Thursday, February 17, 2011

Forums are evil?

Don't understand me wrong - I'm not against forums, blogs and other community related activities. I just want to consider one usual situation.
Junior developer faced with a problem. And of course as usual this problem has appeared out of the blue where none could expect and caused by not knowing basics of used technology. What does junior do? Start learning the elements - no! Start trying to dig the technology - no! Today everyone knows the magic word "google", "bing" (etc - insert your favourite search engine). Junior quickly hammer the question into the search box and voilĂ   - they could get answer on some forums!

And now let's look at forums' contingent and even assume that there are some expers in necessary sophere.

An expert open forum, sees junior's question and moaning "ohh, lamers have completely cowed me" and skips it.
Another junior opens forum, sees the complex (from their point of view) querstion and starts reasoning.

Results usually are regrettable. Answer could be obtained, but there is no guarantee that it would be right. And I repeat - it's not always! And yes, sometimes you can get an answer from the man who thinks in right direction. And sometimes questions are not lame. But all my many years experience of juniors upbringing cries: "Learn the basics!!!"

P.S. There are some communities like experts-exchange, in which it's much easier to find right answers and where much more experts. I was registered there and obtained the status of expert, but it's a pity, to support this status you need time but not all seniors have it :(

So, forums are not evil if you are ready and if it's a right forum :)