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I'm wondering where I can ask questions like "What's the best resource/way to learn Ruby on Rails?" or "What's the best resource/way to learn how to implement Google Chrome Add-ons?". From what I've read, it seems like this type of questions is not appropriate for StackOverflow itself.

I know that I can Google to find out these resources, but I still think having expert opinions on how to learn new things is way more useful than just Googling, which does not necessarily provide the best resources out there.

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Try Programmers.SE (this is a preemptive comment) –  NullUserException อ_อ Oct 31 '12 at 23:54
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I asked a similar question in the past, which was promptly closed and deleted. When I asked where I should ask such questions, I was told "other programming forums and message boards, not SO" –  inspectorG4dget Nov 1 '12 at 0:07

1 Answer 1

Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange in general exist to provide expert answers to questions about a real, actual problem that you're facing. One symptom of a real, actual problem is that it is going to have some unique characteristics to it. Even if your problem is similar to someone else's, it should still have a couple differences that lead to a unique answer.

Real questions describe the problem, what you've tried to solve that problem so you don't get answers that state things you've tried already. They include code examples and error messages as well.

Imagine that in Stack Overflow's 4+ years of existence, someone may have already asked "Where can I find resources to learn Ruby on Rails?". This has likely also been asked and answered elsewhere. To locate this information, one only need to do a Google search to find numerous tutorials and recommendations from forums.

On Stack Overflow, these questions become problematic because of the following reasons:

  • They've been asked and answered already. This creates needless noise.

  • The information contained may actually become inaccurate as time passes. The best Stack Exchange questions are useful to future visitors for years to come.

  • Questions of this nature don't take advantage of the expert knowledge that exists here. Instead, it assumes Stack Exchange users are merely a proxy to finding knowledge elsewhere.

Instead, try some examples in a tutorial. When you get stuck, come back and see us. You'll then have code examples, information about what you tried, what error messages you're getting, and what you hoped the result would be.

Not only will you have a better understanding of the subject, but you'll be able to interact on a much deeper level with our community here, creating value not just for yourself but for future visitors for years to come!

Lastly, I want to point out something a lot of people new to a field don't realize: Just because you're new doesn't mean you can't create value in a technical community. By asking well-researched questions, you're actually helping to creating a lot of valuable content here! Without great questions, great answers cannot exist. Hope this helps! :)

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