Just raise your hand: How Glitch helps
Anil Dash
1498

Don’t be that guy.

Instilling the habit of going directly to chat to get answers to problems you are stuck on is the equivalent of encouraging developers to go bother the gal in the next cubical to help you with something you are stuck on. Anyone in tech for any amount of time knows exactly “that guy” I am talking about.

I am not against social aspects of team development and learning. I created a brick-n-mortar, learning lab for people to learn social for that very reason. But …

Take responsibility for your own learning. Figure things out on your own until steam is coming out of your ears. THEN after you have done everything possible, searching the entirety of the web, then—and only then—ask your question in chat or a forum where you can demonstrate all the ways you have shown you actually value the time of others.

The future is tech, and the future tech careers will go to those who learn to learn just-in-time and own their knowledge gaps and demonstrate the skills to fill them without chat handholding.

Chat is a great forum, of course, IRC being by far the most valuable and oldest. Usually chat forums are the best place to ask questions about general resources or solutions are out there after having done your research to make sure you didn’t miss one. Most solutions worth using, however, will have been well documented online—with one big exception: new technology. New technology is best discovered by being a very active Twitter reader and finding the right people to follow. This is immensely more valuable than chat.

For example, thanks to following one particularly talented and influential developer TJ Holowaychuk I discovered both Go and Preact (a React replacement without the legal problems).

My point is chat is great for creating a sense of place and real-time team communication and, yes, quick pointers in the right direction. It is NOT the place to ask questions about things that could easily be answered with one search.