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Sloan's Inbox: How do you ask for help?

Hey folks! Sloan, DEV Moderator and mascot. I'm back with another question submitted by a DEV community member. 🦥

For those unfamiliar with the series, this is another installment of Sloan's Inbox. You all send in your questions, I ask them on your behalf anonymously, and the community leaves comments to offer advice. Whether it's career development, office politics, industry trends, or improving technical skills, we cover all sorts of topics here. If you want to send in a question or talking point to be shared anonymously via Sloan, that'd be great; just scroll down to the bottom of the post for details on how.

Let's see what's up this week...

Today's question is:

I'm not a new developer, but I wouldn't consider myself super experienced either. One thing I do often is ask for help! When I'm stumped or need review, I'm not afraid to message a team member for pointers. I always try to be nice and make sure to thank them, and I hope they realize how grateful I am. I'm curious if others here have similar experiences and, if so how you all go about asking for help!

Share your thoughts and let's help a fellow DEV member out! Remember to keep kind and stay classy. 💚

Want to submit a question for discussion or ask for advice? Visit Sloan's Inbox! You can choose to remain anonymous.

Top comments (3)

ludamillion profile image
Luke Inglis

Not well enough 😂

To extend on the no hello approach that @eayurt referenced is that if you’re asking for technical help it’s almost always useful to have to things prepped:

  1. A problem statement. Seems simple enough but opening with the problem you need help with skips some unnecessary preface and engages your listener.
  2. Be ready to present whatever solution you have so far in what ever form it’s in.
eayurt profile image
Ender Ahmet Yurt • Edited

Good question. The most crucial aspect is direct communication as outlined here:

There's no need for excessive politeness when asking developers a question. While politeness is important, time is even more so. This doesn't mean you can be rude. Instead, it's about making effective use of time.

fpaghar profile image
Fatemeh Paghar

Reaching out for assistance is a fundamental aspect of skill development in the coding world. It's commendable that you're unafraid to seek guidance from your team members when faced with challenges. Remember to articulate your problem clearly, outlining the steps you've already taken. Expressing gratitude is key to fostering a supportive team environment and acknowledging the value of their assistance. Keep up the proactive approach to seeking help and nurturing positive collaborations within your team!