Monday, November 12, 2007

Internet tutorials

Justin a.k.a. _harlequin_ on LiveJournal rants the good rant about technical Internet tutorials:

I've been reliving this experience recently by trying to learn to program AVR microcontrollers in C from internet tutorials for "beginners", written by adults with mental capabilities similar to those of the ten-year-old, who hadn't yet grasped the concept that beginners (funnily enough) don't have an expert’s vast array of existing expertise.
It’s cute in a ten-year-old. But coming from an adult, it makes you want to hit them.

Adding insult to injury, they focus on explaining the obvious as if you are a moron rather than a beginner, whilst being completely oblivious to the number of advanced, unexplained steps they unthinkingly used to get there. If these people wrote cooking tutorials, they would go something like:

First, we start with some flour. This is flour [example of flour]. It is white and powdery. You can buy it at a place called a "shop", or a "supermarket", trading for it using a thing called "money". Next, the muffins come out of the oven, cooked and ready. You tell when they are baked correctly because they are brown. Not too brown [example of too brown], and not too light [example of undercooked muffin], just right.

And now you know how to make muffins!


Thanks to Mrs Impala for pointing me at this one.

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