I was originally planning to post the content of this blog as a reply in response to my previous post, "Is it too early for commitment" said the developer but seeing as it ended up being the length of a blog post I though I should promote it to one.
For those of you who have not read my previous post I would suggest that you go and read it. But here is the comment from tbscope that upset so much that I needed to respond.
The clasical lazy student.
It's like saying: "I want to make a quick and easy modification to the space shuttle. Whatever did I know I had to use a difficult to understand fueling method to get the d*mn thing into space?"
This is just a classic example of not wanting to read the documentation. There's no excuse for it.
You can build any program in any IDE. You just need it to be set up correctly, and that takes time and knowledge. You know, things that a student should be doing in the first place: learning.
A lazy student is just a lazy person, and a person who will fail in doing these tasks in later life (unless he changes).
Before you drive a car, lets first try to at least know how to walk.
That does not mean I say you can't start driving right away... but at least expect some bumps down the road and some detours.
I'm a professional electro-mechanical engineer. I have a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge. But guess what: every day, I need to learn something new, something I don't understand and something that takes time to know.
Deal with it. Either follow the given recipe, or actually learn something.
But: some things can indeed be made easier to understand, that is true.
29 March 2011 09:57
And here is my response:
@tbscope I am really disappointed that the first comment I have on this post is one from someone who clearly doesn't really understand the content of my blog post. I was tempted to just delete your comment but I think it is better that I respond to your points and try and explain why I am so disappointed.
First of all I must point out that it is extremely rude and insulting to jump directly to the phrase "lazy student". At no point in my blog post did I mention the word lazy nor did I imply it. In fact I explicitly said that students have "other valuable things to do with their time... and time is very valuable during college". I have seen quite a lot of really great minds buckle under the pressure that college puts them through and I think it is very insulting to them, and in fact to all students, to jump on the stereotype of a "lazy student".
Also your analogy with the space shuttle is fundamentally flawed. First of all developing a desktop program is not rocket science, developing it *well* or knowing everything about it is a whole load more difficult. If we were to turn away all users who were not at an intermediate level or above how are we supposed to survive as a community!? After all, you stated yourself that a student should be *learning*, how will they gain any experience if we effectively say to them "Sorry you're not good enough to join our community, but come back when you're an expert and we'll think about it". We as a community should lower barriers to entry and try to encourage new developers to join us, after all there is a huge mind grab for developers in the open source world so it makes sense that a new developer will begin with the project that is easiest start developing for. Water always seeks the easiest path.
Also to pick holes in your driving analogy too: Tell me, on your very first driving lesson did your instructor quiz you on the mechanics of an internal combustion engine before they even let you sit in the driver seat? No (or at least if he did then they were a terrible instructor). Instead they would probably explained the basics to you and allowed you to drive a little bit in a controlled environment. Compare that to my user story, the "basics" are how to check it out from subversion and the "controlled environment" is the separate build directory that can be nuked without having to install anything.