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For the past couple of days I have been noticing an increment on questions that just ask for code. I think that it will beneficial for the community if there was a flag category (probably available to users with high reputation(10k+)) that will allow immediate removal of such questions. When the question is removed a message should be displayed to the original poster explaining that SO is not an avenue to get code.

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    That's what the 'minimal understanding' flag is for. I also leave a comment (using the AutoComments extension makes this easy) to explain that asking for code is usually not going to work. – Martijn Pieters Dec 10 '13 at 16:04
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    My standard comment: It looks like you want us to write some code for you. While many users are willing to produce code for a coder in distress, they usually only help when the poster has already tried to solve the problem on their own. A good way to demonstrate this effort is to include the code you've written so far, example input (if there is any), the expected output, and the output you actually get (console output, stack traces, compiler errors - whatever is applicable). The more detail you provide, the more answers you are likely to receive. – Martijn Pieters Dec 10 '13 at 16:04
  • The advantage is that I can customize the comment to tailor to the question at hand. – Martijn Pieters Dec 10 '13 at 16:05
  • Maybe it is not a flag, but a button high rep users can click – Emmanuel Dec 10 '13 at 16:05
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    I see no need to insta-nuke such questions. That is what closure is for. I am all for giving new users the benefit of the doubt too, give them a chance to improve their question. – Martijn Pieters Dec 10 '13 at 16:05
  • but how will a user improve a question that just asks us to give them code? – Emmanuel Dec 10 '13 at 16:08
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    By showing us what they have tried so far. If they haven't tried anything yet, the question will get put on hold. – Martijn Pieters Dec 10 '13 at 16:11
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But it is an avenue to get code. Almost all answers contain code. It's not an avenue to get a lot of code written from scratch. Questions that want that should qualify for being put on hold as not demonstrating minimal understanding, and shouldn't be insta-deleted, because it's possible that with prompting the user can learn what is expected of them, add some information, and end up with a useful question.

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    I agree that SO is an avenue to code after some effort is shown, but what I mean is just for answers that directly ask for code, like you can tell it is for some sort of homework problem or just someone being lazy. I really think that nobody really benefits for questions that flat out ask for code. These get deleted after the voting process if they get enough closing votes; why wait? That is why I said the user should be prompted that SO is not an avenue to get code with no effort (we are not here to do your homework or your job for that matter). – Emmanuel Dec 10 '13 at 16:20
  • some are deleted. Some are improved. Hang out in the reopen queue and you will see people trying to learn how things work here. I think that should be encouraged. – Kate Gregory Dec 10 '13 at 16:46
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I suspect that asking a "gimme da codez" question is one of the first interactions most of these coders will have had with SO. As such, responding with "go away. We don't serve your kind here" is counterproductive. We should be trying to teach these people the right way to use SO rather than drive them away. Now, maybe you can put together an automatic message that says "fix this and try again - this is how" more than it says "welcome to the failboat, population you" but that's not what first springs to my mind as the likely experience from instadeletion with a canned message. Even if you only manage to get 10% of the people who ask these questions to come around to the right way of doing things, it's a significant win, and worth some extra hassle winnowing them out from the rest who are hopeless.

  • I agree with the automatic message, but if we are still seeing people asking these type of questions it is because they are clearly not taking the time needed to even read the rules. Look at this comment for example stackoverflow.com/questions/20172595/android-login-screen/… – Emmanuel Dec 10 '13 at 16:48
  • You're right. They're not bothering to read the rules. I'd suspect that people who bother to read the rules and pay attention to them also tend to write pretty good questions first time out. This doesn't change the practical implications of various techniques with respect to trying to turn them into productive SO members, however. – Ben Barden Dec 10 '13 at 16:51

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