01-20-2015 06:32 PM
I also see there is no respect for pointers or approach. Many people want exact working code tailored perfectly to their specific problem and very often, someone replies with complete working code.
Is this how answers are generally expected to be? (On the asker's part, it amounts to subcontracting without pay.)
I am new here and I would like to answer questions I can help with. But I am not sure what is expected or the right 'way' to answer questions.
01-20-2015 07:24 PM
Sometimes it's actually shorter to write code than to point to the logic elements. As a group we are also polite enough not to routinely answer with RTFM.
I, and I believe many others, hope that code answers are examined as to why they work and learn something.
I also do not answer questions that I really think should be getting contractor rates.
01-20-2015 07:30 PM
Everything below is my 5 cents:
I think how to answer a question is up to you.
As to why full code is provided vs 'subcontracting':
1. This isn't a 'tutorial' site. Future users having to dissect a question and read full pages of threads to find the answer which may never be posted isn't useful. Sometimes it's difficult enough to get users to post their full problem and provide a solution. That being said, if I notice someone posting similar questions continuously or posting basic level questions all the time, at some point I will stop answering and provide hints instead. At some point, I'll simply stop answering that users questions entirely.
2. You learn things. Seeing the different solutions to the problem enables other posters to learn different things. I can't count the amount I've learned from the forum.
3. If a question takes more than 10 minutes I generally won't provide full code - unless it interests me. There have been questions where I know I'll be dealing with the exact situation in a few weeks/days, or its just an interesting coding challenge that I'd like to solve - brain teaser if you will.
4. If a question is way too broad, I will provide hints, sometimes explicitly that they should hire a contractor (I have gotten a few short term contracts this way ).
5. If a question is basic or FAQ, I simply point to a former post that illustrates the problem. Depending on the OP that may or may not satisfy them. One of my favourites is from someone who asked a question several years ago, re-asked the identical question and I linked back to the original post . I remember too many details sometimes....
01-20-2015 07:32 PM
01-20-2015 07:34 PM
Answered someone's question on SAS-L - a few weeks later going to SAS Global Forum, the guy behind me has a poster tube with his name written on it. Turns out to be the someone.
He bought me sushi and beer, that's usually enough to make me happy :smileylaugh: Also, turned out to be a very nice guy.
01-20-2015 08:03 PM
Great discussion. Personally I think question askers should be encouraged to search the forum first before posting. I've lost count of the number of questions where the answer was often staring them in the face in the "More Like This" to the right of their question. I tend to be put off by posters who appear to put in no effort to find an answer first.
01-20-2015 10:31 PM
I recently came across a post where the question was answered with code and the asker was asking a question about a SAS concept used in the code. Or where someone said 'I tried it, the code is not working, give me another solution'
That's exactly the thing I encounter in my work environment many times.
01-20-2015 11:24 PM
There's an Edit and Delete button on here. At work there's not. I've been known to call people idiots or outright wrong though usually not for SAS programming. :smileyblush: