I was reading this post by Michelle Bu and it really resonated with me.
When I was starting do go into programming from doing freelancing on design, my morale is probably at the lowest. It’s been the most discouraging year perhaps. Everybody would go how simple it really is, just do this and this. Some would give suggestion of some super big framework that totally addresses your problem and more.
But. No one, no one, showed me how to do it. No one has any intention to. Perhaps it’s too simple, perhaps it will take too long of their time.
The dirty secret
There’s a vast difference between being able to imagine how to code something and actually making use of the tool to code it. Great programmers can imagine the intricacies of the task and have a good plan how to attack it. Helpful programmers can lead you to completion.
Most programmers underestimated the task at hand and trivialize the task. Why? Because they want to get the feeling of having conquered the problem in their minds without actually doing it. You get the same elated feeling when you do that. Not knowing what you cannot do will make you less disappointed with yourself. Programmers trivialize things to make themselves feel better.
Some programmers want to use your asking for help as a platform to show off how well-read they are too. They tell of a library you never heard of and claim how easy it is to get things done there but not how to achieve that for your task at hand.
Explain your rejection
In many ways, if you are a programmer and you do that, what you are doing is rejecting to help someone. If so, say it directly. I sometimes have to say this is a laborious task and I don’t have the time to guide you through. If there’s a tutorial that I can easily find, I send it to the person to get started too. I think people appreciate the truth. Either help them all the way or lead them to get help from some other source. Be encouraging. I won some friends this way.
Never say it’s really simple.