Asking Questions

Lost In Translation

I've experienced it and I'll hazard a guess that you have experienced it too. Asking a question that doesn't convey the correct meaning, causing you to become more and more frustrated until you give up. So what do you do? Figure out how to ask the right question!

This is meant to be a tutorial on how to ask the right technical questions, though the material can be extrapolated to a general sense of asking the correct questions.

Before Asking

Before you hurry off to post your question on Stack Overflow or a related Q&A forum, see if anyone had the same problem! Look up the problem online before you deal with people. This will save alot of time on your end.

The Right Question

If you have already tried looking up the problem to no success, the next thing is to craft your question. Ideally, your question should have a title, problem, screenshot of the code in question, and appreciation/acknowledgement of solutions.

Title

The title should summarize the problem you are having in a single sentence. Make sure to include the programming language for quicker replies! If you are having trouble at this stage, you can always save crafting the title for last after you finish the problem and screenshot.

Problem

What's your problem? Make a paragraph with that answers the following:

  1. Why does this problem exist?(Or what were you trying to do?)
  2. What solutions have you already attempted?(If you want to be an All-star, screenshot the attempts and explain what happened!)

Your following paragraph should include a screenshot of the code in question. Alternatively, you can use Markdown Syntax for code blocks if your forum has Markdown enabled.

Acknowledgement

Make sure to thank people in advance for taking the time to look at your problem. If people have posted solutions, try it out and reply back to acknowledge their efforts.

For a more detailed explanation this topic, check out the references!

References

How to ask a good question Writing perfect questions