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Rudeness in computer science?


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#1 DevLiquidKnight   Members   -  Reputation: 834

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

Just was wondering if anyone else has noticed the large amount of rude people in computer science field. Why is this so common exactly? Seems like so many people are arrogant and unwilling to help or even care about others for fear of ridicule.


Edited by DevLiquidKnight, 19 January 2013 - 08:07 AM.


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#2 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1806

Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:29 AM

Fairly large number of rude people in all fields. I ended up taking a long tour through university due to scheduling conflicts and other reasons, so I picked up more extra credits in arts than strictly necessary. Also spent lots of time hanging out with people in bio, chem, and physics.

In my experience physics students were on average ruder and more arrogant than other majors (How dare you suggest that continued research and study into sciences from different approaches is needed to help ensure we aren't wrong. Physics majors are GODS! They already know all the answers!... except the ones they can't answer, but those subjects aren't to be talked about with non-major types...), and English lit were the least openly rude but by far the most subtle with their superiority complexes.

More than a few Computer Science types were simply just dicks. Had to work with a group of classmates that were more worried about being clever than being productive. Was exceptionally fun to have one of them rewrite part of a large project a few nights before it was due so that it was done in fewer lines of code. Run time was reduced about 5%, it sure wasn't any easier to read, and completely ignored multiple edge cases that lead to critical failures of the code... But it was Better, because it was done in less than half the lines of code I had written it in. Really wouldn't have bothered me all that much, but he hadn't come close to submitting working code for his sections of the application.
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#3 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1861

Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:31 AM

you are right. In fact I have seen many people who find them self to be gods gift to the occupation. I personally think it is because we are well paid and often treated as some kind of VIP in many organizations. 

 

My own philosophy is to treat people as I would be treated my self. Sadly many do not follow this rule.


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#4 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6995

Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:18 AM

Just was wondering if anyone else has noticed the large amount of rude people in computer science field. Why is this so common exactly?

Can you give an example? One common attribute of a CS person (that people usually acquire over time) is conciseness. I'm busy programming. I want to help others because it's my way of "paying it forward" to the others who helped me when I was learning. Additionally, I've learned a ton by helping others (it can send me on a fascinating googling quest!). However, I don't have time, and nor is it in my personality, to hold your hand and say "Ooooh, what a pretty little function! You made such a good effort and I'm soooo proud of you! Now, if you could just change this itty bitty..." Instead, I'd rather just say "Look up C++'s 'most vexing parse,' because that's what you're running into here." It doesn't carry any fluffy joy and love, but it really doesn't need to. Cut the crap, get to the point. You'll see this a lot, especially in mailing lists. It's easy to mistake a cold, hard one sentence response (that tries to quickly answer the question) for a cold, hard soul. They're not the same. If someone is helping you, they're being nice. Even if they don't talk with all the fluffy crap.

 

Also realize the internet is international. Different cultures have different standards. Americans often think others are rude, pushy, arrogant, etc. when really, it's just a different culture and being blunt in their culture doesn't come across offensively like it does in American culture. They also tend to think everyone on the internet is also American...

 

Seems like so many people are arrogant and unwilling to help or even care about others for fear of ridicule.

Really? We have awesome communities like GameDev.net, StackOverflow, and several other large programming communities. I see a lot of people going out of their way to help and care about others.

 

Of course, there are rude or arrogant people, but I've found no more in the CS field than I have in other walks of life.


Edited by Cornstalks, 19 January 2013 - 10:21 AM.

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#5 DevLiquidKnight   Members   -  Reputation: 834

Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

Can you give an example?

Acting like they know everything for one. When they simply reuse code repetitively without knowing what the libraries etc do. It might not matter depending on your job but someone has to write that stuff. And then laughing at someone for wanting to figure out why that works, instead of just coding. This seems a very software-engineer point of view and not one of computer science.

 

But this is only one of many possible examples I could make an entire thread.

 

Another good example is females in the computer science community are looked down upon and treated as second rate developers why is this?

 

Then there's groups of people who act like elitists.

Really? We have awesome communities like GameDev.net, StackOverflow, and several other large programming communities. I see a lot of people going out of their way to help and care about others.

 

Of course, there are rude or arrogant people, but I've found no more in the CS field than I have in other walks of life.

 

If anything I would say in my experience the CS scene has far more then it then any other community I have seen. Most people are more humble. Willing to accept that they are not gods gift to the world, and willing to put in effort instead of being an arrogant idiot.

