Sam (jevim) wrote,

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Cow-orkers are NOT your friend...

Okay, it's not that I have a problem with people asking me questions. I like answering questions for people who actually want to learn the answer. What I have a problem with is people who ask me a question and expect me to answer it AND the unasked questions needed to solve the problem, which they haven't really asked me about.

Instance 1: Co-worker comes and asks me if it's safe to disable cron processes on UNIX systems. He explained that the system he's been setting up is getting ready to be sent elsewhere, and he's concerned that nightly cron reports going to mail will eventually fill the hard drive & crash the system. His answer: disable cron processes. Wants my opinion. My opinion: ummm... might save yourself from mail clogging the disk, but now system logs might do it for you. Suggested changing root's mail spool to /dev/null. Coworker researches, finds a method to do something else with the logs. All is good.

Instance 2: Cow-orker stops me as I pass by his cube and asks me how to get a timestamp on Linux. Gettimeofday function returns the system time. Cow-orker asks what include files he needs to use for the function. I suggest "man gettimeofday". He loads it up (and I don't disappear fast enough) and asks what a "struct timeval" is. I suggest reading the man page: struct timeval { int tv_sec; int tv_usec; };. What's tv_sec? The count of seconds since January 1, 1970. Cow-orker asks how he'd use this for a timestamp. Yadda yadda yadda. I feel like I all but wrote his code for him.

Guess which one I didn't care for?

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