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ask or search first

Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
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I'm taking the online ruby/software engineering class (saas-class.org). The authors of the book/class "Engineering Long Lasting Software" have an acronym "RASP" - read, ask, search, post. Would you ask a coworker or search online first? I'd search. I'm curious what others would say. And I do realize this isn't the most representative group of people given that we participate in forums.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

I'd RSAP, but that doesn't make for a snazzy speakable acronym.


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Sachin Patil
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Joined: Jul 08, 2002
Posts: 120

It would be SRAP for me. I would Search, Read and then Ask and Post if appropriate.


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Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
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  33

I have been doing only RS for the Saas class. But yeah for me its RSAP.


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Darryl Burke
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Joined: May 03, 2008
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    5

(RS|SR(S?))P

Read first, if documentation is known to be available. Otherwise search for said documentation, read it and maybe search some more.

And I have nobody I could ask, so I'd have to skip directly yo post


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Seetharaman Venkatasamy
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Joined: Jan 28, 2008
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If I believe my co worker's knowledge I go for RASP , else RSAP. but I know it is difficult to find that kind of co-worker. that's why Google Search engine is famous
Seetharaman Venkatasamy
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Darryl Burke wrote:And I have nobody I could ask, so I'd have to skip directly yo post

Same here.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
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Joined: Nov 08, 2003
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Mohamed Sanaulla wrote:I have been doing only RS for the Saas class. But yeah for me its RSAP.

Me too, for both.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
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  16

how is posting different from asking? I mean, usually if I post, I am asking someone how to do something.

Should we distinguish between asking someone face to face vs. emailing them? I have a buddy I often instant message Perl or Unix questions...

isn't 'reading' really just 'searching a paper document'? and don't i read what I find after i search or what someone else posts in reply to my post?

I would say I try to find the answer myself first, and then ask someone. Each has various levels/methods within I may try.


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Jayesh A Lalwani
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Joined: Jan 17, 2008
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  28

I would prefer RASP because many times Google can have conflicting information. Or sometimes (for example with Spring), information that Google considers relevant might be old. Or 2 times out of 10, the first few message board posts that come up usually have the answer as "Why don't you Google for it?" Gah!

When you ask someone who knows, s/he may not give you the complete information, but might give you the correct search term to search with.
Jesper de Jong
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  21

http://xkcd.com/627/



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Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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156

Fred,
Are you being a philosopher? The original context was that ask is either ask someone you are paring with (which I agree with) or IM a coworker (which I don't because I receive too many IMs and it affects my ability to focus.)
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Fred,
Are you being a philosopher? The original context was that ask is either ask someone you are paring with (which I agree with) or IM a coworker (which I don't because I receive too many IMs and it affects my ability to focus.)

As I read it:

""RASP" - read, ask, search, post. Would you ask a coworker or search online first?"

This doesn't say anything about your partner in a pair-programming situation. I have never really done any, so that doesn't pop in my brain. I would say that if I were pair programming, then yes, I would ask my partner first.

But I still think that posting a question on the internet is asking, and looking in a book or looking online via google are both searching.

Further, I think it also partially depends on the urgency. If I am in the middle of fixing a SEV1 ticket, where the registration system at a hospital is down, I am going to shout over the walls at everybody on my team for help to whatever question I have.

If it is a project that I'm working on in my spare time, say for one hour a week, just because I think it is fun and may have some long term benefit, I'm going to spend a lot more time researching it on my own, using books, google, the javaranch, our code-base or whatever resources I can find before bothering anyone else.

Jayesh A Lalwani wrote:I would prefer RASP because many times Google can have conflicting information.

So can two different books - you just may not know it because it takes longer to search two (or more), so you stop searching after the first (potentially wrong) answer.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30764
    
156

Fred,
Good point on priority. Yes. On a sev1, I'd ask first.

With pair programming, I don't really think of it as asking. You are talking a lot in pairing; not just when you have a question/problem.
Jan de Boer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2010
Posts: 422
    
    1
Ah one thing here. I once got an argument with my manager about this. I did a project. There was not much knowledge about that subject in the company. I had an on line old friend who really helped me a lot. The project was little over time. Just a little. Nevertheless my manager told me it was my own fault since I did not ask questions to my colleagues when I was stucked. But I never really was stucked, and I got excellent answers when I had questions but on line from my on line buddy. Far better then I could have had from any of my co-workers. I told him that but his judgement could not be changed. I got a really bad anual review, because I did not 'play pleasantly' with my colleagues and did not do the 'team-building thingie', and left the company a few months later...

So always ask your co-workers, even if they have no knowledge.
 
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