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Be Responsible

By Steve Jones,

http://www.sd36.bc.ca/sites/henryb/BeeResponsible.jpgThe other day I got a report of a thread that had a lot of sample data posted in it. The thread was slow to open, but not only was it slow, it had a bunch of data that looked like real information. Names, addresses, and other contact information was included in a post.

About 30k worth of it.

There are multiple things wrong here and I hope this isn't too common a situation. I haven't seen it too often, but I don't post in too many places besides SQLServerCentral, so maybe I don't realize exactly how often something like this occurs. I would like to think that it's not too often.

When we're asking for help, I'd like to think that most of us know that we need to provide enough information to help someone understand the issue, but we aren't asking for a code review of all the work we've done in the last week. Posting 100 lines of code is a sure way to get me to move on to another thread since I don't have time to dig through it. In my mind, if you need help with a hundred lines of code, you need a consultant.

On top of that, however, I would think that most of us would realize that posting real data from our companies, data that we might not legally be allowed to disclose, is a bad idea. Mock something up, or even go grab your copy of Data Generator and upload a dataset that would simulate what you need. Posting real data from your company, especially contact information, is a bad idea.

Being a professional means being responsible, and acting in a professional manner. If you're unsure of how to do that, check out Jeff Moden's great article on asking for help in forums. I'd also recommend that if you have any doubts about posting something, don't do it.

Steve Jones


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