Has the learning stopped?

I think it being open is a good thing as you might wander across a post you were not necessarily looking for but find useful.

This is a forum to talk about UiPath but .NET is part of Uipath so I agree with you that questions around that topic i.e. string manipulation is relevant here. Its a case of, if a person doesnt like a question, dont click on it.

For me a forum is all about sharing experience / knowledge and being a safe learning environment for all, no matter the question. But the people providing quick win answers such as XAML files without explanation don’t help that. You can tell if the people asking the questions are truly stuck on something by the amount of time they are willing to give to write the question :slightly_smiling_face: and those who are literally asking someone to do their job for them. :pensive:

I think the Flag system could be used more effectively, for example if it looks like someone is asking for a solution XAML file rather than a proper question

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@VirajN just like @c.ciprian I didn’t even know there was such as field - and its of little importance to me, too. :slight_smile: I’m not sure whether removing would have an impact.

There is nothing wrong with people asking about string manipulation here in the forums. In the end, Invoke Code is an integral part of UiPath - so any question regarding coding is more than welcome. However, the ideal question shouldn’t be “how do I append two strings”, but rather “I tried to append two strings like this […] and it wouldn’t work, what can I do”. And the ideal answer? @Jan_Brian_Despi hits the nail on the head:

This, and a hundred times this. To use above example, if I provided you a XAML file with the finished solution, you may or may not learn. If I gave you a link to ex MSDN, now Microsoft Docs, about Concatenation Operators in VB.NET, you may at least learn that there is an extensive documentation for .NET, all its classes and methods, along with samples that you can copy & paste.

Agreed, and as Jan said, this is beyond our control. If someone wants to ask a low quality question, demands an answer, or behaves in a way that contradicts our guidelines, the best approach might be to do nothing. Don’t feed the trolls, and don’t confirm them in their thinking that they are entitled to you doing the hard work for them.

Absolutely! I think that flags can be more powerful, and I bet that “Duplicate of x” could become one of the most-used flags - more about that here:

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I don’t believe I can add much to the conversation that hasn’t already been said.

I’m sure there are others outside this thread, but the individuals in the conversation so far, I would commend for their engagement in supporting the community and quality of discussion and answers around the forums, I’ve learned tidbits here and there and generally take joy in reading their posts.

Just as I’ve observed @redlynx82 for being, I too am an avid fan of the Stack Exchange network in particular Stackoverflow among a few other communities on the network.

I’m generally pro ‘do whatever builds up the community’, and reputation metrics of sorts doesn’t suede me to not attempt to provide a quality solution that helps the OP and future readers to learn. As an example, here I provided another answer to a question that had already been answered as I felt it added additional context, not because the OP needed it, but because after search the UiPath forums and Stackoverflow I didn’t find anything that adequately explained special keystrokes in one place, as such I felt it would help future readers.

That said, it is a little draining to keep coming up against the same situations repeatedly such as…

1] Answer the same questions over and over again cough AWS cough, or 2] those hit and run questions where you put in the time to answer the question, but receive no feedback either way if the community was able to help out.

My personal favourite is the 3] thread highjacking or necromancy, sometimes both!

And let’s not forget the 4] individuals which post on multiple threads looking for an active user that might respond to them in real-time.

Like many others, I’ll be helpful and polite and in answering the question I’ll ask the user to maybe post a new topic and DM me the link in the case of thread highjacking or necromancy, or might refer them to the guidelines here on UiPath or Stack Exchange / Stackoverflow to help them provide a MVCE question to help them to be more appealing to the community to provide answers.

In comparing the two (UiPath and Stackoverflow) you’ll notice a lot of similarities if looking at the UiPath related topics/questions, more so than comparing the great Stackoverflow platform because the larger community there hasn’t built up around UiPath so you tend to not see the same level of moderation from the community as you might on other topics.

One big thing that I think Stack Exchange has over Discourse is the granularity of ‘trust levels’/feature privilege and the ability for the community at large to help govern the community itself.

