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Math Overflow is primarily for research-level questions and minds. Math.SE is for graduates and undergraduates and non-professional (but not incompetent, I'm not speaking foul here) enthusiasts.

Is there any similar 'brother' to Stack Overflow for 'really beginner programmers'? I couldn't find any SE sites of the sort in the complete list. I heard of Area 51 but I wanted to see what you see here first. That's besides that I can't login to area51 yet.

Note: Programmers SE isn't what I need. I don't need a site for concepts but really the Math.SE/MO is the best analogy there is.

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Beginner questions are welcome on Stack Overflow as long as they're good - just like "expert" questions. –  Mat May 13 '12 at 11:27
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@Mat, Still, -and I know I will be so- professionals get tired quickly from really-starting questions that's why math.SE was welcomed. I don't think SOF's users would be that patient with really-starters and no one can blame them. // Oh, and I certainly didn't mean low-grade/weak/ill-said/ill-formatted questions when I said 'beginner.' –  Noein May 13 '12 at 11:31
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Well formed questions that show research effort, even if they are very "basic", are answered really fast. I don't see the whole crowd on SO getting tired of them - great rep. generators actually. But keep in mind that SO (and the other SE sites) are not forums. It's Q&A - if you need/are looking for mentoring, you're pretty much on the wrong network. –  Mat May 13 '12 at 11:34
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Math Overflow is basically an aberration, an artifact of an earlier time. They're not actually part of the current Stack Exchange network, but rather one of the few Stack Exchange 1.0 sites still hanging on.

Just like Mathematics.SE accepts questions from people of all levels and education, so does Stack Overflow. It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or an expert (and really, even the experts in one thing are beginners in something else), if you ask a valid question that can be reasonably answered in our Q&A format, then you're a valuable member of our community.

Follow the rules and guidelines set out in the FAQ and ignore anyone who tells you to do differently.

We don't have an "experts-only" requirement for a reason. Not only is everyone welcome, but we're here to learn things and self-professed "experts" aren't interested in learning anything because they think they already know everything.

If you're looking for a place to sit around and socialize with fellow "experts" (read: elitists), then you'll need to find a different online community. This one is for "professional and enthusiast programmers, people who write code because they love it". It requires that you "treat others with the same respect you'd want them to treat you [because] we're all here to learn together". It requires you to "be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know". It asks that you "bring your sense of humor".

Unfortunately, one thing that beginners to programming need is a teacher, and that is something that the Stack Exchange platform cannot and does not hope to provide. This isn't a limit of Stack Overflow, but rather of the structured Q&A format of the site. We do not provide lists of resources nor will we write complete solutions for you. You will have to find the resources and time to learn programming on your own. However, if during the process of learning, you should run into a problem that you cannot figure out, that's something you should ask a question about on Stack Overflow. Remember that we are here for "practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face".

Also see: http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/128548/what-stack-overflow-is-not

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NO - there is no "really beginner programmers" Q&A site in the Stack Exchange network... Any technical, programming related question should be asked on Stack Overflow. That said, If you are planning to ask beginner questions on Stack Overflow - here is somethings to keep in mind -

SO is not a place to learn to learn to program from scratch...

To borrow from this post -


Stack Overflow is not your personal research assistant

The Stack Overflow community is very forthcoming with their help, provided you have done a few things to help yourself. Have you:

  1. Put some effort into researching the problem,
  2. Attempted to write some code yourself
  3. Attempted to debug your code when it has failed, and
  4. Some basic, fundamental knowledge of your tools?

The fourth item here is what I want to highlight. Users on SO are not going to walk you through the basics of programming, you'll have to come with some knowledge of your own. Basic questions (as has been said) are welcome, however you should not expect to get answers to fundamental questions such as

  • what is a string?
  • what is an array?
  • how to start learning to program...
  • etc...

The examples I have might be a bit extreme but the point I'm trying to convey here is that if the questions are too basic you won't get positive feedback on them. Make sure you have some idea of what you are doing or want to do before posting a question.

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Actually, my background is mostly undergraduate-math and I was looking forward to pick up programming as well. Sadly, I could find very few good resources to teach programming and actually define its world. Without money to get professional assistance, there's nothing left but ask off-line, non-human help. So basically, the exact question I asked this question for was "What are good resources to get acquainted with programming and the different language?" Then the same for the language I'd pick up. I never said I was asking for step-step tutoring. –  Noein May 13 '12 at 11:48
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@M.Na'el: Maybe this helps you: wiki.python.org/moin/BeginnersGuide/NonProgrammers –  Felix May 13 '12 at 12:01
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