Helping the helpers
This article is about you.
Being French, I'm kinda biased when it comes to French cinema.
Yes, it's a lot of crap. But there are fantastic jewels, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet produced several; the most famous, which you probably know, being Amélie.
There is a line in this movie that I find very touching. I'm truncating for brevity:
Mais elle [...] qui va s'en occuper ?
Which translates to :
But who is going to take care of her [...] ?
Because in this film, the main character helps pretty much everyone. The whole question is, who is actually going to help her?
I see this a lot in our field.
Geeks like to help.
From people answering millions of questions of total strangers on the web, to contributing open source code, to opening bug tickets, to actually caring that things work despite being in an IT department nobody cares about. You fix your family computers, you teach people how not to get scammed, install apps to protect and games to have fun.
Helping is part of the culture somehow, and it's no surprise a lot of social fights have a strong grip in our community. From minority support to privacy protection, there is a desire to help.
But I've also seen you struggle.
How many times have you tried something that didn't work, and you know somewhere, somebody could solve this problem in 5 minutes? But this person was not there.
How many times have you worked on a problem that seems so close to be solved if you had just the right information. And yet, you can't find it, and you have to hustle your way through?
How many times did you wish for a mentor to support you, and guide you? Somebody who knows your pain, but also knows how things click?
It's not fair to want to help so much and to not receive it yourself when you need it.
I realize this blog is kinda an attempt for that, like many other things I did. When I was a student, I opened a classroom to give a PHP course to my classmates because our teacher sucked. Come to think of it, this is what I always did, in a way.
So that's my 2024 resolution.
Helping the helpers.
I write articles to help. And you can receive help in your mailbox every week.