I just read > this blog article <
and thought I'd share it with you guys. It's about positive feedback, and how it is not only nicer than conscious criticism, but also far better in creating a constructive learning experience. It may sound obvious, but often lost - especially among internet forums.
We probably all know how easy it is, as a programmer, to get caught in a negativity trap where all the code is just a blur of "WTF" and "ugh" - not only our own, but also the one others show us. This is bad. It is destructive and it hinders improvement and I think it is a good thing to maintain a certain aspect of positivism.
I really don't think that this is an issue here and I am really glad that it isn't - so don't read this as a critique or "guide". I just kind of enjoyed the prospect of the article and I wanted to share it with you, as I believe that its essence deserves some thought.
Here's what I've picked up from this with regards to commenting the work of others, summed up:
- Don't overlook bad things. Mention them, explain them, but do not dwell on them.
- Do look for good things. Elaborate why they are good and how awesome they are.
- For every point of critique, look out for 4-6 positive things.
It's quite easy, yet overlooked as easily. When reviewing someone else's work, it is a common practice to focus on criticizing less-than-optimal bits, and this can
be helpful - but we shouldn't stop there. Reinforce the good stuff as well!
We are still a very small community, and while this can be a caveat, it is also our chance to start with a good example and create an atmosphere of positive reinforcement, kindness and creativity - and I think you are already doing great. As new users join us, they will be welcomed by the environment to which everyone of you contributes, and I am incredibly glad to see how helpful you already are when stepping up to support the ones who need advice. Keep it up. Seriously. This is not a small feat.
So why am I writing this? Simply because I think that the spirit of a positive environment deserves some resonance. It is a rare good and a treasure to find.