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my contributions to helping others

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I guess I am addressing the members of the forum who are better than me at php, which is probably most of you.


I just wondered if my responses were sometimes better off not made, as I can often answer things not quite correctly, mostly down to my knowledge not being the best. my responses can be often rambly and missing correct names and so on, such as this great example here:




I love trying to help out people who are stuck and often find it benefits me as much as the person posing the questions.


I'm not sure where I am going with this post really, I guess what I am trying to say is, am I making a worthwhile contribution and where is my free beer?  ::)



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There's definitely a fine line between being helpful and just getting in the way.  I think we've all crossed that line many times, especially when we first started out.  I know I did.  The best advice I can give is to focus on quality responses rather than being the first one to answer a question.  If you're not sure about something, take the time to either look it up (if it's simple), or ask the community.  Chances are, your post count will slow, but you'll learn just as much, if not more, as you'll be doing the research/test code on your own anyway.  After a while, you'll hit the tipping point and be able to rattle off more accurate answers with ease.


So, tldr: Quality > quantity.  Keep with it.

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You sort of stumbled upon the right answer in your post in that thread, but it was still the right answer.  The best thing you can do is say "I'm not sure but this seems to work" and leave it open ended.  If you're not positive what you're saying is correct, tell the user that so they don't take what you say as gospel and move on with their life without coming back to the thread for additional information.


Also, check that thread again for more data on comparison operators.

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Your intentions are good, but being able to help others and teach them is a learning process, same as anything else.


I remember when I first started coming here, I would try to help people and...someone would ask how to do xyz and I would give them like 20 lines of code as an answer that *technically* worked, and then some seasoned member would come in and give them a one-liner ...the important thing is to not get mad when someone "1-ups" you on answers (even if they aren't particularly nice about it); instead, be humbled by it, learn from it.


There are plenty of people who are badass coders but fail to teach others how to do what they do, etc.. it is a learning process, best learned by experience, same as anything else.  The more you help out around here, the more you will not only learn php itself, but you will also learn how to better respond to questions.  As others have mentioned, the important thing is to throw out a disclaimer when you are not sure or are stumbling with words, etc... 

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