a form of snobbery. By the third program, many noobs miraculously go from .........-moron to pretty decent thinkers (which they were all along but it just didn't show through the thick haze of syntax problems).

    In my experience this board seems to consist of three or four prime respondents who seem to have too much time to be actually employed and doing actual programming in an industrial environment. The standards ....... The "i must have the last word" egotists, and the ones that jump on perfectly valid explanations but they happen to beat them to the punch. You know who you are.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-31-2009 at 04:26 PM.

  12. #12
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonoob View Post
    In my experience this board seems to consist of three or four prime respondents who seem to have too much time to be actually employed and doing actual programming in an industrial environment. The standards nazis and the ones that jump on perfectly valid explanations but they happen to arrive sooner than they. You know who you are.
    Well, I will admit right now that I do try and answer questions in the C Programming forum enough to qualify as one of "three or four prime respondents who seem to have too much time to be actually employed and doing actual programming in an industrial environment" (but I have nothing to do with the "standards nazis" ). Bang on. I have never been employed programming beyond minor web work, but in the past year or so it has been my intention to do so eventually, and to take advantage of a time during which I do not have to work* to do some learning. So I am working on the computer much and tune into cboard because it suits my attention span. I'm always learning new things here, sometimes in the middle of (observing) discussions that seemed irrelevant. If enough of that is usefully absorbed then my time is well spent.

    However, my impression of some of the other culprits is that they are in fact "employed and doing actual programming", whether the environment is industrial or extra-terrestrial. I can honestly say that I am not afraid to give *incorrect* advice here because just when you thot you were safe to be a gambler and a dumbass some elitest snob who was watching the whole time will show up and pull your rug. I know that model is hard to perceive in some forums but IMO it is close to incredible in it's intensity here at cboard.

    The point being, just because I answer your question instead of GOD doesn't mean GOD isn't listening and has quality controls in effect. Always check back later when you've gotten a post and an answer (even if you like that answer) to see if a higher power hasn't intervened since then. If, after 2000+ posts in ten months, I thought these higher powers had been shown up as charlatans, liars, etc, from which nothing can be learned I wouldn't be wasting my time here. Which is to say, if you know a *better* programming forum let me know ASAP.

    *it could have been a foreshortened period of coke and ..........s somewhere warm and exotic -- perhaps this is all a mistake.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-30-2009 at 08:39 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  13. #13
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Oh I almost forgot this part:

    Quote Originally Posted by hubris View Post
    this is one of the only scientific fields who's culture is akin to artistic elitism. Much like writers, painters and sculptors, coders seem to take such joy and elation at knowing more than someone else
    Having known people who made a living writing and painting and sculpting*, I believe that you do not, hubris, because I just do not see this trait of taking "such joy and elation at knowing more than someone else" amongst them; I think that opinion might be best equated with a facial tick (a sad affliction of yours).

    Vis. "scientific field": programming is also very much "an applied science" like engineering. My dad was an engineer and they are definitely snobs that way; if you try to tell an engineer something about something in their field of expertise about which you do not really understand, consider yourself lucky if you get sarcasm. Another very popular tactic is a silent smile foreshadowing the consequences of your mistake.

    *plus I wrote a book once, photocopied and spiral bound, sold <50 copies mostly to people I knew. While that may not make me a writer, I do suffer from elation because I know more than you about something.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-30-2009 at 09:10 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  14. #14
    and the Hat of Guessing tabstop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonoob View Post
    respondents who seem to have too much time to be actually employed and doing actual programming in an industrial environment.
    I believe the polite term is "academics", thankyouverymuch.

  15. #15
    Hail to the king, baby. Akkernight's Avatar
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    People should not waste their time ranting out of topic... If someone asks a question and posts code, do not correct an other part of the code 'cause you have NO ......... IDEA if the person who asked the question knows it ....... and just put a temporary solution or something. Thank you.

    I'm getting so .......... tired of this that I just ignore the one who does this and do not even tell them to stay on topic any longer... You peeps enjoy too much to prove yourselves!

    Also, why do you waste time harassing people who only need help and don't understand nor have the talents to explain? Yes I'm talking about the homework people to, I personally don't give a ........, since it's their lives. But what I mean is that there's no .......... need to go at them, but instead you could prove that your balls have dropped and just say no and that homework won't be done for people on these forums and then let the moderators remove the thread...

    Last I believe that those who demotivate others just to make them some how 'go up' are the worst workers ( and programmers ) this world has to offer.

    P.S. Those who go at those who are weaker can literally go ........ themselves or ask an old man to do so for them and yes I'm tired, frusterated and have had it with these people I now rant about.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 05-31-2009 at 04:25 PM.
    Currently research OpenGL

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