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Bruno Noriller
Bruno Noriller

Posted on • Originally published at Medium

Learn by helping others

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

One of the best things I started doing is helping others, be it StackOverflow or some Discord channel.

It doesn’t matter where you are

You might be just starting or already been a programmer for a long time.

As programmers, even with AI helping more and more, there are always those nasty things that AI is just clueless about. Then you fall back to relying upon a person, be it a colleague or some random person on a discord server, or you might even find yourself shouting into the void of StackOverflow and hoping for an answer.

The beauty of this is that even if you have only “one day” of experience, you’re still “one day“ ahead of anyone just starting.

Sometimes someone at day zero might have some problem that even we with years of experience have no idea of what they are talking about, but that someone that started the other day just had the same problem and managed to solve it, be it on its own or not, be it after minutes or hours of trouble.

Do it for you!

Helping others is cool and all, but you can just do it for yourself!

You have limited time and scope of problems. This might be more true for some than others.

But no matter where you work, there are a lot of problems you will never experience otherwise. But you can… if you help someone that has that one problem.

Because It doesn't matter if you know about ${framework|language|other}

I have yet to try this as a tool to learn a new framework or language, but I did help people even with limited knowledge of some of my “secondary” or even ”tertiary” frameworks and languages.

A lot of people might not even bother trying to help someone with something they know nothing or very little about, but by doing that I managed to check out things I wouldn’t otherwise, plus checking out documentation (and problems) of tools I might one day use or at least try to learn.

How to help

Let’s be real here. A lot of people don’t bother googling, GPTing, or the most dreaded of them all: reading the documentation. And other times, it is just some brain fart moment.

Most of the time, I just google the error or problem (or lately using or and paste the whole question), check some links, and already have the answer.

A lot of the time, the harder part is finding out what the problem is, be it because all they posted is “HELP!!!!!” with some blurred camera shot of the monitor (sigh…) or some long introduction and tangents that have nothing to do with the actual problem.

When it’s not so simple… then it’s checking out more of the links, documentation, and GitHub for issues about the problem.

It’s low stakes and you can take as much time as you want and simply go do something else after a while. But I found that there are a lot of interesting problems that force you to dig an answer and it’s satisfying to hear it worked.

I mean… all you had was some limited information or context and managed to solve the problem? When you have some problem on your own with all the information and context, then you are unstoppable! (Do keep in mind that sometimes, the best thing to do is to take a break and go back to the problem with fresh eyes.)

Top comments (2)

jenesh profile image
Jenesh Napit

Good point, "Standing on the shoulders of giants" is how I've been able to pave my career path to the giants I look up to.

kauefraga profile image
Kauê Fraga Rodrigues

Awesome text! My goal for this year and the next ones is literally write/publish some tech articles to help others. It's really great to see people being able to understand what you write.