 

It has nothing to do with hand holding either, the cut to the point attitude while acceptable and does help, is not very effective. It makes you look like a total tool, if you hate your job that much and just wish to cut to the point every time. Why do they study and work in computer science? I am sure they don't cut to the point when learning a new topic. It would be pointless to do that you would end up learning hardly of the material.


Edited by DevLiquidKnight, 19 January 2013 - 10:44 AM.


#6 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1905

Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

It has nothing to do with hand holding either, the cut to the point attitude while acceptable and does help, is not very effective. It makes you look like a total tool, if you hate your job that much and just wish to cut to the point every time

How does wanting to cut to the point translate to hating our jobs, exactly? I don't follow. Nor do I quite understand how it makes one a "tool," either. I actually prefer it when people cut to the point when explaining something to me - it means I have to take less effort to boil the point free of the whatever irrelevant pleasantries in which it's been embedded.
 
Why do they study and work in computer science? I am sure they don't cut to the point when learning a new topic. It would be pointless to do that you would end up learning hardly of the material.

On the contrary - "cutting to the point" generally means that you're actually studying and working with the material, rather than the material + extraneous fluff that's intended to make the material palatable.

Edited by Oberon_Command, 19 January 2013 - 02:22 PM.


#7 Shaquil   Members   -  Reputation: 819

Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

I've noticed it, too. God help you if you ever express an idea that is debatable, questionable, or--worst of all--wrong. Programmers in general seem to jump at the chance to either prove that they know more than you about something, or they're just naturally smarter than you. Especially as a beginner, I've learned to just let them rant themselves into silence rather than even have an exchange. It's as if programmers have a serious disease where, once they've learned something, they forget that they were ever beginners in the first place, and think that their knowledge comes from natural superiority rather than having had someone tell them what they know, be it verbally or through a textbook. So instead of simply helping you out, they'll help you out and take a cheap snipe at you for not knowing what they know.

 

On the other hand, there's also the subtle "Psst, hey, you don't know as much as me" exchanges you'll see happen, either on forums or in person. For example, I'll ask a general question, like "What are some math topics I should learn relevant to graphics programming?" and person A will give a response, with a respectable list that he makes clear is just his opinion. Then, of course, a couple of posts down, here comes person B, stepping through A's list, giving criticisms that are only vaguely helpful to a newbie, and making no true point other than "Hey, I know about this thing you mentioned in detail. Rather than add to the conversation, I'd prefer to challenge your knowledge on this subject with mentions of esoteric stuff that add nothing to the conversation for the OP." At that point, I just try to skip over the ensuing passive-aggressive argument.

 

My response is to be as kind and helpful to others as I can be. To counterbalance the "cut to the point" people who seem to do anything but cut to the point, I give straightforward, friendly answers to the questions I know I can answer. If I can't answer, I offer links to resources with the answers. And even if I think the question is dumb, I try to keep from joining the chorus of smart-alecks. I'm not perfect, and sometimes I do end up sounding like the "cut to the point" guys. But I try.


Edited by Shaquil, 19 January 2013 - 02:50 PM.


#8 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

A lot of CS people aren't masters of socializing. I think a lot of people come off rude because they aren't good at presenting their ideas with any sort of social gentleness. A lot of CS people (myself included) are the types of people who know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff, and a lot of cs people (myself included) aren't afraid to point out when something is incorrect. Having poor social skills can make that seem rude, which it might be, but it's not with an intention to be unkind.

 

That said, I have noticed a lot of CS people hold very negative attitudes. There seems to be more of us that are more apt to criticize and very frequently not constructively.



#9 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8947

Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:03 PM

Just was wondering if anyone else has noticed the large amount of rude people in computer science field. Why is this so common exactly? Seems like so many people are arrogant and unwilling to help or even care about others for fear of ridicule.

 

I haven't seen much rudeness in my computer science class. I just see clueless people solving problems in the most interesting (and inefficient) ways tongue.png . I'll gladly donate some of my idle time which I would have otherwise spent on some youtube video, to some random stranger on the internet, though I don't usually help classmates, because they tend to start leeching shortly after. As for arrogance, yes it can happen, but you get that in any field, really.

