Programmer's Hostility Towards Beginners

WB4JFI wb4jfi at
Sun Jul 6 22:57:53 CDT 2008

Hello there Joseph.

As one who continues to travel the self-taught roads of C programming, and
PIC programming as well, I am sorry to hear of your recent issues.  It could
be that some of these professional programmers simply have too much on their
plate already.

I've seen curt answers in amateur Yahoo groups as well as programming forums
lately.  It seems to the the in-thing.  Many times, a response may be as
simple as:  already answered, search the archives, to something a lot less
civil.  Usually, there is a weak ego behind the flamboyant,
I-know-and-you-don't style non-responses.  I just move on at that point.

I have also noticed that this "attitude" seems to be bred into some (not
all) Unix and Linux people.  If you are not part of the in-click (with your
Unix Wizard's degree), it is hard to get straight info sometimes.  Having
messed with Linux some in the past, I just figure that it comes with the
territory.  Eventually, I get most of my answers by either finding a
sympathetic person, or doing enough testing to figure it out myself.

I've been playing with 16F84A's and 16F877's in the past, and now have done
some 18F2550 (USB) stuff for the Yahoo dds_controller group.

PICs are great fun.  Writing in C or assembly for PICs makes life easier for
me, while others really like Basic.  In any event, I encourage you to keep
up with it.  You will have a lot of fun.


-----Original Message-----
From: at
[ at]On Behalf Of Joseph
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 8:50 PM
To: Tacos AMRAD
Subject: Programmer's Hostility Towards Beginners

Hey guys,

In all the years I've worked in electronics, both a a career and as a
hobby, I've never learned any programming languages.

I've started playing with PIC microcontrollers, and am attempting to
learn some basics of assembly language and C.  I have a PicKit2
programmer, and know how to burn the code into the chips.  I've also
joined a few mail discussion lists catering to embedded C programming
and assembly as used in the microcontrollers.

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.  I had replied to one individual in the list
that also maintains a web page of projects, including the source
code.  In writing, I stated that I was trying to learn, and received a
rather curt  reply stating that it takes years to learn the ins and
outs.  It felt Sort of like, go back to your little hobby world and
leave the coding to professionals.

I hope this is an isolated incident.   There are some excellent books
for self learning, though it is always helpful to have an expert peak
at what you're doing and offer constructive criticism, rather than

PICs look to be a lot of fun to use for projects, and what can be done
with them is limited only by one's imagination.  It does take a bit of
help to learn how to program them, however.

Wish there were some night classes at the local university to attend.

Joe, N6DGY
Pleasant Grove, Utah

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