Is there a reason for why https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/
is not mentioned in the stackoverflow FAQ? It seems highly relevant to me.

I suggest adding something like:

If your question is about algorithm or data structure concepts, it would be more appropriate to ask on programmers. Check out Choosing between Stack Overflow and Programmers Stack Exchange for more information.

And in the same realm, I think that the programmers.exchange FAQ passage about stackoverflow needs to be reworked.

If your question would be of interest to …

* Professional and enthusiast programmers, ask on Stack Overflow.

This doesn't make much sense to me. It implies that a proper question for programmers.stackexchange would not be of interest to professional and enthusiast programmers.

I suggest something like:

If your question is about how you can successfully code something, it would be more appropriate to ask on stackoverflow. Check out Choosing between Stack Overflow and Programmers Stack Exchange for more information.

  • 5
    I never know that Programmer covers algorithm. Current questions over there are quite bad, though.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 2:12

4 Answers 4


No I wouldn't like to send people to Programmers from Stack Overflow's FAQ until Programmers gets their site sorted out a bit more

As of the beginning of this year, the rate of questions Closed, Deleted, or Downvoted below 0 on Programmers is over 50%

Since having your question closed, deleted, or downvoted below 0 is never a pleasant experience, that means that roughly 50% of the people we send there are likely to have a bad experience.

Most of those are valid closures, but until Programmers gets their site's image and quality under control, I would not want to recommend users there unless it also comes with a very detailed explanation on what questions they accept, and I think that kind of content is too long for the SO FAQ.

Also, questions about algorithms or data structures are on topic for SO, so I think telling users to ask questions about "algorithm or data structure concepts" on another site is too confusing.

And about the section in Programmers FAQ that goes

If your question would be of interest to …

  • Professional and enthusiast programmers, ask on Stack Overflow.

I'm fairly sure that list is auto-generated from the migration target tag lines. I see the same thing on other SE sites, where the list contains the tag lines of all the migration targets. SO's tag line is "Professional and enthusiast programmers", so that is what gets inserted into the FAQ.

And last of all, I do think the Programmers FAQ should include something about how to choose between Programmers and Stack Overflow since Stack Overflow is so well known, and many users mistakenly post their code questions on Programmers. There is a well-received proposal suggesting this on their meta site, however I don't believe anything was ever done about it.


If your question is about algorithm or data structure concepts, it would be more appropriate to ask on programmers.

I don't think there's any harm in linking to Programmers for some stuff, but I'm not sure just saying "algorithm concepts" is a good idea. It's listed specifically in the SO faq as a valid topic. Also, in my experience, SO has better algorithm questions than Programmers.

Seriously, if I'm looking for something on algorithms(whether it's a specific implementation or concepts), I'll look at SO before programmers. The questions are better, the answers are better, and participation is better.

  • The keyword is "concepts". algorithm or data structure concepts was copied from the programmers.se FAQ. If I didn't care about respecting stackexchange's vision, I would definitely continue to ask conceptual questions on stackoverflow; but I do care. I assume their intention is to reduce the quantity of questions asked on stackoverflow, and segregate the two realms to help focus the attention of those who are most qualified/interested in each. I think that has merit; and I would like to help them succeed.
    – Honest Abe
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 5:40
  • 2
    Unfortunately, my experience is that many "concept" questions get closed on Programmers with little to no explanation. Maybe it's because "concept" crosses into the "if you can imagine an entire book..." restriction in people's minds. Or maybe they're just trigger-happy. I appreciate the assumption that I don't care about SO's future, BTW. My point was that SO simply has better information on the topic.
    – Geobits
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 12:58
  • I wasn't assuming that about you, so hopefully you were being sarcastic. I was agreeing with you in an unclear way. stackoverflow is currently the superior choice for getting a question answered, in terms of already existing answers, and population.
    – Honest Abe
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 14:29
  • Upon further contemplation (regarding the concepts passage) it might be more helpful to say something like: If "show what you've tried" simply doesn't apply...
    – Honest Abe
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 14:31
  • That might be a better fit, yeah. The main problem I see is that Programmers has what I see as a "fuzzy" scope. It overlaps in a lot of ways, so sometimes it's hard to figure out what goes where. Like I said, I agree that the FAQ could use a link, but the wording of it will be a tricky proposition.
    – Geobits
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 14:41

My experience on Stack Overflow tells me that the "professional and enthusiast" clause is fairly inapplicable. Many newbie questions are asked -- often the same one is asked more than once a day. The real question is whether or not this should change. I think not, as the persons who can answer the newbie questions would be more likely to be frequenting Stack Overflow.


If the Programmers SE is added to the StackOverlow FAQ I would suggest adding "Licensing" somewhere in the description.

Licensing is an issue that is very relevant to many programmers and is an accepted question in Programmers but not StackOverflow. So it's a very clear cut example of the difference between the two sites.

Something along the lines of

  • Code style, conceptual programming issues, or license questions , ask on Programmers SE
  • A lot of licensing questions are actually off-topic at Programmers, so I don't think adding a bullet point in SO's FAQ specifically about asking software licensing questions on Programmers is a good idea
    – Rachel
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 20:15
  • True, but a lot of code questions are off topic in StackOverflow. But the Programmers SE does seem to be open to License questions in some format and it's important for a lot of programmers. Commented May 15, 2013 at 20:17

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