No, I will not do your homework for you

Published On: 2009-09-28By:

If you are a computer science major, or taking a computer class of some sort, then by all means use the Internet for research.  That’s what it’s there for.  If you’ve written some code and it’s just not working correctly then by all means post your question on a forum (with the code) and ask what you are doing wrong.  Someone will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

However, it’s your class and your assignment.  At least attempt to do the work before hitting up the internet for the answer.

I ran across one recently.  The entire question posted was “give ip address of 50 websites”.  My answer was way more clear, and just about as concise.  “Use the nslookup command line tool to find the IP addresses.”  Now I’m sure that the person who posted the question (assuming that they see the answer at all before the question is deleted) will be very annoyed that I didn’t do there apparently extremely hard homework for them.

Other jems that spring to mind.  “I need to write a program to do x.  Please post the full code.”  Or maybe “I need an application written in VB.Net with 3 buttons, 2 text boxes and puts the values in the boxes together when the buttons are pushed.  Please post code.”  And these are actual questions that people are posting!

The forums are there to help you get past a road block.  Not to do your homework.  You are taking a programming class so that you can be a programmer after school.  If you don’t learn these basics (and since you are asking people to do your entire homework assignment I assume that you haven’t learn the material) you aren’t going to ever figure out how to to do the cool video game programming that you want to do.  You’ll never get a job, and if you do you sure won’t keep it for very long.

Then someone like me with years of experience will be sitting across from the table in my ripped jeans, and purple hair (yes I changed the color recently) firing you because YOU are the one that can’t pull his weight.  Even though I’m the one that looks like a freak.  And you know why I’m the one firing you, because I know what the hell I’m talking about, and you can’t figure out how to use the nslookup command in a command line window (pretty much works on every OS here).

Now, how could these questions have been posted so I didn’t rip you a new one when I posted my answer?

Old Question: “give ip address of 50 websites”

Better Question: “How do I find the IP address of a website?”

Old Question: “I need to write a program to do x.  Please post the full code.”

Better Question: “I’m writing a program to do x, but I can’t figure out where to start.  I’ve got y written so far.  Where should I go from here.”

Old Question “I need an application written in VB.Net with 3 buttons, 2 text boxes and puts the values in the boxes together when the buttons are pushed.  Please post code.”

Better Question: “I’m writing a program which puts values in a text box together.  I’m not sure the best way to do this in VB.NET.  Can you provide some pointers?”

You’ll get some actually learning done, and you’ll get some pointers which you can then take to class, then to a job.

Now if you don’t have any desire to learn the material in the class, drop the damn class and take a class in something you are interested in.  If you have no desire to program software for a living then don’t take a computer programming class.  If you don’t like doing it you won’t end up being very good at it, and you won’t make much money at it.  Which is probably why you decided to take the class in the first place, right?


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5 responses to “No, I will not do your homework for you”

  1. BrentOzar says:

    The scary thing for me is that I’ve worked with consultants who took this approach. They’d get asked to do something that was way outside of their skill area, and they’d smile and nod and take the task knowing they’d just ask the intertubes. Then they’d get paid to post forum questions to figure out something that would have taken the client’s own staff a matter of minutes to do themselves. Ouch.

  2. Gmmastros says:

    I answer a lot of questions on forums. I would prefer if the student asking a question would identify themselves as a student. When they do, I would probably take a different approach in answering the question. This would give the student a better learning experience.

  3. OldSysAdmin says:

    Never thought about some of those strange questions on forums this way before. Thanks for the insight.

  4. ITKE says:

    Well said


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