I'm not sure about other tags, but on [Perl] tag there's a fairly frequent pattern of someone asking "How do I do X given that my work imposes a technical limitation Y", and the answer - or more often a comment - is a dismissive "Get another job", sometimes worded more and sometimes less politely; sometimes accompanied by actual technical answer to X from the same person but more often not.
As an example, on Perl tag this frequently occurs when "limitation Y" is due to some change control policy of the company, usually involving addition of new CPAN modules.
I personally find this to be an **anti-**pattern, because such comments/answers:
- Don't contribute to the useful information on Stack Overflow and increase clutter/noise.
- Provide major negative reinforcement to the asker, who more often than not is someone genuinely trying their best to do their job. This at best makes them unhappy and at worst drives them away from Stack Overflow.
- To top the last point off, the asker most likely gets driven away at least somewhat from using Perl.
- Are not helping the asker even a little bit.
- Usually factually wrong, since whether the company has a specific change control or other policy is rarely a decisive factor in someone working for a specific company. Heck, it's not even on Joel test :) . And more often than not such policy makes a lot more sense in context than the commenter assumes about it.
Interestingly enough, a large volume (if not most) of such behavior I personally observed was done by high-rank users whose on-topic opinion I generally find extremely qualified and highly worthy of respect.
Q1. Do you agree that this is an anti-pattern?
E.g. a pattern of behavior that is a net negative for Stack Overflow as a community that should be at best frowned upon and at worst somehow discouraged/disincentivized?
Q2. If so, what'd be a good way to combat it?
- Respond to such a comment rebutting it? This has two downsides: first, it adds even more noise to the question; second it creates a brawly acrimonious atomsphere - and as I noted, I personally feel bad about this since the people doing it have otherwise earned a lot of professional respect from me.
- Flag the comment for moderator? This doesn't add to the noise, but I'm not sure it's offense enough to merit moderators' attention, and again the type of persons doing it makes me a bit uncomfortable to treat them like a common troll.
- Ignore it? Then the problem will never go away and may grow.