• Members29
  • OwnerCOBOLdinosaur
  • Created2014-12-02
  • AccessPublic
  • TypeProfessional

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Learning by Answering

Most top-Experts will tell you that one of the benefits of answering questions is that it is often a learning opportunity.
 When you run across a question that is interesting, but you don't have an answer. Learn from it.  Find an answer. Monitor the question to see if another Experts posts a good solution. Do some research or experimentation. When you find a good reference source, bookmark it.
 You can make yourself a niche Expert by learning a narrow sub-topic in great technical detail.  As you add additional niche expertise both the OPs and the other Experts will start to recognize you as authoritative and defer to your solutions. Respect and reputation will grow naturally as you gradually expand your range as an Expert. Respect does not come overnight. It has to be earned with consistent and accurate performance.
 If you take a shotgun approach where you post poor quality responses to every question you see; you will get a reputation for being nothing but noise and you wil never get respect from OPs or other Experts.
Sometimes you will find yourself dealing with an OP who is an idiot. If they need to be taken to task, leave that to the top-Experts.

Your answer might be the best answer but does not get accepted; or your answer may be unfairly graded. So what! You may see top-Experts jumping on an OP, but until you are established as a real Expert it is best to just move on.  The top-Experts have the standing and reputation to support assertions that an OP has improperly disposed of a question; you don't and you will come across as a whiner.  However if OP is grossly insulting, or violates site guidelines you should use the "request attention" link and let a mod handle it.  As part of the learning process and reputation building you will eventually gain enough experience to be able to handle problem OPs, but until then it is best just duck.