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What type of questions are the most welcome in SO community? Which at most contribute to its growth?

Of course the questions should be constructive and clear, so I'd focus only on that ones. So, I've identified 3 main groups:

  1. Basic, learners questions - this are asked, when someone learns to use some technology. This are basic questions like 'how to do x in y', or more general, what is the way of doing something in language/technology/framework z.

  2. Hacky questions - generally the questions about hacks (the ways to simplify life). This are all questions about what library has the functionality X, which code would make Y (samples), how to make Z better.

  3. Expert questions - those are asked by advanced users, who are going above this what is provided by technology/framework. They got errors coming from using undocumented API or using the framework in the way that the developers didn't even imagine, or want to write own expansions.

While the first thought would be that the most valuable are questions from third group, and the less valuable the first, from my experience it looks different. When I was learning something, jQuery for example, I was asking basic questions that were upvoted, or I was playing with answers to existing questions trying to improve them or provide other way of doing something. One of such answers: jQuery: how to add <li> in an existing <ul>? which was only a play brings me more reputation than most of the other old questions and answers.

The second group are the questions which I still find usefull and ask them. In Java world the rule is, that if you want to write something generic, there's high probobility it was already written.

The third group, however, is for me, as yet, a great dissapointment. Many of my questions are for months not answered, even the question about Spring and JSF integration How to use Spring services in JSF-managed beans? gains minimal audience. One of my questions was even closed as unconstructive. Is the asking questions with little chance to be answered unconstructive? I've developed the solution in one day anyway, but nobody seems to be interested.

So, what questions should be asked here? Should we ask expert, hard questions, which gain almost no audience and usually are not answered? Or only simple questions, that quickly gain answers, are rewarded with reputation and attract visitors to the site?

I'm not for reputation, however I'm happy with it. I'm only afraid that too specific questions with no answers (or answers that are not working) would be considered the trash for the community.

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Just because a question is on an advanced topic in a narrow programming field doesn't mean it's a good question. You can ask a very good question about a complex involved, narrow topic, and you can ask a bad question about the same thing. Good questions tend to be rewarded, regardless of the skill level. –  Servy Dec 20 '12 at 18:32
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reference reading: The Trouble With Popularity "...Popularity is a tough thing. I’m tempted to call it a curse, but what we try to do at Stack Exchange is make sure that questions and answers are popular for the right reasons..." –  gnat Dec 20 '12 at 18:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are few point I would like to cover here, whatever type of question it may be, example a newbie, or pro all are welcomed and will gain attention if you follow a proper approach...

  • Search the answer before you ask a question (So that your question will not be closed as duplicate)
  • Be sure your question is SHORT, WELL FORMATTED, ON THE POINT (So that your question will not be closed for low quality)
  • See if you can provide references like demo, or reference links (This really helps other users)
  • Now it's a Programmer's community so the very first thing they will ask here is for a piece of code so be ready with that or else face some comments like What have you tried
  • Tag it appropriately (Will fetch you good answers)

Follow the above points and your question will be answered, than whatever it may be a beginner question or a pro one...

JUST ASK WHAT YOU WANT TO...JUST DON'T ASK FOR THE SAKE OF GAINING REPUTATION AND VIEWS

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Ask all of those kinds of questions, they're all welcome here. The dynamics of voting just skew the upvotes for easier questions.

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You can ask any question as long as it fits within this: http://meta.stackoverflow.com/faq

If your question hasn't got enough attention you can set a bounty on it to get it displayed on Featured Tab for one week.

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