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Re: Newbies welcome, or not?

From: Nuno Souto <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 22:44:49 +1000
Message-ID: <> apparently said,on my timestamp of 29/06/2004 4:21 AM:

> It would seem that many of us have forgotten that Scott Adams gets
> fodder for Dilbert from real life.

Darn! One goes to sleep for the usual 8 hours and all this happens! Bunch of darn bats, IMHO...

Ah well, the question was made. Here is my (long) reply. So if you have not filtered me already do so now or hit the delete button. Just don't complain about it online!

> As Mark Powell has pointed out, folks get thrown into the position of
> DBA and/or Unix admin without much prior experience, and they don't
> have much say in the matter, short of finding new employment. That
> is not always an option. They may not yet have a good concept of how
> unix works, and don't yet appreciate the power of root.

And quite frankly, accepting this as the "rule" is what is wrong with IT. I wish for once this community had the courage to say "enough is enough" AS A WHOLE and simply NOT SUPPORT anyone that engages, aids and abets irresponsible managers who do these things. I have never supported this, and have copped my fair share of crap precisely because of it. Getting tired of being one of the few, but it ain't changing anytime soon.

> So, are we saying we should not answer newbie questions for folks that
> don't have a clue, and yet they are required to fill the position?

No, of course not. We must always help newbies. But what is a newbie? I'll come back to it in a second.

One aside: if anyone gets a bit of rib-poking, I for one am grown up enough that I don't give a damn.
While I'm here: I consider childish in the extreme for anyone to post a "social" remark on someone else's reply, no matter how shocking the original may have been.
Here is a clue: take it offline, to the listmom, to your God, to daddy, to bleeding whatever. I am NOT interested if anyone is offended by one of my replies or anyone else's. It's COMPLETELY off-topic: take it OFFLINE! Coming back to newbies. I don't have the SLIGHTEST problem in accepting Oracle newbies here. And hearing their problems.


  1. someone who hasn't even BOTHERED reading ANY of the online manuals or FAQ,
  2. someone who asks BASIC questions about the OS, not Oracle,
  3. someone who asks questions that demonstrate NO KNOWLEDGE whatsover of IT in any shape or format,

is NOT, IMHO a newbie. That person is a FREE-RIDER. Who is giving this industry the bad name it has enjoyed of late. Who will NEVER be a professional because all (s)he wants is the position/title/moolah, NEVER the professional responsibility.

To me lists like this one are for professionals. Maybe not all at the same level of knowledge, and I'm more than willing to extend help to anyone starting out and/or listening to those with much more experience and/or knowledge than I. But nevertheless, all professionals. People COMMITTED to their career.

Anyone not interested in being one can join any of the gazillion other lists where self-appointed gurus proliferate their shining advice. Couldn't care less.

So if a blatant joker/newbie gets in here and asks a "blinder", as far as I'm concerned (s)he has earned a poke up the ribcage. And I'll read the reply, laugh about it and promptly delete and forget the whole incident, the name of the newbie and/or the joker.

For those who may think I'm being unfair here is a hint: NOBODY helped me when I started. I got to know what I did at the time because I spent countless nights attached to the computer at work, breaking it, learning, reading manuals, learning, trying out things, learning. I did it because it was my chosen profession, AND I had the responsibility and professional courtesy of WANTING to learn.

Instead of doing the modern "thing": hitching a ride on someone else's time. And I don't give a rat's arse if anyone considers that an "inability to communicate" or "work as a team": I have communicated and worked in so many teams in 30 years in IT, I don't take lessons on the subject from ANYONE.

And YES I got laughed at, EVERY single time I asked a stupid question. Guess what? It never hurt me ONE bit. I learned from those mistakes as well.

Anyone pretending to take offense on having a stupid question laughed at is a sensitive twit who shouldn't be asking questions in the first place! Whatever the level of experience of said twit.

Note: I am not saying we should not help those less experienced/knowledgeable. But I for one am NOT interested AT ALL in posts from TOTAL beginners in IT: this is an Oracle list, not a Computer Science 101 list!

I presume that a person here AT LEAST knows what root is in a Linux box: it's ALL OVER the bleeding BASIC doc, for chrissakes! It is OBVIOUS the reply about root commands was a joke! And ANYWAY, the PROPER approach for one not knowing what the commands do is to look them up in the man pages BEFORE using them! IF still not understood, then come back here and get laughed at yet again! No problemo.

> Is it too much trouble for us to point someone in the right direction?

No, not at all. As you say: the doco is long and no one can remember it all. A pointer is most welcome. But if someone is using root in Linux without a CLUE as to the consequences, a pointer to ANY doco ain't gonna cut it, IMHO...

> How about the less experienced listers? I often ignore simple questions,
> knowing that this gives an opportunity for junior folks to participate
> in the list, and help out those that have even less experience than
> they do.

There is a role for all of us here.

> So, what's the consensus?

Dunno. Whatever it is, my opinion is here registered. And I will NOT entertain replies in the list: like I said, take them OFFLINE!

> Should be welcome folks with little experience, or make it clear that
> they should come back when they know what they're doing?

Very little experience in IT, send them back. Very little experience in Oracle: welcome them. This is a free list, not a paid service. Not happy? Leave. There is NOTHING in the chart that says this list if for ALL of IT.

> My vote is for trying to be helpful, even to those with annoyingly
> simple questions. If I don't care to answer, I leave it for someone else.

That is one approach. Like I said: over the years it results in the crap industry standards we now have...

And quite frankly: to say that I am flabbergasted at anyone quitting over this incident is the understatement of the decade.


Nuno Souto
in sunny Sydney, Australia
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Received on Tue Jun 29 2004 - 07:41:41 CDT

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