Hey Dude, You Don’t Have To Be Mean To Be Helpful

Yesterday, I did something I don’t usually do: I asked a question on StackOverflow. I usually try to avoid asking questions on StackOverflow because the StackOverflow community is intimidating to me as a beginner. I don’t want to ask a “stupid” question so publicly. On the flip side, I use StackOverflow all the time to find answers, so I’m a HUGE fan of it.

Yesterday, however, I ran into a question I didn’t even know how to Google, and it was bothering me enough to actually take the risk of asking. Unfortunately, the response I got confirmed my insecurities with asking questions on the site.


This is what the only responder to my question wrote:

The cause is SublimeLinter plug-in and its PEP-8 filter

https://github.com/SublimeLinter/SublimeLinter

Your code does not conform PEP-8 style guide:

http://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0008/

Learn to write Python code properly according to the style guide – PEP-8 filter highlights only bad code and in your case the whole file is badly written.

Ok, so the first part of the answer is super helpful. I learned A TON about how to use spacing properly, how to read the feedback from my Sublime SublimeLinter plugin, and how to follow the Python coding conventions. So I’m really grateful for the answer.

However, the second part of that answer, that how dare I didn’t read the Python style guide is just absolutely not necessary. Instead, the responder could have been more helpful and told me more about what the PEP-8 style guide actually is. I would love to learn more!

StackOverflow is great for the world and helps so many people every day. Imagine how many more people it could help if asking questions was greeted with warm and caring answers from people who are genuinely excited to help others (instead of just making themselves look smart).

As a result of this question, I got my StackOverflow up-voting privileges, which I’m super excited about. I will not be up-voting this guys correct answer.

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