Greg Park

The secret superpower behind getting the right answers

August 12, 2015

No, not StackOverflow, but close. When I am searching for an answer—and just programming-related ones—I do tend to end up somewhere in the StackExchange universe. A big reason for this, I think, is the value those communities place on asking good questions.

What makes a good question? The two guides below describe how to ask good StackOverflow questions, but they contain lots of good tips for asking better questions in general:

Good questions tend to have these features:

Luckily, so many questions have already been answered in places like StackOverflow that you’ll often be able to find an existing thread about your own problem. When I can’t find an existing answer, I’ve found that the act of describing my problem—in context, very specifically, and with an isolated code sample—can be extremely helpful. Several times, I’ve solved my own problem during the process of preparing a good question. Boiling down my issue in a way that’s easier for others usually makes it easier for me to understand, too.