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Just another software developer with opinions

Random Guesses

Never give advice on things you've never tried yourself

Dec 21, 2020 · 2 min read

statue in facepalm Photo by karatara from Pexels

One of the things that annoy me, whether it's in the programming space or life in general, is when someone convincingly gives advice that they've never tried themselves. No disclaimers, no warnings, nothing. Just a blatantly implied "just do it". And as an added bonus, they get offended if they sense that you doubt their "advice", or say in their face it doesn't work.

As someone who doesn't know what's going on, I end up responsible for verifying the validity of this advice, which shouldn't be my responsibilty in the first place. It would also put me in a situation where I would always fail, making me think I'm doing it wrong. In reality, the advice itself was flawed to begin with.

As someone who does know what's going on, it would offend me. At this point, either I've already tried it and know it doesn't work, or have seen it not work. But what drives the nail in the coffin is when they're convinced it does work, and won't be swayed until they see you try it.

In this scheme, the advice comes at no cost on the giving end, while putting all the responsibility on the receiving end. Should it yield good returns, the credit goes to the one giving the "advice". But if it ends in failure, the blame goes to the person who received and executed the "advice". Calling this unfair would be an understatement.

So, before you give any form of advice, make sure you've tried and failed several times yourself. Otherwise, it's not advice, it's a random guess. And similarly, before you accept any form of advice, always question its feasibility. Saying "no" now might save you 15% or more on effort and sanity. 🤪

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