Dangerous Passivity

hey, this is my blog.. so I can voice out here.. I guess.

I have just reached a point in my life where I am now concerned with my fellow developers and everyone for that matter in the IT career, whether they be developers or IT pros..

It has become more and more obvious to me, the reality of passivity. And I find it strange, that there are a lot of people out there.. who really are.. on a passive state or just a waiting state.

Take for example the forums where I am a regular member of, msforums.ph. There are a lot of questions there that are asked, but have been asked before, and have already been answered completely in the same forums. It’s not that I don’t like helping out but the thing is, the forum has this searchbox where you can search for the answers you need.

Then there are times when someone asks a questions, then another guy answers with a link. As a moderator, I feel I need to check the link too and see if the correct answer is there. Lo and behold.. the answer really is there; of course. But then, the thread starter, asks yet another question, whose answer is also in the link given! It’s really disconcerting.

Then there are companies with IT departments populated by what they call their brightest minds. I give them a demo on how to use a certain technology.. then.. a few days later, they email me with a question that was included in the demo.

And the worst, you teach someone how to peel one side of a banana, then they ask you how to peel the whole banana..

This attitude of passivity.. what can I account it to? School? Training? Culture? tell me.. please..

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11 Responses to Dangerous Passivity

  1. Eugene says:

    sad. halos ganon sa lahat ng forums. i frequest a lomography community and the questions are the same over and over and over again. we even made a newbie guide but still, over and over and over again. pare parehas ang mga tanong and it never ends :( sad :(

  2. Eugene says:

    ay di pwedeng edit. may typo ako e. hahah

  3. Angelo says:

    Maybe it’s developer laziness (the negative sort) & lack of active effort in trying to understand precious nuggets being handed to them already in a silver platter. They ask a question and expect answers laid out flat to them by someone. They don’t want to spend time digging for the answer which makes learning really fun. Bad habit.

  4. Angelo says:

    and what about these types of posts: "Help po, i’m a newbie in programming. Any advice?"

  5. rdcimafranca says:

    It isn’t culture, as we have people from the same culture who are doing the opposite. Maybe. If it can change, it can be accounted to training. Try to see if a person who practices this attitude of passivity changes under correct training and mentorship. I think correction through means of posting FAQs and newbie corners in forums is like trying to change delinquency spread out the universe with a stick here on earth. It’s too small, too insignificant an effort to change something that is drilled down to a persons core. A person like that visits the forums on an average of what, say maybe 5% of his time daily, browses through other pages very seldomly, looks for something with the answer immediately screaming out of the page, and has about a tiny bit of percentage to stay a bit longer on a forum site once he determines if the answers are there or not. People like that are given certificates if the remember the sites that they visit.Realm of control, you can change peers if you have influence/authority and resources.

  6. Jon says:

    Mahaba-habang kuwentuhan yan bok. :PIt’s really about our education system. How do we measure the competence of a student? We give out tests. Which has questions, each with a corresponding answer. And all you really need to do to pass a certain subject is know the answers to each of those questions. Do you need to really understand the subject matter? No. Do you need to know how to seek knowledge beyond the subject matter specified in the syllabus, or even, specified in the exam coverage notes? No. All you need is to know how to parrot answers.What is happening in the blogs and forums and demos is quite the same; those "passive" individuals that ask you those questions are the type of people who box knowledge in units of single questions and answers and never learned to go beyond and to spontaneously seek answers on their own. They don’t know how to search for answers. They don’t know how to ask the right questions. Hell, they don’t even know how to read.Hmmm, haba na ito. Iblog ko na nga lang yung katuloy… :P

  7. rdcimafranca says:

    So if given a take at implementing a solution, what changes do you suggest that can solve the problem you mentioned in our education system, jon? :) Sundan ko nga un mga susulat mo.Maybe I agree with what you are saying, but the whole point of the education system, for the most introductory parts (where we all start before diving into specializations and the lot), is to teach students on how to do things, not the actual information that’s being taught to them. How to study, how to be resourceful, how to actually survive on your own. It’s how people interpret it, it’s how they were trained prior to them being inside the educational system and while they are in it.

  8. Jon says:

    RD,My point is, the educational system is supposed to teach people how to learn. Unfortunately people get too fixated by things like grades and scores and honor standings and awards that they focus more on academics than on education. Paglabas tuloy ng marami sa educational system, akala nila ganon pa rin ang real world.In fairness, some of the things Edu posted (like, asking a question about something that was in the demo) are actually valid activities. It’s possible that as demoers we tend to forget just how fast everything is going for the listeners; we’ve probably taken 2 weeks to a month to prep for our demoes, while they’re just sitting there for an hour.Sa aking palagay meron lang talagang taong mas matiyagang maghanap ng impormasyon at matuto, at mayroong taong nawili sa sistemang "isang tanong, isang sagot", kumbaga, tingi-tingi kung kumalap ng karunungan.

  9. Jon says:

    RD,Oo nga pala, yung changes sa educational system, that again is a very long discussion. My mother is actually in that field of research, and she’s involved in some projects of the DepEd to implement improvements in the educational system. I’ll ask her if she publishes her papers online. :)

  10. rdcimafranca says:

    "Sa aking palagay meron lang talagang taong mas matiyagang maghanap ng impormasyon at matuto, at mayroong taong nawili sa sistemang "isang tanong, isang sagot", kumbaga, tingi-tingi kung kumalap ng karunungan." Ang kaso lang dyan, sino ang masnakararami sa populasyon :D

  11. eduardo says:

    I am also looking into the combination of the educational system and culture. Kasi parang sa tingin ko, most are trained to be spoonfed. Am not saying this is only in the Philippines ha. Alala nyo yung exam sa MIB (Men In Black) at kung paanong si Will Smith ang nag-iisang pumasa?Mahirap ano? Mahirap ituro ang academics at "thinking out of the box" talaga.I have also heard of professionals in marketing of applications saying something to the likes na bakit ganun dito sa pinas? Sa amin kapag nag-demo ako, ang marereceive kong email ay kakaiba agad at malalim ang tanong. All they need are links. Or something like that.Another angle I am looking at is the "instant" generation that we are in. Instant noodles, instant coffee, instant everything! Gusto instant answers.

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