I was wondering if it's OK for me to flag questions regarding tutorials? IMHO, there is no need to ask questions about a tutorial on SO, they should be directed towards the provider of the tutorial, or the community around it. The reason I think this is that 99% of the time, the questions have nothing to do with programming in the relevant language, and are way too specific to be helpful to future visitors.

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    Are they valid questions about the tutorial? Is the person learning and do they have a problem, is the tutorial wrong and the person is asking, or are these questions about finding tutorials? The first one is fine, the second probably is, the third, please flag. Jan 7, 2014 at 0:11
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    Re your last sentence, can you make an example?
    – Pekka
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:17

2 Answers 2


IMHO, there is no need to ask questions about a tutorial on SO

There are plenty of valid questions inspired by tutorials. If it's a good programming question, it is fine to ask on SO, no matter what triggered it.

However, those questions need to follow the same rules as any other question on SO. They need to

  • have merit on their own. Would the question be a valid programming question if it didn't come from a tutorial?

  • be self-contained. They must contain all the relevant information without having to read/visit the tutorial.

  • demonstrate a basic understanding of the problem. A wall of code followed by "this code doesn't work" is never a good fit for Stack Overflow.

Questions asking for tutorials on a certain topic are always off-topic.

  • I must admit - I'm never sure how to flag these types of questions myself. Which off-topic flag would you choose? May 17, 2016 at 9:53
  • You mean questions asking for tutorials? Those usually fall straight under Questions asking us to recommend or find a book, tool, software library, tutorial or other off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow...
    – Pekka
    May 17, 2016 at 9:56
  • Thanks - though I meant questions asking to explain how a piece of code works - like this one .stackoverflow.com/questions/37254559/… I realize that it has been flagged as too broad, but I'm not sure that this fits. May 17, 2016 at 9:59
  • @David yeah, the list of close reasons definitely leaves to be desired. I tend to use "too broad", too, in the absence of alternatives
    – Pekka
    May 17, 2016 at 10:32
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    Agreed. Thanks for your time. May 17, 2016 at 10:33

If it is a question asking for a tutorial, flag it as this

Questions asking us to recommend or find a tool, library or favorite off-site resource are off-topic for Stack Overflow as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, describe the problem and what has been done so far to solve it.

However, if it is a specific question asking for help with the tutorial, then it may or may not be on topic. You'll have to use your good judgment with that


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