Rudeness, sarcasm, and condescension

Does anyone else feel that some responses to noobie questions are often rude, sometimes sarcastic, and sometimes condescending

1 Like

Not unless you post links to examples that you consider inappropriate.

Natural justice requires that the accused is given an opportunity to defend him/herself.

…R

I might be repeating myself, but here I go again...

First time I wrote here, naive young(er) man I was those days, it took me a while to get inside the mind of nerds and programmers. I was one already, but not prepared to be beaten down...

That was actually a very good oppportunity for me to grow up, and quite fast I learn that I also have be better prepared with mys questions. Learning curve was not too bad, and now I feel comfortable to give some back to new guys. Sure, I don't beat anybody like PaulS used to do, but some awakening is good.

It is also very personal thing, when something goes too far, but I think this forum has been very nice place with older and smarter professionals and less professional answers. If you think that has been too rude...? Just show few examples.

Cheers,
Kari

I definitely noticed this when I first asked a question. I didn't take offense to it because I understand what the "lurkers" here go through. I'm still fairly new but I have found that I really enjoy helping people with their issues and questions.

Even before I started answering questions and trying to be a part, I knew that there was going to be a bunch of people that don't read the rules, make multiple posts, leave their questions very vague, and have many many grammatical errors.

I know that can get old because I deal with it a lot too. I tutored chemistry for a year in college and sometimes you get questions that are ridiculously stupid.

Even still, I don't think it's a right to be condescending or rude but if you're gonna get anywhere in life you need to learn to roll with the punches. I didn't start growing up until I worked an assembly job and was teased all the time. After a while you just realize that if you go with it and give some back those people usually end up being really cool people.

That being said, I do my best to understand people and be nice, but sometimes you get those people that are being stubborn, not posting their schematics/code etc after repeatedly telling them, and you have to be stern with them.

As long as its not a personal attack you're fine. give them the benefit of the doubt, and give them a couple chances to get things right.

I should be clear about something. I would NEVER discriminate because of a language barrier or because they don't understand what you're saying. Only if they're being stubborn or refusing to do things the proper way. (by proper I mean a proven fact. not someone else's or my own opinion)

This is a pretty common question.
Quite often (not always) it comes from a person who didn't take the time to read those STICKY posts at the top of every section and so often feels they are exempt from any rules.

Life has a habit of kicking many of those peeps just where it should.

Even if you are not one of those who feel they dont need to learn rules they are still there for good reason.

Ask a coding question about a non working sketch but dont post it correctly or enough to make the problem available for others to see then expect some wrath.

Want to know if its a spotted or tartan wire that goes to the doodad with no specs or links then expect the wrath.

Post a perfect question and people often flock to help because you took the time to help them understand what your problem is.

It is up the the individual to make the best of the forum and not the forums responsibility to make the best of a bad job.

On the whole the forum operates without too much fuss, nastiness and profanity.
If you are truly feeling that you got the short end of the stick then there is the "Report to moderator" button and I can assure you we do take things quite serious and have put down some renowned long time members for bad behavior.

If you just want to winge that's fine too as we have an area called "bar sport" where the sharks lurk.

to Ballscrewbob,
Yes I certainly agree.

I have to admit, my first post wasn't necessarily up to par. My situation was slightly different than most in that I had a very specific question that I didn't think required code to show what I was asking for. I wasn't asking someone to look at my code and fix it. I was asking about a certain Arduino functionality and a possible way to get around its limitations.

I was afraid my code would only confuse everyone more. I read the rules and did my best to follow them but I got a swift kicking for not posting a schematic and code. Even after all that it didn't really help. I ended up figuring it out on my own.

Overall though I learned that if you just follow the rules, even if you think they don't apply in your situation, then you're good to go.

bears0:
or because they don't understand what you're saying.

It can be very frustrating when people don't tell you that they don't understand and, of course, there is no opportunity to provide a better explanation.

I think a lot of people are afraid that saying "I don't understand" or "I don't know" marks them as stupid. To my mind the people who say those things are the intelligent ones.

...R

yessuh:
Does anyone else feel that some responses to noobie questions are often rude, sometimes sarcastic, and sometimes condescending

Yes.

But when the question is something like:

I wrote some code but it doesn't work. Can anybody help?

Which is almost literally what some folks post as their first entry, it's hardly surprising that the answers are less polite.

Count your blessings: at least this forum isn't Stack Overflow!

I don’t like the fact that the OP made a serious complaint and has not bothered to respond to the subsequent comments.

…R

Robin2:
I don't like the fact that the OP made a serious complaint and has not bothered to respond to the subsequent comments.

...R

That is also quite normal.

A person who makes a complaint and then realises that they are not getting the sympathy they hoped for often shies away from the topic.
Many complaints are not fully based on enough details to make it worthwhile following up.

Have said it before and will say it many times into the future "Give us facts and details not innuendo otherwise they are part of the problem and not part of the answer"

Someone once said to me "I can tell when you don't like someone, you are really polite to them". She had a point, I can be rude to people I like and they give me the same back and we can have a laugh about it. Of course, it's not quite the same on a forum like this as we don't know each other and certainly don't know new folk, but it is something to remember.

PerryBebbington:
Someone once said to me "I can tell when you don't like someone, you are really polite to them". She had a point, I can be rude to people I like and they give me the same back and we can have a laugh about it. Of course, it's not quite the same on a forum like this as we don't know each other and certainly don't know new folk, but it is something to remember.

