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Old August 30th, 2002, 07:53 AM   #1
Goody
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Newcomers and learners are reticent to post

I know this has been debated before about newbies, students and learners wanting their homework, projects etc doing for them. And, I know all the arguments for and against. But I have to say that I know there would be far more posts on everyday programming if the attitudes of some were lessened somewhat.

I know for a fact that some learners are frightened to post for fear of being ridiculed and not even then, getting an answer.

I bring this to the fore because of a recent e mail sent to me from someone who is a daily visitor here but rare poster.
In fact the only times he posts, is to answer others questions. (He shall of course, remain nameless)
Because of this fear factor, he and I have been corresponding for probably over a year.

Many of the topics discussed would do very well on here but I cannot post for him and he is reticent to do so.

He bought a setup kit and started from new.

PLCís have nothing to do with his job but he got an idea about a year ago how to improve some controls where he works and decided to lean PLCís off his own bat.

I know he has worked very hard on his own to learn them and I have given him guidance when required.

In fact he sometimes asked questions that I didnít know the answer to. I had to read up and swat, so he has done me some good too.

An example would be recently he wanted to understand index registers.(I would say to someone new, this is a tough subject)
For a long while the penny would not drop. I eventually told him to leave it for a while until he was more experienced.
But he continued working hard until he got it. He then posted me the code and I knew for certain he had got it.

Topics like this would be excellent for all if they were posted on this site. I am sure there are many more like him that need to know something but they just watch all the posts hoping that their subject is broached and answered by others.

So all you students, newbies learners or whatever your interest. Please do not be afraid to post.
Try to ignore the inevitable flak and post your basic questions. I for one will endeavour to answer what I can.
This site is leaning towards high end questions and answers but every single one of us were baffled in the beginning.
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Old August 30th, 2002, 08:52 AM   #2
Jay Anthony
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Well said, Goodlad!

1. There are no stupid questions.
2. Answers come from experience.
3. We were all there at one time.
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Old August 30th, 2002, 09:35 AM   #3
Ron Beaufort
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Amen.
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Old August 30th, 2002, 10:09 AM   #4
WilWil67
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Well Said!

Guys,
I agree. Ignorance is not anything to be ashamed of, while stupidity is something else. We were all part of what I call the "Trial and Error Crew" at some point. A lot of the things I have learned have been in the trenches in the heat of battle with a customer standing over my shoulder. There is an old saying that goes, "If you forget where you came from, you will never make it to where you are going"............................................ ................
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Old August 30th, 2002, 10:11 AM   #5
Mike Williams
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Re: Newcomers and learners are reticent to post

Quote:
Originally posted by Goody
but every single one of us were baffled in the beginning.
How true. WELL SAID.
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Old August 30th, 2002, 10:25 AM   #6
Andrew Evenson
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I agree, Well Said!!

Goody,

I agree with you totally!! As a newbie my self, only have been working approx. 1.5 years, I am forever asking questions, mainly at work, and have just stated to post more questions on the site. I have to say though, I have never once been ridiculed for any question I have posted on this site. I think this is an excellent site (phil ), and use it everyday, to get idea's and to see what control stragities other industries use, I myself working in the steel industry. I have not started to post many answers to posts as of yet, because I dont feel I have the experience to help others yet. The time will soon come.

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Old August 30th, 2002, 11:19 AM   #7
glaverty
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If you ask a decent question and put forth the effort when asking it, that is you explain what your trying to do, what you've done and what has happened I don't think anybody will ridicule you. I haven't seen anyone get ridiculed yet who has put forth this effort. It is the guys who post a question like "Need code for Stop Light ASAP send to my email" that get grief. You have to put effort in to get it back.
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Old August 30th, 2002, 11:43 AM   #8
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Re: Well Said!

Quote:
Originally posted by WilWil67
Guys,
We were all part of what I call the "Trial and Error Crew" at some point.
A coworker of mine once said, "A process control engineer doesn't earn his stripes until he's damaged a half million dollars in hardware."

While I may disagree with the dollar amount, I do agree that even failure teaches valuable lessons. Personally, I think I'm at least $499400.00 away from "graduation."

AK
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Old August 30th, 2002, 11:59 AM   #9
WilWil67
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$500,000?????

Akreel,
I have also heard that saying, but find myself on the short end of that spectrum also. I remember my first project (my own design). I was upgrading a Ball Mill from circuit board control and relay control to PLC (AB SLC 5/03). The unit used a 4-20 mA output from the scale it was stationed on to produce a flow rate of metalic chips or powder (tantalum) at 60 lb/hour (or whatever rate selected from a potentiometer). So I had to incorporate some digital I/O's and analog I/O's into this PLC. I had no problems with the digital modules, but smoke checked an analog out module (faulty wiring on myh part). So I can relate to that statement. Fortunately, I was smart enough to pre-order spares. I have never damaged a module since (maybe a few I/O slots).
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Old August 30th, 2002, 08:39 PM   #10
Terry Woods
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I totally agree with your sentiment, Goody. I too have voiced the same opinion (surprised?). And, I too have accused us of being elitests - same thing you're saying, but, I'm cutting to the bone now as I did then.

