Answering questions as a way of learning

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSMMember Posts: 2,654 ■■■■■■■■■□
What are your thoughts on going to specific forums / blogs and answering questions for users, as a way of learning?

I've been hitting up 3 different SQL forums and answering a lot of questions for people who are struggling with queries etc.

Do you think this is a legit way of learning and bettering yourself? I am trying to advance myself and keep pushing myself while giving back to a community(ies) that have provided me with a lot of good information while I was starting off.

Is this a legit way of going from intermediate to a legit advanced level? Thoughts?

Comments

  • rob42rob42 Member Posts: 423
    I think (for want it's worth) that answering questions is a very good way to solidify ones own knowledge. I try to do so on this site, mainly on the CCNA forum: If I read a question and I'm unsure of the answer, I'll go and read up on it and come back with what I think maybe a helpful response. If I know what the answer is, I find that explaining it to someone that needs a little help, can help me also.

    Like you, I also see it as a way of "giving back". The only thing that annoys me at times, is that some folks don't take the time to post a little "thank you"; it's common courtesy (or a lack of), to my mind.
    No longer an active member
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,654 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Rob42 Good point, the lack of gratitude is pretty lame. What bugs me, is when someone criticizes your code but doesn't provide anything better.

    Oh well, 1st worth problems lol
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I think that's the main premise of the StackExchange et al suite of websites. And there, the gratification is in the gamification around the reputation system they have there.
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  • hiddenknight821hiddenknight821 Member Posts: 1,209 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Recently, I joined a Slack channel for those who's aspired to become a Linux sysadmin like myself. We have experienced folks there helping out too. It's very active lately and I didn't think it'd motivate me to get to my goals faster. Maybe an IRC or Slack channel can help you in your case, getting helps rather quickly. You can also help out others who are less-experienced.
  • knownheroknownhero Member Posts: 450
    I'm always on the SharePoint technet forums. It helps me.
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  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    My experience with this is that it works ok as long as the gap between your skills and the forum members isn't too big. Where the forum has a lot of "noobs", you can come in and give a complete, correct answer to a relatively simple question and then have it second guessed by a bunch of people who frankly aren't qualified to question you. So you either get drawn into defending your answer against a bunch of stupid criticisms, or watch it get ignored, or somehow manage to just answer it and not look back. It can end up a bit like this (NSFW language warning).

    If you hit that sweet spot, where you're roughly similar level to the other people in the forum, and there's mutual respect it can work very well for everyone. Not only for you answering questions, but having a place to ask questions or get a second opinion on a problem.

    It can work well even if the questions are a little outside your immediate expertise, but you know how to research and find the right answers. Bonus is that if you research, you can include sources right there in the answer.

    The big problem for most people working in IT, is that the range of problems you are exposed to is massively filtered by your current role. So where a technology can do all this cool stuff, you are just heavily invested in 10% of that functionality. That can make it challenging to move roles, and also makes it harder to innovate in your existing role. So getting in these forums can expose you to different problems and different solutions.
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  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,654 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Octal - such a greatly timed post.

    I completely got bashed for an answer I provided yet no one provide another answer. Might I add, that the solution works perfectly fine from an accuracy POV, but the performance against large sets is sluggish. Is there a better way to do this? Oh yeah but I am not going to spend hours optimizing code for someone, I was just helping them get the results they needed.

    Thankless job........

    I've become really turned off by this specific community ha!
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I spent a lot of time on VMware's forums a few years ago doing exactly this. I feel like it actually did enhance/solidify my knowledge, or at least confidence in my knowledge of certain subject areas.
    IT guy since 12/00

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  • VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    @OctalDump - 100% agree.

    @DatabaseHead - I believe it to be good practice to help people find solutions and it does strengthen your knowledge base. However, its very annoying when people ask questions about common problems that have already been answered and they're too lazy to do a simple search (the main reasons I no longer visit the Linux + forum on this site).
  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Never felt myself motivated to do that. Maybe because I'm used to charge money for consulting or something.
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