Some Love for the Beginners

“Read the Datasheet Again!”

That’s what somebody told me on a forum once for not seeing a piece of information in a 90 page datasheet. If there is one thing I’ve learned after many years of doing hobbyist electronics it’s that the various forums are NOT friendly places for beginners. I’m subscribed to receive notices from multiple forums and everyday I see beginners taking heat for “not reading the datasheet” or “not searching the forum.” It always amazes me how condescending people can be and how quickly they forget that at some point we were all beginners.

Friend or Foe, You Choose

I wish people would understand one simple fact. It takes just as long to be a jerk as it does to make a new friend online. Instead of answering somebody’s questions with a condescending tone why not take the same amount of time to encourage and support. Is is so hard to remember that everybody is on a different level as far as experience and knowledge go? A lot of beginners have no idea that the answer is on page 73, paragraph 6 of the datasheet and publicly shaming them does nothing but boost your own shallow ego. I’m not sure why smart technical people who stereotypically faced a lot of bullying growing up turn to preying on people just looking for a little help.

Play Nice

So why the blog post? Well, it really comes down to a simple thought. Can we please just play nice? Can we show some love to the beginners? Next time you see a “stupid noob” question in a forum, step up and help out. Welcome them to the community and please, whatever you do, don’t treat him/her like an illiterate waste of your time because that “idiot” is an actual person on the other side of the interwebs just looking for some help.