Growing intolerance and lack of compassion towards new developers on StackOverflow

StackOverflow is the digital equivalent of the Holy See or the Holy Mecca when it comes to programming. It is that place where developers go visit when they don’t have answers to their coding problems in a hope that the Gods of StackOverflow will help them solve it.

But lately, the Gods of StackOverflow seem to be exhibiting a lot of intolerance and impatience towards those who are still learning the craft of programming and new to it. There seems to be a growing belief or consensus that unless you already have a certain level of expertise, you don’t belong here in our chamber.

Take the example of this dude today who had a very simple question about jinja2 templates, a topic related to flask, a python web framework.

A question about jinja2, abruptly closed as a duplicate{.wp-image-1132 .size-large width=”1024” height=”458”}

A question about jinja2 abruptly closed as a duplicate

I was about to answer this question when it was abruptly closed for being a duplicate. The person who closed this didn’t even consider that a beginner coder (considering the reputation score) may not even know what the capabilities of jinja2 were. How the heck was s/he supposed to know that the answer to this question was to be found outside the context of jinja2? Everyone on this planet isn’t a born expert in web development. The coder expected a solution in the context of jinja2 templates itself and the right way would have been to guide him/her and explain that this isn’t possible through jinja2 but front-end scripting is required here. Then the answering post could proceed to provide a few helpful example links from StackOverflow or someplace else.

I want to ask those intolerant ones: consider that you yourself could have needed this hand-holding and guidance when you were beginning to code some years earlier? Just because coding has become so easy and second nature to you now, it doesn’t give you any right to behave with arrogance. Knowledge needs to be used with grace and caution, with power comes the responsibility of using that power.

This kind of behavior is quite common from what I’ve been reading lately on social media too and my observation today just confirms it. I hope that more and more senior developers develop compassion towards others and treat this site as the temple of knowledge which it really is, not an egotistical chamber to shut down other programmers.

[ social-networking  technology  ]