Forum Antics: A Rant about Programming Forums

Adam Bertram
4 min readJul 1, 2019

I love helping people with PowerShell questions because I’m a PowerShell geek. I actually care a lot that not only I get better with PowerShell but others do to. That’s why I’m a Microsoft MVP.

I care that new people are getting into PowerShell every day and love it. I absolutely love it when I give an up-and-comer help on a PowerShell question. These people ask smart questions and come back with code examples of what did work and what didn’t work.

These people are going places. They don’t just care about solving the immediate problem. They actually care about how to solve the problem and what to understand why it works. These people are amazing and it makes me proud I’m able to give them a helping hand along their journey.

All walks of life show up on various programming forums from up-and-comers to people just looking for free consulting. It gets frustrating weeding out the bad from the good and taints the pleasure I receive in helping people who want to learn. I’ve compiled a small list of the five types of people who I see on various forums that really get to me. Why? Because it’s going to make me feel better to rant!

The piggybacker is one you should watch out for. You spend a significant amount of time crafting this elaborate script for an answer. It’s a complicated problem but you vie to take whatever time is necessary and post a solution. Because you’re not getting paid to do this, you solve 95% of the problem and leave it at that. Perhaps the code could be improved slightly but overall it works. Someone comes along, tweaks your script every so slightly to eek out another 5% performance boost on an already 50ms script and the original poster (OP) gives the other guy credit for the question. You spent 20x as long on the question and the piggybacker takes the credit.

Some OPs are these types. They come to a forum with absolutely no intention to learn. They simply want the script, will work with you a little bit to get it working and then bounce without even a kiss goodbye. They show no thanks to what you have helped them with. As soon as the script is working for them you’ll never hear from them again.

The perfectionist is similar to the piggybacker but to a whole other level. The perfectionist is the type that…

Adam Bertram

A 20-year veteran of IT, crypto geek, content creator, consultant and overall problem solver.