Why would you help a programmer online?


Hi guys :slight_smile:

Just wanted to say I am in admiration of those people who would spend of their precious time to help other programmers on forums like these. It is without a doubt rewarding when you make someone’s day or teach them an important lesson you learnt through experience, but sometimes (a lot of the time) people cannot afford to spare a few minutes for a friend, let alone a novice programmer across the earth.

It’s for that reason that each time I have a complicated piece of code to solve, I would spend a few hours on it, wait some time (days, a week), do some other project in the meantime, and after a couple failed attempts I still do not find a solution, use the ask-facility on programmer forums as a last resort, in the hope that it could also possibly benefit others too.

As a senior in your field, may I ask why you would do it, and what are the rewards you anticipate when helping out someone?


I enjoy it. I have had a few mentors over my time in the field and it is just passing knowledge to the next generation or those that have an interest in the field. I have been on forums for ~8 years or so and receive and give help.


I have been in computers since they have existed. Actually, I am writing a book about this past life of mine.
Over all of the years of faster and faster systems, more and more havoc in the world with hackers, and improving types of programming languages, I have found that programmers always need some help.
If I can assist someone just learning, it helps all, not the one. Quite often I find that I do not have the best solution, but, learn from others. I think most all of us here want to help and want to learn.

My personal opinion is that you do not live forever and whats a little time given to the help others?
Always a great thing, I think…


The best way to learn a topic is to mentor it. It forces you to think differently about things and you need a much deeper understanding of something to be able to teach/explain it properly to someone else.

I also find it somewhat zen like to be able to sort out some issues with very simple code projects. I have no problems with admitting I love Symfony and larger projects, but its to “chill out” with simpler things once in a while. Also a senior and I guess the later years I’ve been mostly focused on the app architecture/design than the actual technical solutions that have been used. So tossing all that aside and using plain php/html again is kinda refreshing

I also love to see new people that are honestly interested in learning. It’s very transparant and easy to see when someone has to learn something vs when someone wants to learn something. And I find it very rewarding to help someone who is truly interested/engaged in the topic.


If you can teach someone to code something and to understand something, then it means you have mastered it yourself.

So by teaching and helping you also benefit.


You know when you’re playing an RPG video game and struggle through level 1-20 an then when you’re around level 75 you go back to the level 20 zone and can one-shot every enemy?

So sometimes I’ll see a post about something that I struggled for weeks with and finally found a solution years ago and I’ll just share my quick an easy solution that is unfortunately memorized in great detail in my brain because of the pain I went through.

Also there are super-geniuses out there who can solve any problem I’ll ever have in the future but only if they can recall seeing me in the chats or in the forums helping other people first. The #php channel on Efnet irc literally saved my job at least a dozen times over a 10 year period but they would not have if I wasn’t in there regularly answering the easier questions.


The things you remember are your failure and struggles. You never really remember the wins.


I am a member of various forums and a complete novice and I would be totally lost without the kindness and helpfulness of these forum helpers. Keep up the good work.