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Topic: RANT ALERT: All the college / uni project questions (Read 8249 times) previous topic - next topic


I know forums are magnets for school / college / uni project help... that's the nature of the beast.

But I can't help but think that right now, there are too many threads started by people who literally don't know where to start.

I can kind of understand that with a school project: with so little knowledge it's easy to underestimate the skill level. I'm spending quite a bit of time helping one such poster right now, and am doing so (reasonably) gladly.

But I'm terribly disappointed that final year (or at least reasonably well along the years) college and uni students who should know better, are picking projects about which they have absolutely no freaking clue and more to the point, nfc about the project planning and problem solving side of things. Their problem solving ability seems to extend to finding a forum and starting a "We committed to build a Mars Rover. I'm in charge of the electronics and programming, but know bugger all about either. Please send circuits diagrams and code. Btw, it's due to be deployed by tomorrow lunch time. Oh and did I mention it needs to send back telemetry for analysis in real time?" thread.

Colleague of mine- retired but back as a consultant- calls them "Google Engineers". What ARE they learning?


I wonder if one day we will get a poster asking where to start on making a project that flashes an LED on pin 13 every second ?


Its been my experience that many of these so called learning institutions do little to actually help the students, and just hand them their piece of paper after they have completed x amount of busy work.

Although I might be a little biased at the moment, I just spent a day filling an 80 gallon contractor grade trashbag with old busy-work papers while cleaning my office.
"Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation."

Electronic props for Airsoft, paintball, and laser tag -> www.nightscapetech.com

Nick Gammon

Like this post today?

... we don't have any programming background. We are currently having a thesis project ... Could someone help us in the code'? We really cannot proceed because of this code...

They are hoping to get a major qualification with assistance from this forum. I know a thesis is supposed to be about research, but surely you don't take on a project about which you know nothing?
Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

More info:


Yep I think it was that one which spurred me to that rant...

Sure, being a student is all about learning, and yes, a huge body of knowledge exists in this and hundreds of other forums in scores of fields and so it makes sense to pick peoples' brains. But wow, just to ask for a turnkey solution like that makes me wonder if those folks are a) in the right course b) actually went to any classes, labs and tuts and c) why they chose that particular project?


If I was a lecturer I'd be an anonymous member of all the appropriate forums. Then at the students' viva voce exams I'd quiz them on what help they got before confronting them with their threads and failing them.


I think Jimbo, we can expect more of these local questions from our people that passed their matriculant exams with 30 %  !


I think Jimbo, we can expect more of these local questions from our people that passed their matriculant exams with 30 %  !



sigh, i kind of agree with this rant, but, why respond to it if it is something that makes you want to go on a rant? people may come here thinking that electronic pros/hobbyists are more than happy to do what they're asking of the forum. i certainly did. in my case, im an olderrrr gentleman, retired, disabled veteran, nothing to do nowhere to go, i chose this (arduino) as a hobby. i been fiddling with stuff like this for years, so in some cases a lil refresher is all it takes for me, especially since the language is new to me. so gosh darn it why wont you tell me how to get an led to blink on pin 13!! besides, has anyone tried the search feature on the playground? maybe mine is the only one thats broke then because more often than not it returns nothing! hey, one good rant deserves another  :D


My point was not that I don't want to help nor that people should ask.

My rant goes to senior students with no clue how to go about a problem solving exercise other than asking someone else for the answers. I'm an engineer and know what engineering is. It's about solving problems, and sure, the wheel is already round and we should use whatever prior knowledge we can, but I'd fire an engineer who asked others for the answer. I could ask that other person, and cut out the middle man...


sigh, i kind of agree with this rant

yup, i totally agree with

My rant goes to senior students with no clue how to go about a problem solving exercise other than asking someone else for the answers.

but your a nicer guy than i am, you would fire them, i would hire assasins.


cut out the middle man...

Or woman, I hasten to add.....


I'm getting old and cynical but I do not believe for one nanosecond that the vast majority of these people are at "uni". There is simply no way that someone could get to their "final year project at uni" and be so clueless about electronics and/or programming unless they are majoring in stupidity and sloth.
Most of these so-called "final projects" (some even have the gall to call it a thesis) are also so fundamentally trivial that I cannot believe, for that same nanosecond, that any self-respecting "uni" would accept the project as worthwhile and worthy of what are presented as being degree granting institutions.
Occams' Razor strongly suggests to me that these threads are initiated by spotty 14-year olds who are just trolling and having "fun".



Wow... and I thought I was the cynical one!

I must say, I thought that this project in its apparent form of being able to read if 5 sensors are open or closed and deciding what that binary pattern means is way too trivial for a final year engineering project.


Jan 22, 2013, 05:47 pm Last Edit: Jan 22, 2013, 05:53 pm by retrolefty Reason: 1
Many good points. But I might add it's not always helpful to let such posters get your dandruff up to the point that you have to share your displeasure with the posters and/or their University. It's easy to prejudge and make assumptions and end up responding like so many posters use to do on the avrfrecks site and end up with the site gaining a reputation of being unfriendly and not willing to help new comers.

I share many of the negative comments posted here on many of the request for help, but I really work at just reading such posts/requests and moving on to what I might prejudge as a more worthy question or posting. Life is too short to spend being frustrated unless you really have a solution to share.

One token 'Grumpy' is enough for any one site.  :D

"Goggle Engineering" I love that term.  ;) At the refinery I worked at before retirement we referred to '"Smoking post engineering", and it wasn't always a negative term. I knew one engineer that said any time he got stuck with a problem he would go sit on the toilet for awhile and a solution would always seem to pop up or out as the case may be.  ;)


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