Jay said...

1. There are no stupid questions.
2. Answers come from experience.
3. We were all there at one time.


"There are no stupid questions"
The world has a never ending supply of idiots and stupid questions!
Ignorance is not the only criterion for "idiot" or "stupid".

"Answers come from experience"
A great many answers were provided by geeks doing theoretical thinking. Experience simply verified those answers. Einstein comes to mind.

"We were all there at one time"
We were all in the womb too, once. (Although, I have met some that just had to have been hatched or spawned!) What really matters about having "been there" is the path you took to get from there to where you are now! AND, what you picked-up on along the way!

WilWil67 said...
I agree. Ignorance is not anything to be ashamed of, while stupidity is something else. We were all part of what I call the "Trial and Error Crew" at some point.


See my smart-a$$ comments to Jay and AKREEL.

Andrew Evenson said...
I have to say though, I have never once been ridiculed for any question I have posted on this site.


I haven't seen Andrew ask a question without first showing that he at least tried to do something.

Glaverty said...
Well, Glaverty nailed it home, didn't he?

AKREEL said...
A coworker of mine once said, "A process control engineer doesn't earn his stripes until he's damaged a half million dollars in hardware."


As far as destroying a half-million bucks in hardware before you learn anything... Now, that's stupid! I think, that if AK's co-worker is willing to accept that as parr, then AK's co-worker is an idiot! And, I'll bet he can ask a pretty damned stupid question when the urge hits him.

If you don't put in the time to verify your logic before you write the code, then you deserve all the grief you get! It's kinda like... "Look before you Leap", or "Think before you Act". Duuuuhh? Do ya think???

Such simple concepts... but, I'll bet they have saved Millions of lives and Trillions of Trillions of dollars!

If you don't have the means to simulate your process, then at least apply it in a very conserative, progressive fashion. You simply don't hack out a piece of code to move a 5-ton widget from here to there (or a simple analog output) without KNOWING that the weakest link in this situation is YOU and YOUR LOGIC!

If you are going to assume anything, assume that your attempt at logical thinking might not be right!

Bottom Line...

I don't want to have children working in my field. My field is dangerous. It can kill people and it can destroy a whole lot of physical material.

Anyone that gets into this field needs to develop their minds and their skin before they hurt someone.

Having skin can be equated to having confidence (self-esteem) but that confidence absolutely must be based on legitimately derived confidence - Ego by itself does not provide legitimate confidence, not if you are honest with yourself.

We all need to have the confidence to stand toe-to-toe and argue any point based on logic. And we need to be able to accept the results of logical arguement - sometimes, that means "Eat Crow". Anyone that is worried about having their feelings hurt in any kind of confrontation is too worried about "me first, it doesn't matter if you are right, you hurt my feelings!. Balder-dash!

If you are right, you are right - don't gloat. If you are wrong, you are wrong - get smarter and toughen-up! Get some skin!

Also, most importantly, have the strength in confidence to accept the fact that WE are the weakest link in this game. And that WE need to slam ourselves before we slam something else - possibly killing someone.


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Old August 30th, 2002, 10:31 PM   #11
Jay Anthony
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Ever notice how Terry sits back and waits for all of us to put our two cents in before he throws his fifty cents in? utoh
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Old August 30th, 2002, 10:35 PM   #12
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u are about an egotistical ah arent you? I dont mean this nasty but your attitude is nasty in alot of ways...they are young people that need/want to learn....LEARN EVERYTHING...unlike US that knew it ALL when we were 18.

EVERYONE that is EVERYONE destroys equipment in the process of building/maintaining machinery. Its going to happen to everyone and not just once, it happens. I have worked with some excellent builders..genius types that also made mistakes...its inherent in human nature to make mistakes and working with machines means you are gonna let the smoke out or break something...everyone does.

As far as stupid questions go..for this forum there are repetitive questions that students ask that are the equivalent to the regulars. The question themselves arent stupid but the way they are phrased/asked is wrong. I dont know if they really want others to do their homework or not BUT it seems that PROFESSIONALS could take the time to TRY to get them to work on the problem theirselves in a professional manner that does not involve ridicule.

This is a forum, its created for questions about PLC's....live with the fact that people/students are going to ask HOW to do things pertaining to plc's and expect them to ask those questions in an improper manner.

For whatever reason the early members decided that the way to go was to ridicule students very harshly. Personally I think that may have been because of certain personalities that were involved in the early stages of this site.

I may never be able to offer plc programming advice that compares to any here BUT I am the info center per se, I have or can get info on a multitude of subjects. I am not good at explaining things but usually can (in alot of cases) find or have the info needed to assist. I offer this info to any that ask on a subject pertaining to it. This isnt doing anything for anyone but hopefully assists in their endeavor.

Whatever the scenario here I will continue to look at the threads and be a participant when I can offer info that may assist on a subject...unlike some I KNOW I can never KNOW IT ALL so use this forum as a means to refresh my memory, learn new things and progress with using a multitude of plc brands.

