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Can we ask Conceptual question (not generally faced in real scenario programming) in SO?

Something like - Given a singly link list and a number 'K', swap the Kth node from the start with the Kth node from the last

(Yeah I posted it. Vote for delete if inappropriate)

Such kind of question are generally asked in interviews and I believe will help a lot of SO users.

Note: I checked http://programmers.stackexchange.com/ but not convinced of the response and participation (as compared to SO).

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Deleted that question but this discussion is still open. I can't understand why SO is discouraging such stuff. SO let me down the first time. :( –  Maitreya Aug 23 '12 at 7:43
    
Note that many interview questions you can simply Google. There's no reason to ask a community of volunteers to solve something for you that's already solved. See my answer below for more details on what we look for here at Stack Overflow. Good luck! :) –  jmort253 Aug 23 '12 at 7:57

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Stack Overflow is the site for professional and enthusiast programmers. If your question is about a programming problem you're facing, then you are in the right place. If it's not a real, practical problem you're facing, then you start to cross over into the grey areas and risk your question being closed.

The best Stack Overflow questions aren't academic, like you're example. Instead, the best questions stem from real world problems. Ideally, you would have tried to solve the problem yourself, and you would demonstrate these attempts by documenting your research and what you've tried in the question body. This would not only give others a place to start in helping you solve your problem, but it would also prevent others from giving you answers that you've already tried. Nothing will make an answerer want to downvote a question more than posting an answer and having the asker exclaim "no i try that alredy it diddnt work!!!!". What a waste of time for both the asker as well as the answerer!

Even on Programmers SE, such a question is off-topic. In fact, most Stack Exchange sites discourage purely academic or basic questions.

Now, that's not to say we don't want people to come here who are amateurs. You can still be new to something and still make an attempt yourself, document your research, and show what you've tried. But being new doesn't give you a free permission slip to get others to do your work for you without you making an attempt. That's not to say that was your intention, but I hope it's clear what types of questions we're looking for and how you can edit your questions for best results. Hope this helps!

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