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Chad Smith

Fixing your own problems

21 posts in this topic

So I just had this happened to me so I had to ask.  How many times have some of y'all have been having a weird problem in your code and you just needed to get some help.  So you come here to post a question and while typing out the question, explaining what you want, and providing some code you immediately see your issue and can fix it yourself?

 

Yep that just happened to me.  Couldn't figure out what was wrong.  I was on it for about an hour looking at code and debugging and couldn't find anything and it seemed so simple.  So I came here to type out a question and explaining what in theory thought should be happening I immediately saw my issue.  Fixed it in my code and sure enough bam it runs as desired.  Well at least I caught it before I clicked post so I didn't look too dumb.

 

How many times has this or something similar happened to you?

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There's been a few times I figured on asking for help with a problem here. Before I actually do though I try to think of the various questions that I figure are going to be asked because I don't want to sound like I'm too lazy to look for the answer myself or otherwise miss something obvious. Usually some avenue I haven't explored comes to mind which I check out and results in not needing to ask my question anymore.

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It happens all the time. The reason you don't find the answer is that while you think you have a proper understanding of the problem at hand, you actually don't. While trying to explain it to someone else you actually gain new insights into it and sometimes you also find the answer in there.

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Happens to me all the time. Trying to put the problem into words really helps pinpoint the underlying issue in my experience.

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Never, because I had never asked for help with actual code.

But taking a walk with my cat sometimes gives me fresh look at the problem and find potential resolves for problems.

And its not a problem at all if it tooks one hour to resolve it, for me finding serious bugs tooks even several weeks... :)

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Often just the process of putting the problem into a statement meant for someone else to understand is enough for it to click for you as well.

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Never, because I had never asked for help with actual code.

 

Then you're likely a horribly inefficient programmer. Just to be clear to any new programmers who might be reading this:

 

Not asking for help is not something to be proud of and it's not something your should strive to achieve. Every industry is built on sharing in the knowledge of others and to not take advantage of that is doing yourself and (if you're employed) your employer a huge disservice. Sure, you might feel great after struggling with a problem all day and finally cracking it all by yourself, but I've solved that problem with the help of others many hours ago and I'm well on my way to getting a lot of other stuff done. 

Edited by tstrimple
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Happens to me all the time. Trying to put the problem into words really helps pinpoint the underlying issue in my experience.

 

Same for me.

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Yea it seemed when I started typing out what I wanted and what in theory thought should be happening I started to go and explore more of my code to post here when I I noticed "wait...you didn't do this."  That didn't initially fix the full problem but it basically opened up the flood gates and with in 10 minutes the entire problem was solved based on one small thing I forgot...

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Never, because I had never asked for help with actual code.

 

Then you're likely a horribly inefficient programmer. Just to be clear to any new programmers who might be reading this:

 

Not asking for help is not something to be proud of and it's not something your should strive to achieve. Every industry is built on sharing in the knowledge of others and to not take advantage of that is doing yourself and (if you're employed) your employer a huge disservice. Sure, you might feel great after struggling with a problem all day and finally cracking it all by yourself, but I've solved that problem with the help of others many hours ago and I'm well on my way to getting a lot of other stuff done. 

 

 

You talk nonsence about me,

i have never starting code without fully understanded solution for problem, so there is no reason to ask things that I understand completely. As I said I have never asked for help with code, but I asked opinions on problem solvation, had lots of hours studing articles and reading other post and topics, maybe that Im not a complete novice with > 20 years experience smile.png. Other point that, sometimes you can find bug faster than waiting for responce from forum.

 

So if it makes me horribly inefficient programmer, fine... My contra-suggestion to any new programmers would be not to bomb forum with many questions, but read more articles, compare problem solving methods  and studying math... and start code than you completely know thats gooing on

Edited by serumas
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Happens to me quite a bit. I end up analyzing every piece of code to make sure I'm not making a thread for a stupid problem.  Sometimes that's exactly what's happening laugh.png

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Somewhat often, but not just because explaining it to someone else helps (I sometimes have a coworker just listen for that reason), but also because I try to be a good poster and explain what things I have tried and demonstrate that I tried to solve it on my own before asking for help.

I will often be trying all the things of which I can think but just not really have any inspiration.

When I start to post about it I really focus on what I need to have said I tried and what are they going ask if I tried, and when I focus more in that direction it makes me realize there was something I did not try yet, and in stopping posting and trying that new idea I was able to avoid asking the last question I was going to ask here.

 

And a good thing too.  With all the technical advice I give around here it would have been pretty embarrassing to ask, “What would happen if I added 2 and 5 together?”, had I not actually attempted to add them together and find out on my own.  (By the way, in case some of you are as stuck on this as I was, it causes “7”.)

 

 

L. Spiro

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Never. I challenge myself to change the way I think and go about understanding until it hurts and then I do something else for a while. If there's a chance I'll ask for help by then, recognizing the problem will be gone by that point.

 

In fact three weeks ago I worked for two weeks straight to add one piece of functionality and the journey required I learn all the quirks of C++, what an IDE is really made for, swig - after looking at boost and meeting a very brief but lasting reminder of how vague all Unix programmers can be with a "quick boot install" guide (it took 1 hour after I followed their first step and I wasn't going to go through the path correction process it needed afterward), and how many functions and variable setters I needed to actually reprogram for correct working order in my application, and then recompile a neatly packed dll. I had to write an entire class in C++ just to work this cool sounding addition, and then another in the language I was using, but that's what I was trying for the whole time.

 

I didn't reach the point where I'd ask for help, but I did do plenty of searching.

 

 

Edit: Oh the two weeks straight part was an exaggeration, it was more like 6 hours on, 2 hours off, and then 4 more with small breaks plus whatever I could sneak in before going back to sleep every day. The fact it was difficult was a motivator so I couldn't stop pushing on.

Edited by ActiveUnique
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Somewhat often, but not just because explaining it to someone else helps (I sometimes have a coworker just listen for that reason), but also because I try to be a good poster and explain what things I have tried and demonstrate that I tried to solve it on my own before asking for help.

I will often be trying all the things of which I can think but just not really have any inspiration.

When I start to post about it I really focus on what I need to have said I tried and what are they going ask if I tried, and when I focus more in that direction it makes me realize there was something I did not try yet, and in stopping posting and trying that new idea I was able to avoid asking the last question I was going to ask here.

 

And a good thing too.  With all the technical advice I give around here it would have been pretty embarrassing to ask, “What would happen if I added 2 and 5 together?”, had I not actually attempted to add them together and find out on my own.  (By the way, in case some of you are as stuck on this as I was, it causes “7”.)

 

 

L. Spiro

 

I believe that's more of what I experienced and do and also believe on how to get the best help around here and in general.

I can't offer a ton of technical advice on some subjects right now (though I'm striving to get there) though I do read a lot and try to remember the ones who who gave, what I believe is, the above and beyond advice/help.  I try to remember what they said or what they wanted.  What I have noticed is that most people here are MORE than glad to help you out with what ever issue you have and will even go out of their way to help you out if you demonstrate that you have the will and knowledge to learn and try to fix your issues.  If you showed you have tried to figure this issue out, that you have tried to research the topic at hand and still have trouble then no matter what the issue or subject matter is someone will usually be more than glad to try to help you along even if it was like a homework assignment.

Edited by Chad Smith
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And its not a problem at all if it tooks one hour to resolve it, for me finding serious bugs tooks even several weeks...

 

Maybe if you asked for help it wouldn't have taken several weeks.

Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins you know.

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So if it makes me horribly inefficient programmer, fine... My contra-suggestion to any new programmers would be not to bomb forum with many questions, but read more articles, compare problem solving methods  and studying math... and start code than you completely know thats gooing on

That’s fine to suggest, but if it were practical, why would this forum be here?

And sometimes it is indeed wiser to swallow some pride and ask for help—the forum is here and it is here for a reason.  All we ask is that you be a good poster.

 

And the frank fact is I don’t know what you intend to gain by spending weeks on your own instead of a day with a little shove.  If you believe you will have made more personal gain by solving it yourself, that may be fine for a short-sighted person.  But a long-sighted person can easily recognize the disservice he or she is doing to him- or her- self this way, as when you borrow knowledge from others you grow faster and learn more in the long run.

 

I don’t know why I need to explain this but borrowing knowledge is not only what all humans do in order to grow for themselves but also to grow the human race.  If you did not get a helping hand from others, you’d be 400 years old still trying to figure out English and math on your own.

 

To solve this we created a thing called “school”.  While you are supposed to learn how to learn, and how to help yourself, you are also given deadlines on all assignments partially as a means of learning a thing called “pacing”.  You are expected to advance at a certain rate with the others, and this rate has increased over the centuries as our race as a whole has gained from the knowledge of past generations.  A normal person finds a middle ground between these 2 things.

 

 

By requesting a shove at a reasonable pace I have grown enough to create an order-independent transparency rendering algorithm that works on API’s as week as OpenGL ES 2.0 (which I plan to document soon) as well as a new routine for DXT compression.  I gained the ground knowledge for all of this by asking questions reasonably.

 

 

The questions are simple: What do you ultimately plan to accomplish in your life at your pace, and why did you get wrong what so many people got right?

 

 

L. Spiro

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Sorry guys , I dont mean that asking questions in forum is a bad thing.

Its realy great to have this resource and gain even more useful information.

I just said that I have never asked questions with some concrete code,

becouse often to fix my problems I must recheck lots of code lines, lots of debuging, too much information to be posted in forum... :)

 

Maybe you dont like "bombing forum" phrase too, sorry than, but sometimes it looks like author of post could do a bit more 10 min. research on that he want to achieve... whats it...

I dont know where you see "pride" here, In nature im very modest.

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I never have problems in my code relating to my logic. My problems are with syntax or general lack of knowledge of the language or tool. Since my choice of medium tends to be slightly esoteric, I won't spend more than about 15 minutes in a scavenger hunt to write one line of code. So I'll ask a forum unashamed AND continue searching for the answer myself. Sometimes I'll ask the question just to 'make a note' that I can easily find later.

 

I don't care if I look like a noob if it gets me back to coding. There's always someone that knows more than you.

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