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As the team lead for a development (C#) team, I'm always looking for ways to improve my ability to manage the software development process. This might be software development methodologies, tools or other like-topics.

I'm finding it increasingly frustrating that even though a question might have a high number of views, votes and responses, my questions are still being closed as non-programming-related.

I feel that the community are becoming too hardlined about what constitues a programming question and the deletionists among them are driving StackOverflow too far toward a purist model at the exclusion of other programming-related disciplines.

My view is that Jeff Atwood has already conceded that these sorts of questions have merit (mine's not even supposed to be fun - it's a serious question about a legitimate issue). So how does one legitimise their place in the StackOverflow community?

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It's like the constant fight that goes on at Wikipedia, between hardliners who believe that only information found in a traditional encyclopedia should be included, and others that think every piece of information gathered ever, nomatter how small, should be included –  Mark Henderson Jan 11 '10 at 21:47
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Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/34564/… –  Jon Seigel Jan 11 '10 at 22:01
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@Farseeker: that is my (slightly sad) feeling too. Sad because it doesn't do WP any good... now admittedly the scope of SO (et al) is narrower, but I still am afraid it may damage the community of SO (et al) in the long run. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Jan 12 '10 at 0:40
    
Explicit knowledge is a great thing to have around, but tacit knowledge is, by very definition, difficult to accumulate, and SOFU is, I think, firmly in the Explicit knowledge camp. Too much tacit knowledge around will ultimately clog up the works. –  Mark Henderson Jan 12 '10 at 2:20
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If your question is ultimately about business and/or management, and is not really specific to software development, then it is likely to be closed as "not programming related". The example you posted is really about business more than it is about software.

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Truthfully, I think there are a couple of reasons why your question doesn't fit on SO:

  • It's not really programming-related: The crux of your question seems to be about interacting with a client, which is not something unique to the business of programming. It's something that must be dealt with throughout the business sphere.

  • It's subjective and discussion-y: SO is not meant to be a place for extended discussions or gathering opinions on subjective topics. It's not really designed for that. From the FAQ:

    Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered!

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Accusing people of Wikipedia deletionism is just name-calling.

There's a very simple catch-22 which explains why management questions just about never meet the requirements of the FAQ.

Management and leadership are all about people. People are far more complex and ambiguous than computer programs. If a question about people is worthwhile, it won't have a simple answer. If it has a simple answer, it's probably not a very interesting question.

When I see a question with 100 answers, my reaction is, 'Well, there's a waste. No one will ever be able to sort the wheat from the chaff in there.' The Management have made an exception for some witty and popular questions of this kind, but, as the old saw goes, the exception proves the rule because it is exceptional.

Maybe a site of this style would succeed with the topic of management. Maybe it would just turn into a parody of itself, reading like an endless succession of postings from Dilbert's boss.

Maybe if you ask the management, they will set one up.

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"People are far more complex and ambiguous than computer programs". Might explain why some programmers aren't very social? :P lol. –  Tyler Carter Jan 12 '10 at 3:25
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