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Author Topic: Schools in session; help carefully...  (Read 2118 times)
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From questions appearing in the forums, it looks like classes have started up again, and some people are looking for help with their homework assignments and/or projects.  (Or, some people are looking to get "the internet" to do their homework for them.)

I've always found this a bit ambiguous.  Practices considered "cheating" in school are "preferred" in industry (find code, rather than writing it from scratch.)  But equally, you don't learn what you're supposed to be learning if you get correct code from someone on the net without doing any struggling on your own.  And some of the questions look like the person didn't bother to even go to the class...

So it's up to you, but if you see a particularly contrived question from a newbie, you may want to temper your response to something more "educational" than an exact answer.

"Nicely", of course.  This isn't AVRFreaks... (or don't respond at all.)
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I think that companies prefer that candidates have a college degree.

As for ethics, people get sued for subterfuge.

Cheating or not learning correct code means that something doesn't work efficiently or optimally.  It means that someone could get hurt because someone doesn't understand electronics or code.  It means that you can't add a feature for a customer because you don't know enough.  I was reading an article that being average isn't good enough because your competitor is going to offer something that you can't and they will get the customer and not you.  It means using an Arduino mega instead of an Arduino Uno because you couldn't compress the code enough to use a cheaper part costing your employer big bucks.

Its like people who code badly.  They write code that looks like sphaghetti so the next person that has to fix it spends hours which costs the employer hours and pays employees $$$ for which employer can't afford.

You were thought to be smart until the customer saw the code...  It was sort of like the fool was thought to be smart until he opened his mouth...


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Answering questions is fine but giving people a piece of code doesn't help anyone.
Giving them an explanation of what they seek is much better.
However, if someone asks 'I have this and that part, please tell me how to connect it and make it work' they get a polite rejection from me.
When I don't see any initiative from someone, I don't give them anything.
I'm always willing to help but I'm not giving them anything if they don't want to do anything for it.
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Yes,  it's a judgment call, of who I try and help or not. The ones I tend to ignore or chastise are the ones that say "I need this help ugently, it's due tomorrow". I guess I'm punishing them for being too honest, how strange is that?  smiley-wink
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Yes,  it's a judgment call, of who I try and help or not. The ones I tend to ignore or chastise are the ones that say "I need this help ugently, it's due tomorrow". I guess I'm punishing them for being too honest, how strange is that?  smiley-wink

There wasn't a person in school that I helped programming in college that didn't learn from copying me and most people copy the crystal on the microcontroller board when they go to build their own instead of trying to find the right one for their project.

I have spent two to three years reading about microcontrollers and I still haven't given up but I've yet to program one.  I see tutorials on the internet that are incomplete because they are to teach only someone who is experienced.  In other words, the tutorials don't show how to wire something or which version of the hardware to get.  The problem is that most people don't have experience knowing how to teach anyone to do anything.
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The problem is that most people don't have experience knowing how to teach anyone to do anything.
What this forum is best at is answering specific questions to the questions that are clearly stated. We are a forum of individuals and we don't even always agree with each other on the 'best' or 'correct' answers to some questions. If some users have expectations that this forum is the best and only resource for learning fundamental electronics and programming then they are bound to go away disappointed.

Lefty


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Arduino has a bootloader.  It is sort of like the language "Basic" for the Apple IIe or Commodore 64.  People spent 8 months to two years learning Basic but fewer learned machine code.  The fact that people are asking for a sketch means they aren't learning to program.

I'm sure there are people who can cut and paste a program into Arduino but how many of them know electronics and how many are expert at electronics?

How many Arduino users know how to program another microcontroller?  How many users that have Arduino could learn another microprocessor?

And how many of you are certified teachers?
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During my schooldays people who could not explain their (copied) code got bad grades from most teachers - no negotiation.

They prefered "bad" code that we could explain above a 100% lean and mean code that you only could explain by "I got it from a book, Dijkstra wrote it himself ,so it must be good". (OK we got some points for reading a good book smiley  E.g. bubblesort was as good as quicksort if you could explain HOW it worked and WHY you choose it.

Furthermore if teachers use Arduino in class today, shouldn't they check this forum?  And google just a line or two of the code within "quotes" would reveal copied work quite fast !!




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Arduino has a bootloader.  It is sort of like the language "Basic" for the Apple IIe or Commodore 64.  People spent 8 months to two years learning Basic but fewer learned machine code.  The fact that people are asking for a sketch means they aren't learning to program.

I don't think that is true. Sketch is the formal name that the Processing and arduino projects choose to call the source document one types into the IDE. Arduino clearly explains in documentation that one is using plain old gcc C/C++ language and arduino supplied libraries to compile and load the 'sketch' onto a arduino board.
I'm sure there are people who can cut and paste a program into Arduino but how many of them know electronics and how many are expert at electronics?

Many members on this board are professional programmers and electrical engineers. Trying to generalize about the wide diversity of arduino users and members of this forum is a very silly and foolish endever.

