re: What is a type of "overconfidence" you have observed in developers? VIEW POST

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re: Giving feedback in a way that is actually helpful is a really hard human communication problem, I think. I think if advice can be framed in a way l...
 

I think that online I would only give feedback if it is requested or very obviously needed (like an error or incorrect information in a blog post). In addition, just check out the person's profile real quick to see if the person is brand new or somebody who has done this for years, and don't just judge on their picture! Just cuz I'm a blonde chick who has been told that I look like a teenager, I've still been writing professionally for 5 years (not saying you would of course, but I have had that happen).

Please read again the answers from the perspective of someone who is trying to understand the causes why someone would reject unsolicited feedback.

I will make a non-requested feedback here. I hope it surpass the barrier of previous emotional experiences and reach the practical side:

  • Try to focus on the message, ignore the messenger:

It might be not nice but, in practical terms, you'll get more knowledge from those that criticize your work that from those that are always agree with you.

The people that break paradigms use to question every info that you give. That's their natural behaviour. Even when they are not humble sometimes, you can benefit from them.

  • No one is the ultimate master in anything: Anybody can make mistakes or stop before a paradigm.

Many of the most important stuff that I have learn in my life came from my students. The masters use to be old people with a lot of knowledge, but the new people carry the objections that generate paradigm-breaking ideas.

No matter the level you reach, no matter how good is the result of your work... you come back some years later and think "I could made that better".

So everybody could try to correct anybody. That seems not polite, but think that many people who think the same way could be corrected, once the discussion come to an end.

The commitment should be with the other readers and how they can profit from the discussion.

  • The way matters but, whom?: It should not affect you emotionally.

The others might not be aware of this topic, or they do and they don't matter. At the end, they need to make a tremendous effort trying to decorate the message for the social conventions. And programmers trend to be more nerd than social, because they invest most of the time behind a PC.

In practical terms, there is also a lot of redundancy. Some comments complain about the "Actually", but what about the "I think"? It is not redundant ?

Why should someone say "I think" just to be polite ? All that you say is because you think that. If we would be so strict to differentiate the personal opinions, then other assertions should have a bibliographic reference (like in articles).

Here you can see an example: You both answered with I think, to correspond the super cautious answer from John Bull that uses two consecutive I thinks tanking extra care of not make any insult. Think about making this effort in every POST for 10 years...

At the end that is a matter of education, many people have invested a lot of time on this topic and they have already recorded that in hardware. For them is not an effort, and they would be rewarded for sure with better positions, opportunities, etc. But you should not let that the other comments affect yourself emotionally.

I think that the technical communication works better if everybody strips the social conventions and it is assumed by default that everybody comes with the same intention of learning from the discussion.

Sometimes even happen, than the message is very polite but the idea is not clearly stated. The key is trying to say it in the simplest form, don't put you barriers to ask and do not offend anybody.

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