I don’t give personal, one-to-one technical support for open source software I’ve created, nor do I help people with questions about things like SQL or the books I’ve written. It might not be obvious why this is my policy, so this blog post is meant to help explain.
What do I mean by giving “personal tech support?” I mean I don’t use private email or other 1:1 means to answer questions. I insist on a public forum where it’s in the open, permanently visible, and other people can collaborate to find solutions.
There are a few reasons:
- I don’t have time to solve everyone’s issues.
- If I solve your problem, it will recur for someone else, who will ask me again.
- Your problem is probably shared by other people. They can help you find the solution.
- A publicly visible solution will answer many other peoples’ questions. They will not ask anyone for help, they will only need to ask Google.
Although I ask people to use bug trackers, forums, and mailing lists, I still get many requests for individual, private technical help on email. I understand why, and I don’t mind. So if I’ve directed you to this blog post, please don’t take it personally. It’s just a matter of what I’m willing to do and what I’m not willing to do.