A huge part of me thinks this is a great community to learn from and ask questions.

However when ever I want to go try and help someone I feel like it is all over my head and I have a hard time reading through answers to understand it.

I am a college student going for a bachelors in Computer Science and I feel like everyone here has a much deeper and broader understanding of everything that I could possibly think of.

I go to a specific community with the mind set thinking "Lets see if I can use any of the knowledge I have learned to help someone out." and there is nothing I can answer...yet there seems to be a users who knows a lot about a specific topic and can ask much better questions (or counter questions) than I ever could.

I'm just curious about the general knowledge of the community here and their experience.

closed as off-topic by Servy, ale, Patrick Hofman, Ward, rene Oct 26 '16 at 19:48

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question pertains only to a specific site in the Stack Exchange Network. Questions on Meta Stack Exchange should pertain to our network or software that drives it as a whole, within the guidelines defined in the help center. You should ask this question on the meta site where your concern originated." – Patrick Hofman, Ward, rene
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 7
    Which site are you referring to? This is meta.SE, and people active in most other sites frequent here. For instance, I'm a chemistry enthusiast from chem.SE, while the majority of the users here are programmers from Stack Overflow, the biggest site of the network. – M.A.R. Oct 26 '16 at 18:31
  • I was confused why my tags were missing for a sec :P I guess I misinterpretated the meta tag for stack exchange, I thought it was for general site questions. But I was trying to speak in a general sense. – Steven Oct 26 '16 at 18:35
  • 5
    Just in case you're unaware: this is the global Meta Stack Exchange, but there are also individual Metas for each Stack Exchange site, such as Meta Stack Overflow. If you want to understand the scope of an individual site, its meta is one of the best places to look. – Jeremy Banks Oct 26 '16 at 18:48

In general, Stack Exchange sites require that you have a fundamental understanding of your craft.

Students and hobbyists are welcome, but they do need to know enough about the subject matter to speak intelligently about their topic and have the capacity to understand the answers we give them.

As an example, it's difficult to ask (or answer) a question about valence on the Chemistry site if you don't know what an orbital is.


Stack Exchange is not only for professionals, but we do require professional behaviour. The tour page of most sites gives you an indication who the site is aimed at. Some communities are split between a 'professional' and a 'student' site, e.g.

On the other hand, Stack Overflow is frequented by professionals (like myself) and hobbyists (like myself) alike.

  • Thanks for the input! So in general I should avoid the overflow page? Unless I am purposely going their for a higher level of knowledge than what I may found in the student side? – Steven Oct 26 '16 at 18:37
  • If you're talking about MathOverflow, yes. Their tour page states: MathOverflow is a question and answer site for professional mathematicians. – Glorfindel Oct 26 '16 at 18:40

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