 

I confess I am guilty of sometimes accidentally "showing off" (as some people put it) but I try to avoid it. In general it's out of good will to provide a better solution, but is usually misguided and/or simply too complicated for the matter (and OP) at hand. I am also guilty of sometimes sounding blunt, and that's because I just don't have the time nor the skills to wrap my posts with social niceties so they tend to come off with a sort of finality and people get angry at me.

 

I like to help people because it's in my nature, and I'm similar to Cornstalks in that it's also my way of giving back to the internet what the internet gave me. But I'll get irritated when people who are supposedly computer science students/graduates either don't understand even the most basic concepts (I see this *all the time* on stack overflow and it gets on my nerves sometimes) or when people attack me on forums for giving advice, fortunately I have never had that on Gamedev so I feel at home here :)


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#10 Glass_Knife   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4482

Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

Are there a lot of rude people in the software industry?  Yep.  I'd love to tell you that all other industries are only full of shinny, happy people, but I have years of anecdotal evidence that says otherwise.  

 

For example, I worked a few years ago with a brilliant scientist.  He did things with code that were amazing.  But no one will ever know it, because he is an arrogant prick.  He told me once that if I couldn't use his undocumented, untested, constantly changing functional API, it was because I was too stupid.  He didn't have time to explain how brilliant it was.  And it was amazing code, but no one used it.  No one will ever use it, I imagine, if he keeps the same attitude.  He will have wasted his carer, in my opinion.

 

But those people are in any career field you will choose, and the bottom line is that there isn't a damn thing you can do to fix them.  That is their journey to make, and their lessons to learn.

 

So I say, learn how to deal with them (because they aren't going anywhere), and don't become one.


Edited by Glass_Knife, 19 January 2013 - 04:40 PM.

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#11 SymLinked   Members   -  Reputation: 870

Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

Acting like they know everything for one. When they simply reuse code repetitively without knowing what the libraries etc do. It might not matter depending on your job but someone has to write that stuff. And then laughing at someone for wanting to figure out why that works, instead of just coding. This seems a very software-engineer point of view and not one of computer science.



Actually, that's exactly what I've been seeing; people who claim that you're doing something wrong by using a library without knowing how it works internally. Of course people know what a library does if they're using it, or they wouldn't be using it in the first place. But if you want to get things done, you can't possible know what each of them do behind the interface. Some libraries are even, god forbid, proprietary.

Wanting to figure out how something works (apart from using it) is fine, but that's not going to be very productive.



#12 Anri   Members   -  Reputation: 597

Posted 19 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

Being honest, I've only ever had problems with those in the art field.  I wanted to become an animator moons ago, but returned to programming because art is a field where expectations clash and the final product can be viewed from different angles: one man's poison is another man's wine. I have encountered many "god's gifts" in that area who make you want to give up before you even start.

 

With programming, its more logical and less emotional. Never had an argument here on GameDev when I first signed in back in...2000? Bloody hell its been THAT long? ARRRHGHHH, I'M OLD! HELP ME!!! O_O

 

Saying that, although I have always been happy here on GameDev, I have met some during my (distance) degree who have had hissy fits where they started threads like "I hate this module!" and you then reply with "I'm enjoying it and find it easy" only to be leapt upon by a lynch-mob for not being as miserable as they are. Instead of asking why I find it easy and learn something, they just want to hear from those who only agree with them that all is lost...

 

As "Glass Knife" said, you do get arseholes no matter where you go. As amazing as the brilliant scientist is, his lack of ability to work within a team can only lead to failure down the road.  its a shame really, because if that scientist just said "look, I simply do not have enough time to document my work due to lack of support and time constraints" then perhaps it would come to the table that more support is needed. Most who are employed are most likely professional deep down, but completing a job "professionally" is beyond their control. In my own day job I have learnt that no matter how hard I try, I can't do everything to a "professional standard" because of time constraints, someone else screwing up or having no choice but to assist others in their tasks, which leaves no time to do my own...

 

But anyway...I facking love the lotta ya! Been good to me you 'ave! ^_^



#13 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 934

Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:00 PM

Are there a lot of rude people in the software industry?  Yep.  I'd love to tell you that all other industries are only full of shinny, happy people, but I have years of anecdotal evidence that says otherwise.  

 

For example, I worked a few years ago with a brilliant scientist.  He did things with code that were amazing.  But no one will ever know it, because he is an arrogant prick.  He told me once that if I couldn't use his undocumented, untested, constantly changing functional API, it was because I was too stupid.  He didn't have time to explain how brilliant it was.  And it was amazing code, but no one used it.  No one will ever use it, I imagine, if he keeps the same attitude.  He will have wasted his carer, in my opinion.

