I wish my classmates didn’t know that I’m good at programming.

Recently, more and more often I am being reached out to by my classmates (and especially by one individual) about the problems they’re having issues with. For example yesterday, a guy fucked up his Git commit and made a bunch of merge conflicts, so I helped him fix this, which then lead to WinForms having multiple declarations of same objects.

And I really don’t wanna be rude, and I always try to help, for the love of god - stop bothering me every 5 minutes while I code, or at 10 PM while I wanna chill out.

Most of the things they have problems with can be solved by 2 minute Googling and I strongly believe that at the university level, you should be able to find solutions for your problems yourself - especially when you’re a programmer.

  • 5
    Although it’s kinda funny when during practical programming classes someone comes to me with a problem - when the teacher sits right in the same classroom :)
  • 4
    I am in the same position as you.
    My algorithm for helping is as follows:
    When I can help, I can help.
    When I cannot or don't want to, I say I'm busy, I can't.
    If they insist, I get rude, because insisting on someone to do something for you that you have to do yourself is rude.
    If I want to help but not spend my whole afternoon, I send some links and tell them that should help. That usually gives me time, and sometimes but seldom they find the way. I more often than not send cheeky links like lmgtfy or docs (like php.net or developer.mozilla.org).
    If they can't with the resources and I no longer want to help I say something along the lines of "Idk, I'm sorry. Look somewhere else. Good luck! Tell me when you find out.". You already gave them some of your time.

    But yeah some people can be a pain in the ass because they don't even look for solutions, they look for you. And those people I have no patience for. Nor time.
  • 5
    Now my real advice:
    Don't feel bad for saying no. You don't _have_ to answer everything.
    You learned, it's their turn. It's not because it's easy for you, it's because you did that earlier, so now they have to struggle.
    And if someone tries to make you feel bad about not using your own time for their problems, know they are childish and stupid beyond the class extent. I usually stop talking to them completely and refuse further communication, but I know most people can't do this.
  • 0
    @c3r38r170 In case of that one guy, there is also an extra layer of problem.

    He’s using M1 MacBook Air with just 8 GB of memory.
    While I think M1 Macs are fantastic piece of engineering (I myself carry a 32 GB MacBook Pro), the 8 GB Air was never meant to run dozen of Chrome tabs, bunch of other apps while also running Parallels with Visual Studio 2019. His system quickly runs out of memory and struggles HARD, making any debugging painfully slow - even for trivial things.
  • 2
    Sounds like your problem created by you. Learn to say no. Or disable notifications.
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    @athlon read your second problem and this is definitely your own doing. You deserve the hell you are living in.
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    @aviophile Fuck you too.
  • 1
    @athlon Ironically he lso gave you the solution to the problem indirectly.

    Being a jerk or somewhere being passive aggressive towards them everytime they ask for help or anything. If you do it enought they will start to leave you alone, it worked for me.
  • 0
    @Frederick I’m not saying no to saying “no” - that’s exactly what I do after the same person comes up to me every 5 minutes.

    I just word it nicer, saying “I’m kinda busy right now” :)
  • 3
    Learn to charge for your time. I made quite a bit back iny school days
  • 7
    When I get similar questions its very much up to who and what.

    If its an interesting problem I am often much more likely to spend tome helping, I might learn something.

    If its trivial things I try to give hints rather than just do their work.

    But if they are really struggling or actually did try to search I do help if I have time.

    And it I do not have time I am very clear about it and if they persist I tell them no in no uncertain terms :)

    Offering help is always your prerogative, never responsibility unless its literally is your responsibility ;)
  • 1
    @Voxera I agree -I try and give hints instead of diving into a full on screen share..

    If all else fails and I want to help out (I typically do) then I’ll happily jump on a call.. but after they have first tried and can show me where something is failing
  • 2
    I was in this situation a few years ago during university. Someone kept asking me pretty trivial questions. A few times I just gave her a google search result link or pointed her towards the solution instead of answering the question directly or solving the problem myself. She stopped asking me questions afterwards.
  • 1
    @aviophile you are completely right.

    @athlon they make their problem your problem. Guess what it's still their problem.
    It takes your valuable time and when the time comes you need someone to help you, they don't. Trust me, been there.
  • 1
    @athlon no more Mr. Nice Guy, aye :). I can smell your nice guy bullshit over the internet.
  • 1
    Say, “Give me 20 mins then I’ll have a look”.

    By then some of them will have Googled it and fixed it.

    For the ones that haven’t, just hack around trying crazy stuff until it’s unsalvageable. Then say, “I think you’ll need to start over. Programming. Crazy, eh?”

    Friendly, but utterly useless.
  • 0
    @Voxera I am nice to people that are nice to me. I’m an asshole towards the people that are assholes towards me.
  • 1
    You should feel like a hero))
  • 0
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