Having read through this topic about spoon feeding answers it seems to be ok to not just hand people code that solves their problem and instead try and point them in the right direction and give them ideas so they can work it out for themselves.

Giving them ideas was what I was trying to do on this question. However when they responded asking me to write their code for them I lost interest. Now a bounty has been put on the question with what seems to be the intent of attracting people to just write their code for them.

Now obviously they have earnt the reputation to be able to give bounties, and they have been using the site longer than I have and may just understand it's purpose better, but I feel like this isn't really a correct use of either the site or the bounty system.

So my questions are:

  1. Is it ok to use bounties to attract more people to your question just so you get your code written for you in the 'give them a fish' manner?
  2. If not, can this/should this be discouraged in any way?
  3. If it is ok, would it be better in situations like this for me to remove my answer which clearly doesn't answer the question in the way they are looking for?

I tend to be very lenient on questions where a good answer inherently requires writing a lot of code, or doing a lot of research, and a considerable bounty is offered for the answerer's troubles. SO is not a code writing service but we all know there are grey areas. I have started similar bounties myself a few times when I needed something, and didn't have the time to research it in depth.

However, in this case, starting a bounty just to get someone to write the code for the OP when there already is a complete "teaching to fish" solution present is blatantly not okay. It'll get a downvote from me. I'm not sure whether anything else can be done about it, though - I guess if the OP manages to find someone dumb enough to do his job for him in exchange for a few Internet Dollars, that's the way it is.

  • 3
    And on an entirely subjective note - 50 points is really measly for a 5k rep user. – Pekka Nov 30 '11 at 12:17
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    A free market. If there is someone willing, who am I to argue. – Goran Jovic Nov 30 '11 at 12:39

I think this may need to be readdressed. I not sure how common the problem was in 2011, but now in 2013 it seems a bit rampant.

Considering that now we have specific close reasons like:

Questions concerning problems with code you've written must describe the specific problem — and include valid code to reproduce it — in the question itself. See SSCCE.org for guidance.


Questions asking for code must demonstrate a minimal understanding of the problem being solved. Include attempted solutions, why they didn't work, and the expected results. See also: Stack Overflow question checklist

I'm thinking that many of the questions I'm seeing with bounties should have been closed.

To be more specific I'm talking about questions like:

"I have this IMAGE and these specifications, how do I build it?"

"How do I recreate this part of this site? LINK"

To more directly answer the question:

I think bounty questions should be held to the same standard as any question.

"Give me a fish" or "Gimme teh codez" questions are bad for the site in general, but may be even worse when a bounty is placed on them and they draw a lot of attention and answers.

These questions should have been closed before they were even eligible for a bounty, with a bounty it is even more important to close them.

Related: Allow users to vote to close bountied questions

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