TAs will NOT fix your code. That’s your job. TAs’ job is to point you to the right direction.
Do your part, BEFORE asking for help:
Re-read the homework instruction carefully
Draw diagrams to understand the overall architecture
Insert print statements into various places to debug your code
Search through the past listserv postings
Read man pages for the functions and commands that you’re using
When asking for help, make your questions as specific as possible. Telling TAs “my code doesn’t work” is inefficient for you and the teaching staff and you’ll likely be told to give a more specific question. You should also explain what you have tried to debug the program, and your findings from those attempts.
Good debugging questions usually include a concise description of the following information:
Expecation: “I expect my code to do …”
Observation: “Instead it does …”
Hypothesis: “I think the problem might be that …”
Experiment: “I’ve tried the following to fix/narrow down the problem…”
Please be respectful to TAs and other students. Especially right before a deadline or a test. Everyone is just as busy as you are.
Remember that office hours are for students to ask TAs questions. While you may come to do work in the TA room, space is limited. We ask that you come prepared with meaningful questions, and be considerate of other students who have pressing questions.
Please send your question to listserv if possible. This allows other students to read and discuss the answer.
We will answer questions in the following order:
All pending questions on the class listserv
All pending questions sent to the TA list
Finally, emails sent to individual TAs
Under no circumstances are you to ask the same question to multiple TAs in separate emails. If you are caught doing this, you will be banned from ever asking any questions.
TAs will ignore lazy questions (e.g. “why does this not work?”). If your question to the TAs or the listserv goes unanswered for a few days, check if you asked a lazy question. If you think that isn’t the case, please bump your questions.
Include your UNI, especially if you are asking about grading, server accounts, or some other administrative issue.
When you send an email to listserv, make sure your email subject reflects your message content:
There should be more detail than just the assignment and part you are
working on. For example, the subject should be more than just
[HW1] [part2]. Please write more than just bracket-enclosed tags,
[HW1] [part2] Writing helper functions.
Do NOT hijack a thread: i.e. reply to a thread with an unrelated topic. Start a new thread.
Sometimes a thread discussion moves to a different topic. Change the subject in this case.
No need to write
[cs4118]. This subject tag will be automatically
added to emails sent to the listserv.
Do NOT reply to an
ANN message. The
[ANN] tag bypasses many
students’ email filters. We reserve it for emails that require the entire
Do NOT send your code. Ask specific questions, and if you must include a code snippet, reduce it to the minimal amount to illustrate the concept you are asking about.
Please help each other out, but do NOT give out answers. Try to, like a TA might, suggest ideas or strategies that were helpful for you when figuring out the problem.
You are of course encouraged to ask questions and post interesting things
that are beyond the scope of the course. In this case, however, you can add
[OT] to your subject to signal that this thread is off-topic, to help
those students who want to focus only on the relevant course materials.
[TEAM] tag in the subject if you are looking for other group