Have you ever been working on a project at work, school/homework, or just a basic inquiry and needed the assistance of an experienced programmer? I am sure most of us have been in this predicament. Where do you go for help? I would suggest finding a network of professionals that are experienced in their field. My recommendation would be to join the largest professional network, LinkedIn, and become a member of the programming groups which interest you. For example, VB.NET professionals, .NET Developers, Web Design and Development Professionals, Web Developers Network, Women in Technology (WIT), are just a few of mine, but you can choose whatever group you are attracted to.
Now the bad.
There are numerous forums that have “professionals” that claim to offer guidance and advice on how to help you find a solution. You’ve probably seen some of the “S.O.S signals” from frantic students who have more than likely exhausted every resource to try and find an answer. These forums of professionals usually have some type of negative retort about how ignorant the person is for not knowing basic steps, or how they will more than likely fail since they cannot comprehend simple programming. Professionals do not respond in this sharp or retaliatory manner. They offer usable advice without the “putdowns.” If you are a beginner, you do not need the added pressure of others telling you how horrible your coding skills are. These individuals seemed to have forgotten that they were once new to programming and now since they have mastered many coding hurdles, they feel the need to inject their superior attitudes. STAY AWAY from bad forums!
From my experience, LinkedIn has a populace of adept people who are knowledgeable in their field and are willing to help you succeed.