How many Arduino users know how to program another microcontroller?

Again many many user here have that experience. I'm not even near the top of food chain here and I've used Picaxe, Pic and now arduino.

  How many users that have Arduino could learn another microprocessor?

Any that really wished to do so and are willing to do the work needed. I believe you underrate peoples desires, iniative, and ablility to learn.
And how many of you are certified teachers?

A few post here that do real teaching in classes using the arduino, don't have a count for you but they are around, trust me.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 06:59:13 pm by retrolefty » Logged

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Many members on this board are professional programmers and electrical engineers. Trying to generalize about the wide diversity of arduino users and members of this forum is a very silly and foolish endever.

I am not a "pro" EE or programer. I am just an hobbyist with an EET, and 3 years experience in Electronic Bench Tech in the 90's. I just "revived" my interested in electronics, doing a few projects there and there. Heh, I am just a School Bus Driver. And a lay-off Electronics Technician since 1998.
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I'll stick by my "Help Carefully" topic title.  You can usually tell the people who really want help vs those who just want the work done for them, if you're paying attention.  There are enough beginners in the former category that it can get to be a habit of just "write the code" (which is sometimes easier than helping.)

My daughter is a HS senior, so we're getting to hear all sorts of stories about college applications and such, including the app that showed up in the admissions department with a line "[Billy, you write something here.]"  Bad student.  Bad parent.  No cookies!
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I'm sure there are people who can cut and paste a program into Arduino but how many of them know electronics and how many are expert at electronics?

Many members on this board are professional programmers and electrical engineers. Trying to generalize about the wide diversity of arduino users and members of this forum is a very silly and foolish endever.

I was asking a question and not making a statement unless you consider the question rhetorical.  Just because many members are professional programmers and electrical engineers doesn't mean that this board will only attract engineers and professional programmers.  That is like saying that this board has no appeal to high school students or young people because only professional people will sign up.

What is the difference between telling someone how to do something vs telling someone to do something?  Expecting someone to learn something on their own before helping them negates telling someone how to do something so we're left with telling someone to do something which isn't teaching.  I had a math teacher that use to say that if she taught us, we wouldn't learn.  In other words, she wasn't going to do her job which is to teach.  Then why go to school?

If you want people to learn, you can't expect them to do it all by themselves or it will take them a very long time.

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Some answer seekers are more prone to learning than others. It's fact. My goal as helper here is to help newbies and teach those that are ready to learn and never imagine in a million years to change anyone's bad learning habit. It's just too much for a teacher to ask for. As a learner, I'm half as good as a teacher so I'll leech sometimes and ask few questions. That reminds me to ask a question on arduino IDE, which I forgot.
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I'm sure there are people who can cut and paste a program into Arduino but how many of them know electronics and how many are expert at electronics?

Many members on this board are professional programmers and electrical engineers. Trying to generalize about the wide diversity of arduino users and members of this forum is a very silly and foolish endever.

I was asking a question and not making a statement unless you consider the question rhetorical.  Just because many members are professional programmers and electrical engineers doesn't mean that this board will only attract engineers and professional programmers.  That is like saying that this board has no appeal to high school students or young people because only professional people will sign up.

What is the difference between telling someone how to do something vs telling someone to do something?  Expecting someone to learn something on their own before helping them negates telling someone how to do something so we're left with telling someone to do something which isn't teaching.  I had a math teacher that use to say that if she taught us, we wouldn't learn.  In other words, she wasn't going to do her job which is to teach.  Then why go to school?

If you want people to learn, you can't expect them to do it all by themselves or it will take them a very long time.



There are sites where a typical and frequent answer to most any technical questions is "have you RTFM?" (read the freakin manual), which can be very unsettling and discouraging to beginners at best. Those kinds of forums tend to be occupied by a small group of elitist which do not really seek to help anyone other then each other. The Arduino forum is the most opposite of that type of forum behaviour of any technical forum I've come across, but of course your mileage, experience, and opinion may vary.

There are also users that have come on this board virtually demanding help. that when boiled down to the root of their questions, they have an expectation that someone here will write a complete sketch for them that meets their requirement, and have no real interest in wanting to learn how to program on their own. The 'homework' questions often fall into that last example. Often we get questions like "my sketch does not work, what am I doing wrong?" with no code posted, no description of the problem symptoms or even what the sketch is supposed to accomplish. That kind of question doesn't make a good first impression nor often result in much helpful responses, although some do take the time and try and pry out the information needed to help.

 I sense a frustration in your statements that I don't know how best to help with, if I could or can at all. I suspect your expectations of what a user forum can provide and what you require may not be a good match. So instead of talking in generalities, what specific help is it that you need? I know that many here will attempt to go the extra mile to help you as long as you maintain a good attitude and open mind.

Lefty
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The Arduino forum is the most opposite of that type of forum behaviour of any technical forum I've come across,
I would agree, and add that I think the Picaxe forum is the same in this regard.

_____
Rob
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