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JavaRanch as assignment completion tool

Tim West
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 15, 2004
Posts: 539
Hi all,
I'm wondering about the legitimacy of some of the "help me" posts made in particular in the Java Beginner/Intermediate forums. It seems to me that a lot of these posts are rebadged assignment questions. Those trivial problems that are strangely badged "urgent help plz" or just need "a couple of methods filled in" seem particularly suspicious.
I know there are a lot of people, like me, that are happy to help people with legitimate issues. Equally (as a Software Engineering student who works pretty hard) I'm not keen to give people a free ride through their assignments, even if it means they're gonna struggle when it comes to the exam. Also, it makes more sense often to keep the help more abstract: "use this method of this class to do such-and-such" rather than "here's the code you need".
Has this been previously discussed? Anyone else have an opinion?

Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

The official position of JavaRanch aligns quite closely with your feelings. It's always better to try to teach someone than to just hand them code. On the other hand, it's not acceptable to say "shut up, go away, no homework problems." We like to help folks to learn, but we (frankly) don't care much about people's course grades. Giving someone the solution might get them a grade, but it doesn't help them learn anything at all. Helping them attack a problem, on the other hand, does help.
Consider yourself officially deputized. If you see someone handing out free solutions to homework problems -- i.e., supplying code rather than suggesting approaches -- you're invited to explain to them what you've just expressed here. If you note a particularly egregious repeat offender -- feel free to let me know via email or private message.
[ March 16, 2004: Message edited by: Ernest Friedman-Hill ]

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15302

If you note a particularly egregious repeat offender -- feel free to let me know via email or private message.
Or any bartender/Sheriff for that matter. Ernest isn't the only one that gets to have all the fun.

GenRocket - Experts at Building Test Data
I agree. Here's the link:
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