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I've been on Stack Overflow for over a year now. I've received many great answers.

However, time and time again, I find that the correct answer occurs to me on my own shortly after asking the question on Stack Overflow. I think this could be similar to "rubberducking" in a way.

Does this happen for you, too?

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Usually just prior to asking, but yes, that's happened to me several times. Once I put some time and thought into articulating the question and providing examples .. the answer usually just 'hits me' – Tim Post Aug 3 '11 at 16:11
Yes, this happens a lot. Writing a good question is difficult, and putting your question into words often makes the problem obvious because you're forced to explain it in a way that others will understand it. Adopting alternative perspectives can do wonders for solving issues. That said, I don't understand why this is a bad thing. – Cody Gray Aug 3 '11 at 16:11
@Cody Who said it was a bad thing? – Wesley Murch Aug 3 '11 at 16:14
Related: Why don't high rep users ask questions? – Cody Gray Aug 3 '11 at 16:43
Both "No" and "Yes" are completely valid answers to this quesiton. – NickC Aug 3 '11 at 18:02
I prefer: Should I not answer my own questions? – M. Tibbits Aug 3 '11 at 18:35


I then either close or delete my question if it turned out to be something stupid I was doing,
or if I found a real answer I post it as such.

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I don't think it's necessarily a good idea to delete your own question in this case. Someone else who wants to ask the same question may find your solution useful. – Rising Star Aug 3 '11 at 16:15
@Rising, I just mean for stupid syntax mistakes, or dumb stuff I was doing. – Lance Roberts Aug 3 '11 at 19:01

All too often this is perceived as a bad thing. So:

  • You spend time asking an intelligent question.
  • In the process of writing it up, or (as Cody said) condensing it into a useful explanation you find the answer. (Either before or after you ask the question)
  • You answer your own question

So what have you accomplished:

  1. You made a useful contribution to the knowledge base here -- if not, it would've been down-voted & closed eventually.
  2. You provided a question which has a clear answer, not some drivel for opinion submission, overly-broad or off-topic rant... would've been closed by a moderator.
  3. Your answer is useful and others vote it up. Great! If you're answer is only partially complete, you've still left the opportunity for another use to come along and improve it.

You help out here, you gain rep. Sounds like a plan.

Disclaimer: As the Stack Exchange community is not designed to replace the blog-o-sphere, please don't do this a great deal.

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It happens for every good and/or easy question. It sometimes take longer for harder question to be answered.

But yes, this happens to me, too.

I'm the one who are trying to do the same, answer questions as fast as possible, to be first poster

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I frequently think about asking a question, and while writing it I discover the solution when I

  • search for links to things I wish to highlight in the quesiton
  • create a prototype to highlight the core of my issue
  • realize I don't need to do what I'm trying to do while explaining it
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