Asking for Help as a Developer

I think the Coding Blocks guys were the ones who reminded me of Scott Hanselman’s brilliant advice of not wasting keystrokes - don’t share advice with one person when many could benefit from it so I figured I’d post some advice I just shared with a friend. None of these are my original ideas, I’ve had to learn these same lessons from others over time.

Asking for help is probably the second most important skill as a developer, second only to knowing all the tricks of Google. You can probably get the gist of these two just by reading the url of the first and the paragraph headers of the second. It’s incredibly intimidating to ask questions but know that people generally love to help. Making it easy for them to do so will make the feedback you get even better. Coding is an incredibly frustrating activity and sometimes we need to just mash the keyboard and vent by saying something like “Getting a stupid error!” If you want help, though, always post some or all of the following - the actual error message, a short snippet of where you think the error might be in the code, what you were doing that lead up to it, anything you’ve tried to fix it, etc. (a lot of the stuff from that second link).