FYI BTW I have also had multiple email discussions with students and engineers that were worried about posting here. I assisted as much as I could. In some cases they created other/fictituos names to make a post...because they were worried about the reaction of their post.

Another saying that comes to mind for me is "Those who can... DO, those who cant ...Teach. I doubt I will ever be considered a teacher...per se.

Its your right to say what you want but I am starting to understand Peter's philosophy more each day. If the question doesnt have enough data or is asked improperly then why reply at all?

ANOTHER TOPIC: Some things are generic to all brands...like flip/flops...PID loops...etc etc so why dont you create posts showing your canned versions in your favorite brand(s) then use them as links...and assist us unenlightened individuals. Please.
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Old August 31st, 2002, 05:37 AM   #13
lightninguk
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Hello all

As a PLC beginner I've been watching this thead with great interest.

In a few weeks time schools and colleges will be starting a new year.
So many new Students will be visiting this great site.
I would bet my last Pound, when I say, the subjects of traffic lights and lifts will raise their heads again.

The same Questions will come up.

I'm working on a cross roads traffic light system. I can get it to work north an South, but not east & west. I also have to put in a pedestrain crossing, but i don't know how too.

I have to a work out the logic for a 3 story lift, Can I use an encoder for this project, to set the levels of the floors.
Etc

I will read the same answers

Zebra crossing are black and white.
Please tell me which trafic system you are working on , so i can stay well away .
Your programming a lift, wow , hope i never go in that lift.

These comments are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard. So whats the point of posting an answer.

Okay there will be a few useful answers, but not many.

Before some one says 'we are not here to do your home work 'I know your not, Personaly i'd rather work out the code for my self, but when you hit a brick wall, it would be nice to get a few tips.

Most of the questions based here are for the top level programmers. I think it would be a good idea if beginners could have their own forum.

So the experts wouldn't have to come across begineer questions in their area.
If they have an interest in future programmers they could also visit the beginners area.

It the end to the day, as a beginner I'm very lucky to have experts willing, to offer their help. Cheers guys.

I'd also like to thank Goody for bringing up this subject.


Alway keep smiling

Lightning UK
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Old August 31st, 2002, 12:14 PM   #14
Terry Woods
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Jay said...
Ever notice how Terry sits back and waits for all of us to put our two cents in before he throws his fifty cents in?

Ever notice that Terry throws in his fifty-cents either before or after work? A lot of stuff happens on-site in the meantime.

And if it turns out to be fifty-cents instead of two-cents, well, some of us like to hear ourselves "talk", don't we. And besides, if I come on-line and see 5 new posts to a thread, are you suggesting that I am only allowed to make comments on a particular number of those postings? As Ron said, and as I, myself, have said, many times, this is an open forum. The basic concept of a forum is "point-counterpoint". So it is, and so it should be!


Ron said...
u are about an egotistical ah arent you? I dont mean this nasty but your attitude is nasty in alot of ways...they are young people that need/want to learn....LEARN EVERYTHING...unlike US that knew it ALL when we were 18.

You sure seem to have selective-"hearing", Ron.

The post I made was as much an indictment against myself as anyone else. When I say "WE are the weakest link", that "WE" includes ME.

It's like you didn't even see the first paragraph. And apparently, you didn't see that I called my own comments "smart-a$$ comments".

As far as destroying equipment, what I clearly objected to was the "Oh, well" attitude.

As far as being "an egotistical ah", I agree!

I certainly am egotistical to the extent that I have a strong ego. I don't suffer from poor self-esteem. My ego is based on confidence in what I am doing... at least, with respect to PLC's.

Believe it or not, there are MANY other things in which I have virtually no ego at all - Oh Yeah! It's True.

I know my limits and work within them. Meanwhile, I'm always trying to expand those limits. Not by destroying equipment, but by learning the basics and building on those. I don't give myself free-license to destroy equipment just because the money for that equipment doesn't appear to come out of my pocket - which it really does, ultimately.

Now for the "ah" part...

I certainly am an "ah". I believe that we all are. Now, for the thinner-skinned ones, you can look at "ah" as meaning "less than perfect" or any other politically correct phrase that you can handle. I'm just cutting to the bone to indicate that we are on the bottom working our way up - not just a short distance from the top. Using the term "ah" strips away all pretense.

The name of the game is to be less of an "ah" today than we were yesterday. Sometimes we make progress, sometimes we back-slide.

The biggest ones of all are those that can't come to terms with that. That is, recognizing that we are far from perfect and have a long way to go.

Don't focus on the messenger or the "buzz-words" he might use... focus on the message.

Ron also said...
ANOTHER TOPIC: Some things are generic to all brands...like flip/flops...PID loops...etc etc so why dont you create posts showing your canned versions in your favorite brand(s) then use them as links...and assist us unenlightened individuals. Please.

Are you suggesting that I haven't posted solutions or "enlightenments"?

Last edited by Terry Woods; August 31st, 2002 at 12:23 PM.
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Old August 31st, 2002, 12:27 PM   #15
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I guess we're up to a $1.00 now.
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