I don’t know about you, but in my line of work I run into a lot of what I would call “elite IT”.
You know who I’m talking about, everyone has run into that person – he or she knows way more than you and you are wasting their time asking stupid questions. These folks usually have quite a few years of experience or a higher education degree or something in that combination that gives them a feeling of superiority.
Maybe it’s justified, maybe it’s not – either way they are going to let you know exactly how much of an inconvenience you are, why you shouldn’t be bothering them and why you shouldn’t have a computer… And I don’t care for it.
Allow me to explain a little more in depth. See, I’ve worked with people like this most of my career. I even started out working for folks like this and it’s a miracle I stuck it out and made it as far as I have (Disclaimer: I’m pretty stubborn). This is becoming especially true as of late since I’ve been doing more and more work in open source projects. I’m not sure what it is about the open source community, but when you get the hang of that one project, that one piece of software, sometimes it seems to bring out the worst in you.
Is this always true? No, of course not. But when the majority of people avoid open source projects because of the way the community reacts to them and their “noobness”, the only people that get hurt are the project members and community itself, which more often than not will suffer from what could be perceived as minor issues such as lack of documentation, lack of volunteer work and in general, lack of enthusiasm.
Case in point, I wrote about FreeNAS and some troubles I was having with it and I wanted to express my frustration with the project. I accepted a comment and wanted to use it as the basis of this article. But within a couple of days of allowing the comment to stand, I received another angry comment that I’m debating about posting. The comment basically bashes what I assume would be the previous person using phrases implying that said person get rid of their computers since they were too stupid to use them. Now this is one person in the ocean of people and certainly not by any stretch of the imagination the standard of what I expect some people in the open source community. But I’m always involved in different open source projects more often than not I hear from people around me home I introduce to these projects that these are the very examples of why they don’t want to get involved. And I don’t blame them, I mean why get involved with the project that has folks that would rather bash then help you when you can pay for the same product and get everything you need without the hassle?
Now – is this always the case – no. ALLOT of communities have gone way above the call to help others – too many to list here.
I guess what I’m saying is before you post that comment telling someone how to do something instead of answering their question (another beef I’ll post about later) or telling said person to RTFM, try to remember you had to start somewhere too. And with the way the industry is going, we need more people involved and educated – not scared off.