So say I have a problem I am dealing with and I have couple of approaches in mind. Am I allowed or encouraged to seek advice on approach on Stack Overflow?

Lately with some questions I believe it might not have been so. I work at a start-up wherein we are all learning new things everything so I try to ask questions even related to best practices which experts follow in the industry today.

Although I don't want specific discussion on a closed question, with a question like this (I admit question was a little verbose), I don't have lots of code to seek advice on as I am not seeking advice on where I am getting NullPointer etc. I just want to know the industry standard, if there are any tools or any steps which can help me avoid certain technical problem.

How should those questions be formed so that it still follows Stack Overflow guidelines. Again to stress, I am not inviting discussion on this closed item, just want to understand if I can seek solutions to such questions on SO. Thanks all

  • The FAQ does state under "What kind of questions should I not ask here?" that open-ended questions "diminish the usefulness of our site". As for the particular question you link to, I personally even have a hard time figuring out where and what the question is to be honest. – Bart Jul 18 '12 at 19:18

You need to change the focus of your question from

How do people usually Foo the Bar?


I have been trying {this} to Foo my Bar, but I've run into {a dire problem} with {lines of code in my Bar}. How do I Foo the Bar?

The first one seems like you've done little to no research effort beforehand, and the second sounds like you're stumped and just need a little push. If it sounds like you haven't put effort behind your question, why should I put effort into my answer?

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  • If there are multiple methods of Fooing the Bar, don't be afraid to try a couple and then post questions detailing your issues with each one. Somebody might notice that one of the methods might be sub-par and tell you, "You should totally drop that and try jQuery." Just make sure each question is specific. – Yawus Jul 18 '12 at 20:03

Short answer is "NO".

However, for the question you linked can be easily converted from "How can we solve all of worlds problem" to "How can I solve this specific problem".

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  • 2
    Exactly. Although your problem might be open-ended, your question does not have to be. It's often a matter of phrasing. – Bart Jul 18 '12 at 19:26

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