How many times do I see the true value of coming to stackoverflow only to ask a beginner question or something I am new at and literally get run off the site by rude and hostile users.

There needs to be a beginners section for popular topics based on the users rep score and those with higher rep scores get more points for answering a beginners question or by simply putting a link to the right direction. The section could even have a library of common responses that higher rep individuals have access to and get more points for addressing the noobs. Something to that effect.

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    I second your thought ! Look how were you downvoted for asking this in meta itself !
    – AllTooSir
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:14
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    @TheNewIdiot voting works differently in meta, it states agreement and disagreement and not usefulness or lack of. I downvoted because I disagree a different 'beginner section' is a good idea. Not because I find OP's question badly phrased. Moreover, I'm pretty sure this was suggested before, but I can't find the dupe. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:16
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    I don't think anyone can deny that the community is pretty hostile for beginners. But at the same time, nobody has the patience to deal with all the low quality questions that pour in by the thousands every day.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:23
  • Beginners not necessarily have much idea on how to use the site. I don't agree with the idea of a beginner section, but while answering and before down voting a question from a new user, give the consideration that the one who asked the question is new to the site and at least give him the instructions to be followed while asking next question. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:23
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    There's nothing wrong with beginner questions, and I don't think I see people being treated poorly just for asking "simple" questions very often. The haterade starts getting poured out when people ask bad, low-quality questions, and are generally either ignorant of the rules and procedures here and/or hostile to well-meaning attempts to advise them of the same. I think it's all but merited in those cases. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:27
  • I'm in ban. I wish I knew how I could vote you up, guy. It does need like a little academy or so section! And as no English-speaker I llove translating this SE blog blog.stackoverflow.com/2012/08/… . It seems like describing the situation around.
    – Xsi
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:34
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    @HarikrishnanT: Beginners already get instructions to follow before they can ask a question. If they don't read it the first time, why do you think they'd read it a second time?
    – Jon Skeet
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:35
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    any beginner should start off with google and own research
    – user221081
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:37
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    Situation is completely opposite for guys like me. I've been a member for an year, trying to help everyone where I can, but from around past 3-4 months, the site's totally overwhelmed by completely in-eligible questions (with upvotes !!). I no longer have time to go through, 40-50 posts of what is this !! it doesn't work !! help !! code samples!! tutorials !! BS, to find that one question where the OP actually knows what he's talking about. There's about 60k close reviews piled up. I don't even bother anymore.
    – user117
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:39
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    possible duplicate of Propose Newbie-Overflow site or section or even There should be a section for less or inexperienced programmers of only some days ago. Please do your research, even on Meta SO.
    – Bart
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 7:41
  • @Mysticial I see your point, but does it take more time to craft a rude response or to just ignore it? There will always be people willing to help the newcomers. If it bothers you, move on. We all started somewhere. (On top of that, being just one step ahead of a beginner myself, I'd love some questions that are easy enough for me to answer!) Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 19:48
  • @thumbtackthief Oh, myself, I'm not bothered by all the crap that pours in. I just ignore them. I don't comment or post. But there are plenty of other users who will take it out on the unsuspecting new users - in the form of nasty comments.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 19:52
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    I also want to stress the point that "easy" and "low quality" are perpendicular concepts. An easy question is not necessarily low quality, and not all hard questions are of high quality.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


Two general things first:

Newbies need to remember to always do their homework. Stack Overflow can not replace basic learning. If you know nothing about a specific practice, you need to read up on it first, be it in a book or a tutorial. If you haven't, and know nothing about what you want to achieve, you are wasting people's time. Remember, this site consists of professionals who donate their spare time, not paid teachers.

always remember to Google first. This is doable even when you're new. A huge portion of newbie questions can be answered without any interaction with Stack Overflow by simply entering the question into Google. This is what is expected even from newbies.

Regarding the specific points:

There needs to be a beginners section for popular topics based on the users rep score

That's been discussed before. The consensus so far is that that section would become a wasteland where the truly garbage questions are mixed with the good-faith, potentially useful beginner ones. Not a good outlook for getting an answer. Also, rep score isn't necessarily an indicator of question quality.

and those with higher rep scores get more points for answering a beginners question

Please no. This would lead to people gaming their way into high reputation numbers by answering only loads of trivial questions. It's a phenomenon that is already rampant.

or by simply putting a link to the right direction.

I wholeheartedly agree with that, and the community does, too. Sadly, it doesn't look like it's going to be implemented. See Give an incentive for finding duplicate questions

The section could even have a library of common responses

Some tag wikis do that, for example the PHP tag. Feel free to join the fun if you have useful information to add to a wiki.

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    I guess my biggest problem with the general feeling behind a question like this is that I, personally, knew generally how to ask at least the beginnings of a good technical question long before Stack Overflow even existed. Before you bothered someone more experienced - or delved into the Abyss that was/is "forums", you spent lots of effort, and once you asked for help, you shared the fruits of that effort as part of your question. Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 15:04

Consider this behavior as a learning experience.

If you are treated "rudely" (that is downvoted / asked what have you done?) it just means that you haven't learned the rules of the game yet.

Search the web (and SO in particular), make some effort to write your own code, and concisely ask a specific question. Every one of us has probably been there before with <10 reputation points, and we all learned very quickly to be efficient, concise, and not waste the time of good people who volunteer sharing their knowledge for making the world a better place (while gaining virtual reputation points).

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