 

But those people are in any career field you will choose, and the bottom line is that there isn't a damn thing you can do to fix them.  That is their journey to make, and their lessons to learn.

 

So I say, learn how to deal with them (because they aren't going anywhere), and don't become one.

I don't know. I've gotten the same schtick when asking questions on a lower level. I honestly feel like in a lot of cases people are really two faced about this. The group looks down upon lower people but gets pissed when one individual is much higher up than them, at the same amount as the person they just trashed is lower, and treats them in the exact same way.

 

I don't know if its ever felt this way to anyone else here, but in my opinion, its hard to communicate between levels and the only people who don't get shit are the ones glommed around the average level.

 

Average is relative of course, since the average programmer, or even the average person seriously interested in being a programmer is smarter than a normal person. The only average people, with the "temerity" as I've heard some put it, to imagine themselves as programmers, get shit on for being dumb by the people who will be the middle of the road programmers, while the insanely gifted programmers saw how the average people treated those people, realized that they were that level again smarter than the average and assumed the average people wouldn't be upset about being treated that way since they did it to the below average, and golden rule being assumed the average people were treating others the way they wanted to be treated.

 

So the below average hate the average, but who cares they are not numerous enough or smart enough to matter to the average group or to put forth the idea that the average group is very hypocritical in their behavior, and the average people really hate the top tier people for treating them the identical way they treat people who are in turn lower than them, and the top tier guy is not numerous enough, irregardless of his knowledge based power, to overcome the numbers based power of the average. Thus below average people are idiots, and above average people are assholes, and average people all tell each other at once how smart they are but that they are also not know it all assholes, when in fact they are but they are blind to it because they control the narrative and human history clearly shows that he who CAN control the narrative WILL control it and make themselves out to be the truly good people.

 

And if you don't believe me look at the way school age kids act, the children who fall behind are called dumbass losers while the nerdy kids are called suck ups, know it alls, and assholes, and the tyranny of the average makes themselves out to be both valuable for their talents, yet not being assholes. I chose this example because the school experience is perhaps the most universal that I can point to, even if its different for some small portions of the population.

 

You, Glassknife, may not have the free time to deal with every mediocre person trying to suck your time and knowledge, but I bet you dollars to donuts(damn I've always wanted to say that) that that guy you think is a total self absorbed arrogant jerk feels the exact same way about you!

 

I know that the idea that social reality is under the tyrannic control of the average isn't popular, but that's kinda redundant to say :)



#14 proanim   Members   -  Reputation: 440

Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

I knew a person that was working as a project programmer, who was brilliant at his job. He was neither arrogant or rude, he was even working with a team of good professionals who did know how to do their job. But since he was so good at his job some of the programmers constantly asked for additional instructions since they didn't understand everything. They even did this when he cames home from work (go figure).

 

He earned great respect in the company, but when he switched to the other company. Some ten years younger programmer stepped in his place, and the company got in big problems since he was very arrogant and rude, and also did everything differently just because he wanted to do the things this way.

 

I personally am constantly in bad luck when it comes to this, I am usually teamed up with someone who can't work in a team and is being eiter arrogant or rude and outright not cooperative. Here on gamedev I did came across some responses that could be considered rude, but I usually interpret this as constructive feedback.



#15 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7317

Posted 19 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

Average is relative of course, since the average programmer, or even the average person seriously interested in being a programmer is smarter than a normal person.

 

And with this the problems gain a bit more light; the belief that everyone is some how above 'average' who happens to be interested in programming and on this I call bullshit.

 

The (incorrect) belief however is what fuels the problem; people sit at home, on their own, they code and they think they are so great at everything, they inflate their egos and then, when faced with others and in many cases the truth they AREN'T all special react badly to protect their ego.

 

The proof of this is quite simple really; if the world was full of above average programmers then these people would be solving their own problems and not asking questions that maybe a few minutes to an hour or two of logical thought might solve. Instead they run to a forum and ask for help without trying to use their brain.

 

If this had been 20 years ago then yeah, I might have agreed with the statement a bit more as back then if you wanted to learn how to program you got a book, learnt the basics and then tried to fix your own shit because there WASNT a forum sitting around to help you with your trivial problem. (And yes, I am of this generation; my learning was done with a couple of books and example source code which I picked apart, often laying on my bed for hours going over printed out MC68000 assembler code.)

