A friend of mine once said, “I’ll help anybody with anything for free except what I do for work.” I generally have the same attitude, although I do sometimes help people with programming for free.
The challenge is that I don’t have any “free” time. All my time almost already has a job assigned to it, and any new activities have to take a bite out of prior obligations. So I’ve come up with kind of a system that I feel like allows me to provide the maximum amount of free help to people without making any promises I can’t keep.
If you’d like free help from me, here’s what to do: post your question on Stack Overflow and send me a link to the question. I’m very happy to try to help if time permits and I’m knowledgeable on the subject. The reason I ask that you use Stack Overflow is that a) if I can’t help, maybe someone else can, and b) if and when the question is answered, not only do you benefit but the whole community does as well.
If you have a question for me that’s not a detailed technical issue but rather a high-level career question, just send me a regular old email or tweet me. Just please don’t be offended if I take forever to respond. I’m terrible at email and getting worse!
My email address is email@example.com and I’m @jasonswett on Twitter. Looking forward to hearing from you.