Monday, September 8, 2008

Where did professional decency go? Especially amongst what is supposed to be some of our top minds?

I am not sure the chain of events that lead me to a blog that referenced this post on the Google groups, but it really is a sad thing when I read it:

Really Sad Post

When I started answering posts on the Forums earlier this year, I almost fell into this kind of diatribe once.  It really bothers me to see that MVP's would go about trashing one another in this form publicly on a post where someone was seeking assistance.  The MSDN Forums are not exempt from this kind of behavior, but they are monitored by Moderators and Answerers and problems are headed off early by removing inflammatory posts, or locking the thread.  It is really easy to become overbearing and arrogant and today it seems to be becoming more prevalent. 

One of the things I have tried to do the more I have learned, and as I have gained recognition in the SQL Server community at large is to remain humble and try to be a mentor rather than a critic.  There once was a time when I didn't know that null values added with non-null values would result in a null value.  If you happen to actually read my blog, then I implore you to keep in mind that there was once a time when you didn't know how to do the basics either.  If you choose to answer a question online, remember it was your choice, and the person is looking for help, not condescension or criticism, and if all you have to offer is one of the two, then please exercise the choose not to answer.  It is really that simple.

If you do answer, remember that in most cases, the Internet is forever.  Stuff never disappears completely, so formulate your answer in a manner that if someone else finds it, it is general enough or detailed enough that they get the answer too.  I have a number of posts that I wrote over the last year, that I now use as simple reference posts.  I also have posts marked that others wrote that were excellent write-ups and instead of rebuilding the answer, I'll post a reference to what already exists.

Now that I have that all said, I'll get off my soap box and go back to the regularly scheduled programming.

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