 

So, no... people interested in programming aren't all above average when it comes to intelligence.

A quick trip around the forums will show you this and if you've been out in the world working you'll also come across them.

 

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't look down on these people or anything like that - about the only problem I have with them loops back to my original point; they sit in their room, convince themselves they are great and then when told they have done it wrong or their assumptions are incorrect react by having a go and then declaring the person who knows more is wrong and blindly carrying on along their foolish path.

(And yes, I've seen this many times on here too.)

 

Personally I know where I stand in the grand scheme of things and I listen to those who are better than me and know more than me in a certain area because that's how clever people learn.

If people are saying those who know more are "geeky snobs" (or words to that effect) then it's pretty safe to say they aren't above average themselves.

 

After all, you only get better by playing a better opponent...



#16 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4403

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

Very few people think they're completely stupid, and very few people think they're completely geniuses. But, most of the people think they're a bit more intelligent than the rest (I didn't made that up).

 

I'd like to give an example about this whole "us programmers are more intelligent" thing.

 

Once I saw a video gaming forum, it had a poll about intelligence, about how intelligent you the user thought you were. There was no middle point in the choices given, it was something like a lot below average, a little bit below average, a little bit above average, a lot above average.

 

According to the poll around 80% of the people responded in the upper end of the options.

 

Users pointed out that the poll should be more balanced since they were using a middle point for comparison, thinking about 100 IQ (when you have 80% of your samples above the middle point, it isn't that in the middle isn't it?). In the same forum there were other polls around the same idea, "Are you more intelligent than the rest of your family?" and so on, again repeating the same kind of results. Everyone thought they were either a bit more intelligent or a lot more intelligent than their peers.

 

They concluded "well, gamers are an odd sort of people, most of them are very intelligent and this forum is full of intelligent people!". I'm pretty sure that happens often, and I've seen it here and in other forums. Replace "gamers" with programmers, tabletop RPG players, whatever, and you get pretty much the standard response of any group of people or individual about their intelligence.

 

I think most of these arguments about "who's code is better than who's code" derives from the fact that since the majority of people do have more or less the same mental capabilities, so it isn't that easy to define who is better. Sometimes guy1 codes better, sometimes guy4 knows best, and the fact that who is right varies so often it's what motivates people to argue about it.

 

And that's not even counting the fact that we have skewed images about ourselves, so even when someone clearly shows he/she knows more, it might not be enough for someone that thinks they're better than they are.

 

We humans do have prickish attitudes, but while 10% of the time those attitudes lead to arguments, the 90% of the time they help us to get up each morning thinking we're good, that we know our stuff, and so on. It is a necessary evil so we don't fall on a pit of depression constantly.

 

There are a few Wikipedia articles dealing with such things. One that I like a lot is "Cognitive Biases".


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#17 proanim   Members   -  Reputation: 440

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

I red somewhere that average programmer has IQ of around 150 and regular average person has IQ of 100. This is indication of above average (very much). In some people these 50 are missing in other areas probably. biggrin.png



#18 DevLiquidKnight   Members   -  Reputation: 834

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

Personally some of the most humble people I have met are in the mathematics department not the computer science department. I think this might have to do with the fact that everyone struggles with mathematics at some point.

 

But then occasionally we would get a person in one of the upper division math courses who was like 17, 18 years old making the rest of us look not nearly as great in comparison. I would ask if programmers have such high IQ's like they think most of the time, perhaps they should be doing something harder then programming. Advanced mathematics and physics come to mind.


Edited by DevLiquidKnight, 19 January 2013 - 08:48 PM.


#19 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 10060

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:52 PM

Personally some of the most humble people I have met are in the mathematics department not the computer science department... I would ask if programmers have such high IQ's like they think most of the time, perhaps they should be doing something harder then programming

Maybe the problem is that you think that 'programming' equates to 'computer science'.

 

Hint: it doesn't.


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#20 DevLiquidKnight   Members   -  Reputation: 834

Posted 19 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

Maybe the problem is that you think that 'programming' equates to 'computer science'.

 

Hint: it doesn't.

Yeah, I probably should of made that distinction in my post, I realize the difference but many don't. I think there is a lot of cross over, and maybe that is part of the problem. You get software engineers, programmers, and computer scientists working in the same field.






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