It can take a great deal of time to build a decent rapport with forum members but it is something that is certainly do-able.

Baby steps are the key until you can asses somebody but that only goes so far.

ballscrewbob:
It can take a great deal of time to build a decent rapport with forum members but it is something that is certainly do-able.

That is a two-way street.

If I go to a strange Forum looking for assistance (which I do occasionally) I make it my business to put them in the best frame of mind to help me. In other words I want to create a rapport with them, even if only for a brief period.

On this Forum I am (I hope) careful not to be offensive, but I expect people looking for help to put in some effort.

...R

That is a two-way street.

If I go to a strange Forum looking for assistance (which I do occasionally) I make it my business to put them in the best frame of mind to help me. In other words I want to create a rapport with them, even if only for a brief period.

Exactly.

yessuh:
Does anyone else feel that some responses to noobie questions are often rude, sometimes sarcastic, and sometimes condescending

I totally agree with the OP. In fact, just a few minutes ago I posted a very similar sentiment in a topic.

The regulars here need to understand that they are not only pushing away members who they consider are posting "dumb" questions, but they are also alienating anyone who is lurking. In my case I lurked for a couple of years and was put off signing up until I was desperate, and that was purely due to the condescending nature of many of the answers I had read to other people. It's the main reason why my post count is so low even after being a member for eight years - I only post a question here when I have exhausted all other possibilities.

Of course, there are some very helpful and patient people here, but unfortunately my impression is that they are far outnumbered by the "other type".

Remember, the only reason people ask a question here is because they DON'T know the answer, plus not every question is written by a native English speaker.

As for requests of examples, I don't have any right now, but any fair minded person can read almost any topic here and see for themselves. And of course, there was always the (in)famous case of PaulS who I understand eventually got banned for exactly the subject of this topic, despite his wealth of knowledge.

Robin2:
It can be very frustrating when people don’t tell you that they don’t understand and, of course, there is no opportunity to provide a better explanation.

I think a lot of people are afraid that saying “I don’t understand” or “I don’t know” marks them as stupid. To my mind the people who say those things are the intelligent ones.

…R

During management courses, I was always taught that when the communcatee does not understand something then the responsibility lies with the communicator. If someone is posting a question in this forum then by default, they don’t understand which is why they are asking for clarification.

Rather than fill up the forum, I have asked the moderators to delete my other message that I wrote independently before seeing this topic. Here is the content of that message which was titled;

Why Do So Many Members Post Snotty Replies?

==========================
I come here occasionally when I have a particular programming problem to solve, mostly to read, but occasionally to ask a question. But, to be honest, I really only come here as a last resort because there are too many members that will make snide comments or just cryptic remarks such as;

“You’re doing it wrong” (with no answer), or,
“Take a programming course” (well, I’m trying to learn from you guys), or
“Why are you doing it like that?” (when its quite clear that I am doing it this way because I want or need to).

There are a few people who post genuinely helpful stuff and I am very grateful to them, but every time I read a topic, the good guys are always outnumbered by the programming snobs.

Most of us come here because we don’t know the answer and we want to learn, and many are beginners or hobbyists who don’t do this for a living.

So PLEASE, when someone asks a question, understand that they are doing so BECAUSE they don’t know the answer.

archiebald:
Why Do So Many Members Post Snotty Replies?

I have already said this in response to other comments like this and it is something I feel strongly about.

Post links to examples of the issues you are complaining about. That is the only way in which the person concerned gets an opportunity to defend him/herself.

Making complaints without evidence is unfair to everyone.

Better still, if you find a comment that you object to then respond to it immediately rather than allowing frustrations to accumulate.

...R

It's just how you like to see things, "the eye of the beholder".
There's lots of questions that have been asked and answered hundreds, even thousands of times.
If you are asking another of such questions, you haven't tried at all to find an answer for yourself.
Most of those questions also clearly show that this person didn't bother reading the forum guidelines, even though they are on top of every single forum section.
One shouldn't be too surprised to be finely pointed out on that.

archiebald:
"Why are you doing it like that?" (when its quite clear that I am doing it this way because I want or need to).

That's another question, and a perfect valid one too.
It is not condescending at all, it is an attempt to find out how that person's thinking process went, so the respondent can try to find an answer along that process if possible at all.
Assuming you were clear in telling why you "want" or "need" to do it that way, has clearly failed if you get that response.

If one is afraid to ask a question, anticipating they will get a condescending or "snotty" reply, then that is what they will experience if they are told this question has been asked and answered many, many times already, or if follow up questions are the replies.

The most of us aren't managers and didn't follow management courses.
We're hobbyists trying to help other hobbyists.
But that doesn't mean you can't look for answers yourself and at least read the guidelines before engaging in this forum.

I'm not a native English speaking person too.
But i do try to carefully compose my messages (even if they are in my native language), so it'll take me quite some time.
This one took me about half an hour
So i am putting my valuable time in this forum, as are the other responders.

So do your part, read the guidelines and use them.
Search the forum for answers before asking the gazillionth of the same question again.
Think about the questions you'll be asking, and proofread them before clicking the 'post' button.

And if you need to make any assumptions, assume an answer is actually meant to help even if you fail to see how.
Another assumption may be to consider that people do not know every Arduino product or any of the modules you are using, so point to the respective product web page if available (that means, not a page of a similar product).