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Digital Behaviour

Don’t tap my shoulder…

Quite some time ago there was this small team of programmers who were busy programming in a relatively challenging environment both in software terms and the weather.

There was this 600 page manual which needed looking by almost all of us every now and then. After a while some of us started understanding the philosophy of the language and could manage a decent job of achieve some well written programs.

But amongst us was this chap – let us call him AR who really had done a good job of understanding the language.  So it was but natural that others started interrupting him for help in clarification of syntax, debugging the code and generally increasing their knowledge.

You may wonder why. The reason was very simple, because it was more efficient than browsing the 600 page manual for some clarification. The manual itself was not a great one to refer. The online help was even worse. While the team benefited from AR’s knowledge and the project proceeded, AR was not happy.

He often felt that others should do the necessary activity of reading the manual. See the sample reference code and all the earlier programs written to understand them better. He was hoping that he would be disturbed less.

Tapping-ShoulderBasically they tapped his shoulder instead of the following the famous ‘Press F1 for help’. I often wondered whether AR was right.

Look at our forums. All new joiners are requested to read the existing help, FAQs and so before asking inane and silly, Topic 101 questions. In fact without loss of generalization, I can say that one can very much add the number 101 to any topic and one would find a tutorial, in the form of a document or a presentation in Google.

Tapping shoulders may be avoided if all us doing the preliminary searches in forum discussions help documents etc. Then we should resort to Techshare and the like before we decide to tap somebody’s shoulder.

Of course one could argue about the need of the hour and all that…but still the question remains – Did you tap on somebody’s shoulder on the first go? Like Krukhut who is getting his shoulder tapped in Asterix and Cleopatra?

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