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How about a difficulty rating for questions?
Should we be adding tags like beginner to questions?

Would it be possible to get newbie's to automaticly have the newbie's tag added to there post if they notify at sign up that they are new at the language they are learning? I ask this as I am new to programming and have received much help with my projects but find it difficult to contribute to the SO as by the time I find a post I would be able to help with it is already answered by someone very overqualified to do so with a simple question. The only reason I ask this is to help new programmer to be able to follow the tag and contribute something back to SO.

Just an idea.


1 Answer 1


I would be against this. Meta-tags are evil.

The reason meta-tags are a problem is that they do not describe the content of the question. They describe some other aspect of the question, like the author’s skill level, or the author’s motivation for asking it, or generally what “kind” of question it is (poll, how-to, etc.).

First thing, how would it be automatic? The site cannot figure out if you are a programming newbie, even if you are new to SE.

Second thing, there would be no deterring the experienced people from answering these questions. SO is full of answer-competition, in every level of question--be it hard or easy. So you have to get used to this.

I'm an amateur programmer as well, and as such I stay away from SO. But I did get some excellent advice the other day on MSO chat--"ask more questions". If you're unable to answer any of the questions satisfactorily, then just keep asking questions--questions help the community too.

also, you can patrol the front page for new questions and pounce on the easy ones.. Though it's advisable that you remember to give a complete answer--don't get in a hurry and write a nub of an answer.

  • "how would it be automatic" the user would have to say they were a newbie at a certain language, be that at signup or in there user page then the tag could be added by the system.
    – UNECS
    Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 7:31
  • 1
    @unecs that sounds complicated. (1) we don't require signups. (2) i see no reason in forcing the user to enter their level of understanding (3) a user marking himself as a newbie won't be helped by this--the other newbies will. So why would a new user do that (4) not everyone likes to parade their incompetence (5) if you're talking about having a tag that says "simple answer please", the functionality is already covered since users can eneter that in a post. (6) Users can enter their newbieness in their profiles if they wish. Let's keep it at that and not make newbieness a system property. Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 7:40
  • Fair call question answer, although I wouldn't put it as parading incompetence. Even if that may be true ;-)
    – UNECS
    Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 7:43

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