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I'm not exactly up there with the big guns on Stack Overflow, but I've been an active member and for the most part, and I have tried to keep questions in the community interest or tried to make sure my issues are directed and concise.

I've been seeing an awful lot of "user123456" asking "why code not work" then dropping in 500 lines of JavaScript they clearly don't understand, or "user987654" asking "I want to make an interface which does xyz, can someone do it for me" (perhaps slightly differently worded, but in essence that the size of it).

I'm just wondering if anyone else has seen this, it's a bit of a bugbear and over the nine months or so that I've been a member here, I've really seen it increase.

It sort of inspires me to write condescending comments like "hire someone capable" or "go read a book on it", which is way snarky and out of character for me.

I'm wondering if there's a support/maintenance company out there hiring absolute beginners and who have been shown how to copy & paste code and then told to setup 10 new accounts on Stack Overflow to burn down points and get the work done for free.

Don't get me wrong, I'm super happy to help people who are struggling to get their head around something or battling with a problem, but it's a bit off-putting when you're 100% sure the person asking wouldn't even have a clue what you were talking about if you spelled it out piece by piece or even worse, the person doesn't really care so long as you've now done it for them.

Grr, grrr

Should we perhaps prevent number two signup from the same IP address in one day? Require a simple entrance test before posting? A 12 hour block on asking if a question gets more than three downvotes cast in an hour? There are just suggestions for deterrents.

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closed as not constructive by jadarnel27, kiamlaluno, jcolebrand, user7116, animuson Jun 16 '12 at 21:53

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

If you see "this no work" followed by a wall of code it's either 1 - too localized, 2 - not a real question or both. Flag them and we'll close them (if the community doesn't beat us to it first). – Tim Post Jun 13 '12 at 11:44
yep I've started to do that but Ive got a feeling theres a coding sweatshop somewhere abusing the spirit of the community and some poor kids who have been shown a computer the week before and told to burn down a stockpile of SO accounts – Alex Jun 13 '12 at 11:47
ps. just got my flagging deleting priviledges and will be using them :-) – Alex Jun 13 '12 at 11:47
@TimPost In my typical SO tags, there is so much of a noise problem that I would run out of flags. More often than not I just try to mentally block it out like a brain damaged war vet. – maple_shaft Jun 13 '12 at 11:48
@maple_shaft Since my last name is Post, I'm hereby creating "Post Question Stress Disorder" in your honor. – Tim Post Jun 13 '12 at 11:52
@gnat OCD brother ;-) lol, I shall be much more considerate of punctuation offenses henceforth. – Alex Jun 13 '12 at 12:14
This is mostly a rant about question quality (which there are already plenty of on Meta =)). See the discussion here: Can we prevent some of the low quality questions from entering our system? – jadarnel27 Jun 13 '12 at 12:21
@jadarnel27 thanks for the link, I had looked through quite a few other rant questions but my point is really that I think we should discuss ways to stop stockpiles of useless users amounting i'm getting the feeling that there's an escalating pattern of abuse happening and most of the 'rants' have been closed saying 'theres no real threat' essentially and are a older. – Alex Jun 13 '12 at 12:26
Oh, and the top two answers on this question: How does Stack Overflow attempt to prevent low-quality questions and answers? – jadarnel27 Jun 13 '12 at 12:27
@jadarnel27 Just reading through, I wasn't aware that so much had already been done, I'll finish readng that thread when I've finished todays milestones.. gotto get back to work :-) – Alex Jun 13 '12 at 12:34
Good luck! Yeah, there has definitely been a lot of work done in this area - although that doesn't mean it can never be revisited =) – jadarnel27 Jun 13 '12 at 12:43
There's also questions to which the immediate answer is to close as dupe, because they didn't take into account any of the potential other answers already provided by the system.. – jcolebrand Jun 13 '12 at 14:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

As I was saying recently (a few minutes ago :D), I recently obtain the vote down privilege. This kind of question (lazy ones) is clearly my (future) favorite targets.

I always try to make effort to find it by myself, even if it's hard. It's like asking some help to HelpDesk. You must formalize what you think, and writing all you have already done drive you to the next step of answering.

What you are describing is the exact contrary. I can't bear this behaviour. So:

  1. I try to explain it
  2. If the user don't do it, I would vote down
  3. If he/she is trying to correct, I would rollback my down vote (and even vote up if his question is interesting)

I am not really sure that is the right way, but as far as I understand how SO is working, it seems that is not so bad. I am very interested in REX too ! How YOU are doing (especially moderators)

EDIT : @Alex > you found the exact right words : "abusing of community spirits" !!!

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You should upvote when: This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear and downvote when: This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful on Questions, and on Answers: This answer is useful upvote and for downvote: This answer is not useful – jcolebrand Jun 13 '12 at 13:58

You've asked interesting question if is someone hiring beginners, and giving them tons of code do fix, without any training etc., the answer is: unfortunatelly, yes. This would be a good question for Programmers site, IMHO. Such programmers have little experience and have no idea how to handle the task that is overwhelming them. They are always forced to stay in overhours as long as they fix something, so they are very desperate to find help anywhere possible. It's not their fault, it is the fault of bad management and cost reduction policy.

How to prevent such situation? Stopping clones wouldn't help as much, because there are a lot of such programmers. And posting only one such question a day is enough to spam the question list.

Is the pattern you've described (tons of code, a few words of explanation) so often? If so, the solution could be the algorithm detecting questions that contains mostly of log or code, and require to write at least a few sentences of human-language text. Such algorithm would be complicated to write, so the question is, is it worth this effort? From my experience, such questions are rare enough, so that flagging and downvoting is sufficient to fight them.

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Wait wait wait wait wait wait...what would be a good question for Programmers? – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 13 '12 at 12:20
I hate to say this but, it's been more so since I've been freelancing on AUS timezones this week. I've noticed that it's so much more common at night (in Europe) because most of the mods with high ranks who can delete posts straight away, work on US & European timezones. – Alex Jun 13 '12 at 12:20
@Alex cough vote for me as a Mod! I'm in UTC+5.30! </shameless-selfplug> – Sathya Jun 13 '12 at 12:25
@Sathya +1 ;-) more globally distributed mods the better – Alex Jun 13 '12 at 12:30
lechlukasz - I think you misunderstand Programmers SE and just want to clarify what @Garden Gnobobby was implying. The types of questions the OP is referring to have no home on any StackExchange sites. If you ask a crappy question anywhere on the network, it should be downvoted and closed. ;) – jmort253 Jun 13 '12 at 13:15
Just to clarify: The question "Why do people hire beginners and throw lots of code at them" is NOT suitable for Programmers...neither are the questions "Why does this code not work", "why are people throwing 'Why does this code not work' questions at us", "Why are so many dumb people at SO", "What can we do to help those people" and so on and on and fact: 99% of the time when I read "that's a question for Programmers" I cringe and imagine Chris sitting somewhere, sipping coffee, suddenly snapping and screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOO" Kirk-Style. – Time Traveling Bobby Jun 13 '12 at 13:43
Yes, I see your point, however, this could be a question for Worplace... – Danubian Sailor Jun 13 '12 at 14:06

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