re: What a very bad day at work taught me about building Stack Overflow’s community VIEW POST


What I personally found annoying as a beginner was that everyone always pointed at my questions as being incomplete or lack of research, but themselves never put much effort to at least point me in the right direction.

In reality I did not have enough knowledge to know what research or even what terms to use in order to start this research, what I had was an idea and a whole bunch of questions.


// , My brother and I have run into this problem, before. StackOverflow, because of its format, is often not the place for these types of questions, what I call "Bibliographical" or "Curriculum" building questions.

These require a personal, tailored discussion, not a cut-and-dried answer suitable for future use by others.

I've seen (and written) questions that were the software equivalent of "What is the muzzle velocity of a bullet when it's fired from a bow?" or "How do I install a rudder on a Ford Ranger, so that I can steer it?"

The best way to respond, here, in place of a "right answer," will be follow-up questions and an explanation that I'm asking the question in the wrong terms, about the wrong technology, and a discussion of where to do further research, e.g. "Have you tried reading the car manual, or the appropriately named 'steering wheel'? Are you working on a boat or on a car?".

Questions like these need conversation, which is valuable, in its own way. But conversation is a better fit for general technical forums, not a Q & A site like StackOverflow or Quora.

Questions and Answers =/= Conversation


Absolutely this - if a question can be marked as not providing enough info, then surely comments should too?

And too many comments are "why are you doing x? you should be doing y" as if they have intimate knowledge of the context the user is coming from.

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