I see many people asking questions on Stack Overflow about the best training courses/materials/tutorials/books/... to learn a particular technology. Here's an example which got closed as not constructive:

What online JavaScript programming courses are available, beginner or advanced, paid or unpaid?

I just wanted to hear what is the general opinion about those kind of questions.

  • Off-Topic
  • On-Topic on some other Stack Exchange site (in this case which?)
  • Not constructive
  • ... all the other close reasons you can think of

Or should they remain open? Should answers be tolerated and questions remain as future reference? I am asking this because I have seen both behaviors even if recently those questions are less tolerated than back in the early days of Stack Overflow.

  • Would this be better on Programmers.SE?
    – gen_Eric
    Jan 9, 2012 at 22:59
  • @Rocket, good point. I have updated my question to take it into account. Jan 9, 2012 at 23:00
  • @Rocket Not the question OP linked to, that would get closed anywhere.
    – yannis
    Jan 9, 2012 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


Considering that each time a new resource is available the existing answers should be edited, or a new answer should be added, I would say they are not constructive. That is not for the fact such questions solicit debate, but for the fact they are not a good fit for the Q&A format used from Stack Exchange site.

As with other questions about available resources, the answers tend to just report a link to the resource, or any other data useful to identify the resource (e.g. the title of the course); they don't normally compare a resource with another, to identify the reason why the OP is suggesting a resource instead of another one. If they contain that information, then the answers are probably subjective, as there isn't an objective way to quantify what resource is preferable. If the user who asked the question made it very specific, then it could be possible to define which resource is better. In that case, it is also probable the question is too specific for help the future readers, which can be said also in the case the answer contains just the data useful for identifying the resource. Future readers would just find references to resources, and they should verify which one better suits their usage.

Another objection to those questions is that, generally, they don't seem to be asked because a real problem. To make a comparison, those questions sound like asking a list of car models because somebody wants to buy a new car.

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