Iris Classon
Iris Classon - In Love with Code

Asking a 'stupid' question, every day for 365 days

[To celebrate my first year of programming I will ask a ‘stupid’ questions daily on my blog for a year, to make sure I learn at least 365 new things during my second year as a developer]- why? Read here:

Just a little comic I made a year ago, I knew it would come in handy!

The first thing I learned as a ‘newbie’ developer is that there is such a thing as stupid questions- according to some developers with an ego the size of an elephant. I disagree. During my first year as a developer I made sure to always ask if I was wondering, not caring at all if the question would be considered dumb or not. “What do you mean when you say _____"- would be a typical question or “Why do you say that ____” and “And the pros and cons are_______” as well. And if the person said “You know what I mean?” Or “Are you with me?” I would say “No, I still don’t get it! Can you please explain one more time?” - if I didn’t get it. Funny enough I would often get laughed at, but a few moments later the person would admit that the answer wasnt obvious and he/she had a hard time answering, if he/she could answer at all. My teacher that showed a great deal of patience, my co-workers and some of the second year students, never laughed at me,- but instead took the time to together find that answer. I would have never, NEVER, gotten this far without asking those question- as I say, assume nothing,- question everything- and neither would I have gotten where I am today without likeminded people. Since it worked for me that well, I’ll do it for one more year, and I’ll even do it publicly so others that don’t dare to ask, or never even thought about the question, can joining in on finding the answers. I do believe that the question is more important than the answer, and the journey even more so.
AND - you CAN’T downvote me here muahahahaha :D


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John Marshall
7/17/2012 12:22:34 PM
The only really stupid questions are the ones not asked. If you do not know, ask. 
7/17/2012 1:08:55 PM
so wots the stooopid question for today? 
Patrik Löwendahl
7/17/2012 2:48:07 PM
I agree.

All the old Zen-masters where very careful not to reveal answers to their students. They gave them koans to meditate on and helped them with the journey. Since the journey was part of understanding the answer. 

Any good coach will ask questions back to guide you to an answer, rather then answer it :)

And I'll leave you with a koan that took me a few weeks to find a satisfying answer to while meditating on it, 

"Every day is a good day": 
Iris Classon
7/17/2012 3:28:48 PM
John: I agree :) I get pretty annoyed at the downvotes, they also seem to hit people that aren't that good with english harder. I love answering downvoted questions, they are usually the most challenging ones to answer! 

Mark: Tomorrow morning, I have to sleep on the first one, it's a good one :D !

Patrik: It's an interesting saying, but sometimes answers are needed (at least for me). The journey is just as important for me, and the discussions around the answers. But I find places such as Twitter, MSDN forum and Stackoverflow (and many more) incredible valuable for the answers I'm getting, and many of them too (so you still have to think for yourself)! I wouldnt be able to define a good coach by a saying, a saying is just that- a saying. Not an absolute truth. I would like to think that it depends on the learner and the teacher- and the interaction between them what makes the most valuable way to learn and grow. For me, I like answers that can be questioned so one can have a good discussion. But sometimes just a question in return will do, depending on the wording and the intention behind it. 
7/28/2012 12:43:26 AM
I liked your "stupid question every day" idea, and I want to do it in almost the same way in my Persian blog ( Just want to say thanks and I 'm sure there are lot of people want to ask stupid questions ;) 
Yngve Bakken Nilsen
7/31/2012 5:27:50 AM
There are no stupid questions, only ridiculously stupid answers :) 
Dave Campbell
7/31/2012 8:22:10 AM
I not only totally agree with your post, but applaud your Question of the day. The ones that would laugh at you for asking a question are the same ones that troll the forums. You've demonstrated an amazing ability to learn in your first year, and asking questions was part of that. 

Keep up the great work! 

Last modified on 2012-07-17