Every now and then I would review and answer questions on stackoverflow regarding web scraping and puppeteer. And I know how much toxic stackoverflow can be.
Me? No I am not Jon Skeet, I am just a small human with mere 5k reputation on SO. Many doesn't even know my name.
The toxic environment is on both side. Newbies feels overwhelmed. However I can certainly feel the rules and regulations are there to stop wasting everyones time. Everything you write on stackoverflow will help someone in future just like someone else's answer helps you.
If you want to ask for help, be prepared to get rejected. You have to learn through rejection. Maybe your question will be bad, maybe it's already answered many times before.
This applies to any and every platform, no matter how newbie-friendly they are, it's chaotic whenever there are thousands of people involved. This also does not mean the platform is toxic. There are happy and grateful people who asks valid questions and get proper answer.
Here are some important points to avoid when asking for help.
This question asks for help. It's good that they asked for help, asking takes courage. However, no, the people on the internet does not have time or will to work for free. You need to find a very specific problem and ask about it.
Kindly no! Please do share what you did till now! Please tell us where you stuck. We do not know mind reading. We need to understand what's wrong and how we can help.
It shows us your research and effort. We are more willing to help those who works hard. Your research will help you and others who comes to same problem.
All questions on same page,
- Why it shows infinite while loop?
- What is promise.all?
- Where do I get $$?
- How to get outerHTML?
All these shows us you did not do a single research, took a big project/task you were not supposed to take and feeling overwhelmed.
Actually it's better if you can break your problem into multiple chunks. Do not bombard the whole page with questions, you will get downvoted right away. If you split the problems into pieces, it will help others know exactly where to help. Maybe multiple people will help about multiple sub-topics.
Do you know why people are toxic? Yes, exactly because of this. If you got a solution, kindly do share because someone else will be grateful for this in future.
I just wasted,
- 10 minutes getting to know your actual problem,
- 10 minutes of my life understanding that huge chunks of code because of your complaining,
- 10 more minutes to write an answer because it was a very easy to understand problem after you shared it completely.
And finally got a harsh comment stating how you already had a solution and wanted to just waste our time because the place is full of toxic people.
Do you think next time I will be more helpful to another newbie who makes exactly same mistake? I won't even feel like replying.
Oh man oh, that's why people are so toxic. Because you spread it. Who is going to pay for my 30 minutes of time?
Yes, that's all. Internet is full of toxic people. And if you want to learn within that, you need to know how to ask for help,
- Do your research.
- Ask very specific questions.
- Value other's time.
- Respect people.
- Share your knowledge.
Have fun programming!