A teenager told me that he would like to start learning how to program. After giving him some advice, I told him that the first thing I would do, would be to become part of good online programmer communities. Naturally I pointed him to StackOverflow for when he had programming related questions, and I gave him some advice on how to ask questions.
Well, he asked his first question and it was promptly closed. Being a teenager he decided, the hell with this, and is now struggling away on his own.
I looked around a bit, and found that quite a few newcomers only ask one question, then it gets closed or the guy gets some flack, and then they never ask questions again.
Also, questions in certain areas are more prone to this than others, for example, Unity3D (like the question above) has quite a large following of newcomers. You can see be the mean reputation (at the time of writing this question), that most guys are asking their first or second question.. This is becau : http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2012/07/kicking-off-the-summer-of-love/ se Unity3D makes is possible for non-programmers (like graphic designers) to try their hand at programming.
In summary, can't we make it a bit more difficult to close or down-vote questions if the person is asking his first question? These guys should be given a bit of slack.
From the comments and down-votes I got by asking this question, it's quite clear that I pee'd off a lot of people.
Gents, I just asked: "Can we make it easier on new guys?"
Then, I continued to give some explanation towards my thinking. Apologies, if it came across negatively - that was not my intent. It was intended to be a positive contribution to Stack Overflow. We're on the same side here.
Here are some of the ideas I had:
- If it's the first timer question, to give an extra reputation point or once-off badge for experienced users to improve the question
- To just put a subtle flag next to the question that reminds us it's a first question of someone
- A reminder when answering to welcome the new guy
- Add a "Tough first day" badge for new guy's who's first question gets closed
These may be silly, but hey, it's just a thought - no harm intended.
The obvious answer to my question is "no". I'm cool with that.