Get In Line

I’m a nice guy. I really am. I like helping people. I like answering questions. But, I have my limits. Every day, many times a day, I get questions from people about various topics: AOLserver, Linux, Tcl, HTML, CSS, SQL, etc. People love to instant message me while I’m working on something with queries on these subjects, obviously without having done any research of their own. They haven’t checked out the documentation for whatever it is they’re looking for. They haven’t typed in man <insert command here> or even considered it. They ask first, research later. That bugs the living crap out of me. If you really want to earn your knowledge, you will do your digging. How do you think I learned it? For the most part, I didn’t have anyone to turn to and I found the answer myself (and this was in the days before Google, so it wasn’t always easy) or I did without. I broke things, sometimes irreparably, frequently. I had to reinstall Windows, MacOS and Linux more times than I can count because I did something stupid in the name of experimentation. It was fun because I knew I’d figure it out eventually, and if I didn’t, well, my original query sometimes became collateral to the other things I learned on the journey to its answer.

I know some people just want answers and don’t want to earn them. If you’re one of those people, stop asking me questions. If you really want to know, you’ll prove it by looking somewhere other than your buddy list for me. You’ll hit the stacks and do some research before you ask me. Make me at least think you really want to know. And remember, I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m succeeding. I went to jerk school and graduated at the top of my class: Sum Bigga Jerk.

Categorized as geekery

By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.