Programmer's Hostility Towards Beginners

Robert E. Seastrom rs at
Sun Jul 6 21:09:58 CDT 2008

Joseph Bento <joseph at> writes:

> In recent posts to this programming forum, I've encountered something  
> that I find most unfortunate.  This certainly doesn't speak for all,  
> but is just a generalization from my own observations.  Professional  
> programmers are rather hostile towards beginners.  If you can't  
> understand the syntax of C or mnemonics used in assembly, you are  
> perceived as an idiot.

What mo said, particularly with the links that include connections to
the Arduino and other AVR stuff; Atmel got it right by making their
development environments open and giving them away for free, and the
Arduino stuff is just a ball - in less than 30 minutes you'll be up
and running and making LEDs blink and everything, without the PITA
factor of trying to figure out fuse settings and all that other "fun"

That said, as someone who's on the other end of this on a semi-regular
basis in the IP network engineering arena, be sure you choose
carefully where you're going to ask known newbie questions.  There are
appropriate fora (LadyAda hosts some) for asking super simple
questions, but some random software developer's in-box is not the
right place, and it's awfully easy to get a little snippy if you are
getting emailed out-of-scope questions on a regular basis.  I'm not
defending the curt replies, just suggesting that if you're looking for
maximum satisfaction, try to avoid doing the equivalent of posting
"how do I wire up my CB radio and can I use this here coat hanger as
an antenna?" questions to a ham radio group.  You'll be happier with
the results.


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