11

I notice that when I get heavily involved in a project, I tend to ask many questions. Many of my questions are very basic by the standards of most. While I understand that newbie questions are okay, I often feel as though I'm spamming with unneeded questions. I do attempt to find a solution myself before asking. So I guess I'm basically asking: Is it bad to use Stack Overflow a lot?

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    You've asked two questions on SO...ever. Do you have another account? – Servy May 22 '13 at 16:36
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    Research. Google is your friend, as is SO's wonderful tag search. If you are sure to fully research your questions before posting, then no, there is no 'too much'. – Richard J. Ross III May 22 '13 at 16:36
  • @Servy either that, or deleted questions... shudder. – Richard J. Ross III May 22 '13 at 16:36
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    @RichardJ.RossIII If there are a bunch of deleted question that that would be a big red flag that something is wrong here. – Servy May 22 '13 at 16:37
  • @Servy: That voting ring.... – Linuxios May 22 '13 at 16:53
  • @Servy no just those two, but they were both today! – Raiden Worley May 22 '13 at 17:29
  • There was a perfect question on this topic: "You know you've been browsing Stack Overflow too much when ...". It was censored and deleted from here god knows why! – Tomas Jun 9 '13 at 14:48
  • I must admit I see the same effect for me :-) Spend a lot of time asking question to find perfect solution when you already have implemented some workaround :-). When you go to Meta to ask question like this, it is probably a sign you are on SO too much :) – Tomas Jun 9 '13 at 14:52
31

It is possible to ask too many questions, as far as the site is concerned. I recommend starting to ask the question and not submitting it. This will have three benefits:

  • first, once the whole question is written out, the list (above your text) of possibly related questions will be filled with things that might help you. Open some of those in a new tab and you have a good chance at an instant answer
  • second, the act of writing it out may lead you to the answer. (Sometimes this is called rubber duck debugging.)
  • third, giving yourself a limited timebox to tackle the problem again after writing it out may improve your mood (you're not embarking on an endless search or debugging session, you're just going to take 5 minutes) which will actually raise your chances of solving it

After 5 minutes, go back and click submit.

Pretty much everything on SO is rate limited, partly to minimize problems by people on a rampage and partly to tell us all "go do something else now!" Answering, voting, flagging, suggesting edits, reviewing - you name it. And yet something keeps us doing it. It is most definitely possible to use SO too much. Try not to, for your own sake.

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    Yes, I did answer this question after hitting the rep cap, thus proving my own point – Kate Gregory May 22 '13 at 16:37
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    Here, have some non-reputation. It's on the house! – Richard J. Ross III May 22 '13 at 16:39
10

If you are asking good questions receiving upvotes and not being closed, then you're doing just fine. If many of your questions are downvoted or closed as duplicate, you're not. It's that simple.

We have a 50 / month cap and a 6 / day cap. I've hit 6 / day when working through Crockford's Javascript book and some intro Node, partly because it's a new enough technology that a lot of pretty basic questions aren't covered here. But for the most part people only hit those limits when they ask many bad questions.

9

Consider asking yourself a few questions before you post:

  1. Am I asking others to do something I could do for myself?
  2. Does this question have the potential to help others?
  3. Do my questions show a progression of self-improvement?

If you can answer "No, Yes, Yes", the SO community has proven that it is willing to answer as many questions as you post (within the before-mentioned administrative rate limits).

8

To answer your question (Can one use Stack Overflow too much?) quite literally...

Yes:

See also: Too Many Requests

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    Lol, +1 for "quite literally" :P – Doorknob Jun 6 '13 at 0:08
4

Yes, that is why there is a question limit. If you find yourself hitting that limit, you're asking too many questions. Otherwise, don't worry about it, so long as you're asking good questions.

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    With two questions asked, I think he has still room for a few more until he reaches the limit :) – Daniel Daranas May 22 '13 at 16:48
2

As long as your questions are not getting downvoted, closed, or deleted, then you're asking the right type of question for the site.

So no, I don't think you can ask too many questions. But you always want to make sure you're asking questions whose first result on Google isn't a link to stackoverflow with the answer to the question you're asking.

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