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Knowing When To Ask For Help

silvestricodes profile image Jonathan Silvestri ・2 min read

After some time...

You are sitting at your computer, stuck on a feature. You feel like you have spent a lot of time trying to find a solution to the problem before you. You looked around online for guidance. You are not sure what you could be doing differently.

It is time to ask for help.

But maybe...

You have been stuck on a feature you have been working on for a few days. You tried a few different approaches. None of them are working how you want them to. You are not sure what to search for on Google to proceed.

It is time to ask for help.

Or...

You were given a problem to solve that you have never encountered before. You are not sure where you can look for guidance on the internet to start your approach, and there are no clear examples in the code base you are working on that you can use as direction.

It is time to ask for help.

Have you considered...

You have a problem to solve. You want to talk out your thoughts with a colleague.

It is time to ask for help.

Alright, no more examples.

These examples do not fully capture all the situations when it is time for you to ask for help. There are more branching paths that could lead to points where it is appropriate for you to seek guidance.

Asking for help does not have to be something you consider as a last resort. At any point during your development process, there will be opportunities and times for you to ask for help.

When should I ask for help?

Whenever you want to.

Discussion (1)

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James Thomson

I think this also applies to asking questions as well. If you're working on a new feature, but don't fully understand the requirements then you should definitely be asking questions instead of making assumptions.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, try to think out as many questions as you can and compile them into one email or list. Take some time to compile them before approaching the person(s). That way both your time and the person(s) answering the questions is used efficiently and you'll have a nice list of Q and A's to refer to.