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Re: Don't go all PerlMonks on me

by dana (Monk)
on Apr 09, 2007 at 15:55 UTC ( #608982=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Don't go all PerlMonks on me

Okay, to be honest, I am the female co-worker in question.

As said, I inherited a piece of horrid code and was told to 'make it work'. I was leaving in one hour for a long weekend. I needed to make it work without a lot of time learning how to make it perfect -- I would have time for that when I returned from vacation. I have a small OCD problem -- I cannot let go of thinking about coding and solutions when a known problem is waiting and I didn't want to spend my weekend worrying/losing sleep over another person's code.

To be frank, the following sums up my statement perfectly:
Don't be pedantic. This is not a teachable moment.

Most of the time I enjoy learning. I used to be a sys admin so CPAN and perl module installation are truly old hat to me. I always use warnings/strict. I'm not afraid to rip code apart. I don't mind being handed a broken piece of code and being asked to fix it -- provided it is not "fix it right this second before vacation".

I appreciate help and enjoy learning from people who can improve my style, show me new modules, show me how to use existing modules, white board over various approaches, and challenges that advance my skills, all the while avoiding condescending comments - more precisely, I enjoy perlmonks.

Thus, although I've been using perl for years, I'm relatively new to the site. I am a novice perlmonk (and fairly proud I made it all the way to novice level!!). :)


Comment on Re: Don't go all PerlMonks on me
Re^2: Don't go all PerlMonks on me
by misterwhipple (Monk) on Apr 09, 2007 at 17:41 UTC

    Most excellent, Madam! Thank you for sharing your half of the experience with us.

    cat >~/.sig </dev/interesting

Re^2: Don't go all PerlMonks on me
by bobf (Monsignor) on Apr 09, 2007 at 22:08 UTC

    Monks, meet dana. :-)

    Thanks for adding your perspective and detail to provide context. Thanks also for using what may not have been a particularly teachable moment for you to create one for me.

    For the record, dana and I are both very detail-oriented, and it is easy for us to spiral off into tangential discussions of coding practices and design without actually addressing the matter at hand. In this instance, her gentle smack upside my head flipped enough bits to allow me to address the immediate problem without overwhelming her with more information than she could process at the time. I need that on occasion. :-)

    Thanks again for keeping me in check, and welcome to PerlMonks. :-)

Re^2: Don't go all PerlMonks on me
by rodion (Chaplain) on Apr 10, 2007 at 00:52 UTC
    FWIW, I strongly identified with both of you, having been the one under time pressure and needing focussed help, and at other times, the one trying to keep my help focussed. That's what made the story so good, and such a good example of how to provide effective help. Grateful thanks to you both for sharing with us.
Re^2: Don't go all PerlMonks on me
by naikonta (Curate) on Apr 11, 2007 at 18:35 UTC
    Then it reminds me of what I experienced about 4-5 year ago. A co-worker asked for help about something wrong with his code, regex, to be precise. When I looked at his screen, I wanted to explain about what was wrong with his regex and why it was wrong. Just as I started he stared at me and I stopped immediately. I think that was his "Don't be pedantic. This is not a teachable moment." Only that his statement, more or less, was "Don't explain, just tell me and I'll type" in such expressive way. So that's what we did.

    It was like I had a somekind of speech-synthesizer, and he typed whatever I said, well almost :-) "Go to line 24, move the cursor at the opening square bracket, add caret, move cursor over 3 characters to the right, remove that dollar, oh no, sorry, I mean the underscore, the underscore, yes, right. Now, press the ESC, then ZZ. OK, type perl -c add.cgi. Good." (Just FYI, we used vim, well I still do).

    Another case is when I was the one who felt the situation. So instead of explaining what was wrong, I said, "follow my instruction and just type what I say." Of course, IMHO, this is not the way for learning process. There's not much (if any at all) for the asker to gain lessons. It's just that in this particular circumstances, the number one and only goal is to have the problem solved.

    Update: Now that I have my quota again today, It's please to put ++ on bobf and dana for interesting thread :-)

      My favorite times when playing secretary, where I am simply typing something someone is telling me to type to add/fix/modify/optimize/you-name-it, are those inevitable moments when the person telling me to type says 'add x' meaning to type an x and I type '+x'. For some reason it always makes me laugh because it dawns on me that I'm not absorbing anything - I am simply putting someone else's brain dump into logical (or illogical) code.

      My goal is always to go back and learn from what they just told me to type, however all too often time gets away from me and I don't go back to analyze anything.

      White boarding, taking a little longer to understand what I'm being told, helps me to learn new skills and also is necessary for when I need to go back to the script for any reason.

Re^2: Don't go all PerlMonks on me
by cog (Parson) on Apr 12, 2007 at 18:24 UTC
    fairly proud I made it all the way to novice level

    The interesting thing is that you've made your way to Beadle since this node, really really quick :-) And yes, I ++'ed you :-)

      No, now she gained even further is a Monk with lots of XP's

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