I find the Discourse to be rather difficult to say go from Trust Level 2 to Trust Level 3, and anything beyond that is a manual promotion, but the level of functionality given by each trust level to not entirely be worthwhile. For myself, I’d love to be able to re-categorize/tag or rename a topic if it would bring clarity to the post or put it into an area of the forums that would most likely get it the appropriate attention. (e.g when an unrelated topic is posted in the UiPath Jobs area)

In comparison the granularity of privileges to reputation points with Stack Exchange allows the community to protect itself in a way and to encourage to help the community a little bit at a time as the user grows into it. As an example early on (15pts) you can vote other questions or answers up, but you can’t vote down until later one (125pts). But the reputation system is easy to climb if you participate, for example, I have 2118 pts, which isn’t much but grants me most of the features in their list, and more than I need for how active I am in the community. And almost half of that comes from a single answer I posted 7 years ago that was marked as a solution to a particular question and slowly received ‘upvotes’ over time.

I think all this is to say, we can’t force a user to do x, y, or z but we can guide them in a friendly and encouraging way, it’s up to each of us (as this thread shows) to move in the direction we would like to see. I think we have the user base and the drive to build a better community, but we need the support, tooling, and guidelines to allow us to do so.

P.s. I wouldn’t be heartbroken if we were able to leverage the Stack Exchange platform and integrate it with the other UiPath sites as a more formal Q&A resource and use the UiPath forums for more in-depth discussions. (in a similar way that commenting back and forth on a Q or A on Stack Exchange will prompt the system to ask you to take it to a chatroom).

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The RPA technology is fairly new as a platform in the field of IT.
There was a time when people were comfortable with installing Desktop software. When things broke it was common place to go in and try to fix it. However, with the advancement of the Internet, a lot of these things went away and a large number of even technical users were abstracted from dealing with desktop applications, version upgrades, patching etc.

All of this has gotten so distant that I was drawing questionable stares when I wanted to install ODBC drivers and create DSNs on the Robot machine. It was like no one wanted to go that way. Not because it couldn’t be done. It’s because it isn’t done that way any more.

There was also some feedback on why we would need to fidget with custom selectors. People from database background with little or no knowledge of HTML weren’t interested in opening up UI Explorer and analyzing selectors.

Like it or not, RPA gives a sense of how wonderful the human mind truly is. We do so many things subconsciously without giving it a second thought. But when you have to tell a machine to do the same, most people are shocked and put off by the sheer number of things that they have to consider and have a machine do it. It’s like training a 4-year old for a stage play.

I’m working on an RPA project to automate something a co-worker of mine manages everyday. We wrote down the RPA plan. What he did without thinking ended up being almost 22 steps!

It takes time for the world to really digest this technology and come to terms with it.

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Absolutely agree.

I can see another gap in the way how UiPath is marketing their product. It is presented as “automation for ordinary people with little effort and no knowledge”. Therefore people without appropriate skills start building own automation projects but fairly soon reach their limits. And appear in this forum. :slight_smile:

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I’m seeing the same around me as well. Real world projects do require persistence and most importantly a lot of patience. Here is the key difference I see and have experienced when I worked on my first RPA project.

When a human deals with a clunky application, he might be having 3 workarounds. But based on his intelligence and past experience, he might know which of the 3 workarounds he must apply without having to go through all of them.

But when you translate the same application into an RPA Process, all 3 workarounds have to be programmed into the process. And whether we like it or not, the Robot will work itself through all 3 workarounds before finally succeeding or failing.

This has lead to a strong argument - why “tell a robot how exactly to do things when I can deal with it much faster and much more intuitively?”.

I just worked on a Proof of concept project involving two real world applications for a ticketing system. It wasn’t for the fainthearted! One of the two applications is terrible and required multiple workarounds for some of the issues which slowed down development. The feeling I got was that I was busy building more workarounds than the actual business process.

But what most folks don’t realize is that they can’t deal with things this way, if it happens 100s or 1000s of times in a day! Therefore, businesses will justify upfront investment in RPA only if the process deals with volumes of data or large number of actions that a human cannot handle in a single day.

If not, humans will say “I can take care of it. No worries.”