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I have no idea if this is the place to discuss this, but here goes.

I am looking for opinions on what people would think about having a beginners tag or something else similar.

I am posting this from personal experience with this site in my effort to learn to code.

OK, so a little about myself. I started programming in VBA for a need to make Excel more powerful for my work related issues. This went well for many years and I got a good grasp of VBA. The help sites for Excel are wide and deep and most are your typical forum style where you can have a good back and forth to discuss your issue so as you can solve it.

That is when I decided that I wanted to learn C# in my spare time for fun, knowing full well that I will never ever really use it in the future. Initially, there is plenty of resources and being a member of Lynda.com I was able to make my first calculator. That was great, but then I tried to move into more difficult areas such as linking a UI to a DataBase and that is where things got really hard really fast. Doing as much research as I can 99% of the searches retrieve SO questions and documentation. Which can be very hard to understand when you have no experience, especially the formal documentation.

Great you say, well not really. Being that I did not know much of the technical jargon for what I was trying to do, so searching for an answer was almost impossible, but I plugged on.

The issue:

This is when I first started asking questions here, admittedly to the trained person, my questions were badly formed and hard to understand, but in my defense, this is b/c I had no formal training and I had no idea what I was doing, but I DID know what I needed and that was someone to show me what I was doing wrong. I have learnt quite a bit since then and I still ask questions where I am not sure if I have posted too much code or too little, but I can spend up to an hour forming a a question researching the correct terms to use in the question and to form a minimal code example so as someone can quickly and easily identify the issue. But, I must admit, I still don't know enough to know if that is what I am really doing.

Through all this, down votes where a given, not that bothers me me I am not here for rep, but to learn as I really do enjoy coding in my spare time. Also the comments were also a given read the documentation, all you want is the answer. In fact I had a discussion with a high rep user who literally accused me of just wanting code and to just go hire someone to do the work for me. (Which I really have to laugh at, since I am doing this in my spare time for fun and having someone just write code for me is just beyond ludicrous considering my motives for coding in C#)Unfortunately I can't find the comments in that discussion right now.

So to sum up my question, it would be really nice if there could be a beginers tag as it would help do the following:

  • Allow more experienced users to filter out questions they don't want to answer.
  • This would allow users to better pick and choose the answers they want to really focus on.
  • Allow a new user the benefit of the doubt when asking a question they might not know how to word correctly.
  • Allow other users to overlook the usual stance taken to a poorly formatted question, but give the new user the chance to observe the guidelines here without the usual backlash of harsh down votes.
  • And the final point of making the site a little more friendly to new users.

Now if my thoughts are way off, please do say so by posting an answer with your views. I understand the initial reason for starting this site, but argue that things are supposed to mature and change with the changing environment which I also think applies to SO. I am looking for constructive feed back to an issue that I have struggled with on this site from the get go, as this is the best I can do to sum up my feelings towards this. Looking forward to what people have to say.

closed as off-topic by Cai, Servy, Catija, ben is uǝq backwards, ale Apr 11 '17 at 15:14

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." – Servy, Catija, ale
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Special tagging for questions from students or beginners? – Cai Apr 11 '17 at 14:52
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    That would be considered a meta tag (not to be confused with meta-site tags) stackoverflow.blog/2010/08/07/the-death-of-meta-tags Those are generally seen as bad tags and something we actively try to avoid. – Bart Apr 11 '17 at 14:53
  • @Bart, I give up. Honestly, this site is so unkind to new users it is no joke. My frustration levels are off the chart. – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 14:57
  • Also, by here, do you mean MSE? – Journeyman Geek Apr 11 '17 at 14:58
  • @JourneymanGeek, SO. – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 14:58
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    @KyloRen If you don't like participating in a site that has quality standards, then you're in luck, almost every single programming Q/A site on the internet is for you. SO is one of very few sites out there that actually works to have quality content. It's success is a direct result of those efforts. If you prefer sites that don't have quality standards and rules to ensure they're upheld, then basically every other Q/A site you can find gives you what you want. Getting SO to drop its quality standards isn't the best way to find a Q/A site without quality standards. – Servy Apr 11 '17 at 14:59
  • @Servy, and congratulations for summing up this site like it is. This site has so many spin offs it has lost its identity, no wonder the top rep users participation has declined. – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 15:04
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    @KyloRen we're not unkind to new users, or at least don't actively try to be. The issue is that we're trying to be a quality site. As a result, we have to limit scope significantly. Does that mean that questions you can't ask on our sites are by definition bad questions? Certainly not. Are users with those questions bad? Not at all. We just don't offer the platform for them. If you can't find a site within the network which is appropriate for your questions (or those of beginning users), don't get frustrated. Find another site. We're not a one-size-fits-all solution, and never intended to be. – Bart Apr 11 '17 at 15:04
  • @Bart, for a place with this many sub-sites, you certainly could have fooled me. Are you saying there is no place for beginners here, when you have as many sub-sites as this site has? – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 15:08
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    If your question is specific to Stack Overflow, which it appears to be, you need to discuss this on SO you know that... you have 32 posts on Meta SFF... This is no different. – Catija Apr 11 '17 at 15:09
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    @KyloRen I can't speak for every site in the network. And it's not even so much "no beginners". There just is a quality threshold on every site within the network I know off, that might be a hurdle for the absolute newcomer. Even if we wanted, we can't be the site for everyone, certainly not if it means letting go of our quality constraints. We have a hard enough time keeping them up as it is. – Bart Apr 11 '17 at 15:11
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    Oh stackoverflow.blog/2010/08/07/the-death-of-meta-tags seems the tag was a thing. – Journeyman Geek Apr 11 '17 at 15:21
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    You need this in your life when you don't want ever use search: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/44188/… – random Apr 11 '17 at 16:04
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    I'm thinking this was your attempt to post a legitimate question; and your tone was much better that before. Therefore I'm refraining from downvoting. Kudos, since usually most people that start like you did don't make it this far, posting anything less ranty. However, the next prerequisite for asking something is looking for similar questions with a site/Google search, either here or on meta.SO. You're improving, and this post is a demonstration of that, but I hope it's not too late to learn. – M.A.R. Apr 11 '17 at 19:03
3

I've got little experience in Stack Overflow, but as a long time user on Super User.

It's worth remembering - that downvotes are for lack of research. It's less about the 'dumbness' of the question and more about how it's asked.

I admit asking good questions is an acquired skill, much like coding I suppose. It goes a long way when you show effort.

And it's worth remembering a newbie needs to understand the system well enough to know this tag gives him training wheels. And sometimes people are afraid to drop the training wheels.

Not to mention, experienced users can ask terrible questions too. I've had a few slightly embarrassing conversations in the past with mods about some bad questions I asked and were closed. (Then I ended up being one).

If you want to help newbies? Learn the system. Comment appropriately. Take the effort to edit appropriately. In a sense, rather than coddling them share what you have learnt so they can ask better questions.

  • So how do you ask a good question when you have exhausted your research and ability to implement what is available on line and you just need someone to explain it to you? I can't count how many times I have spent days on a problem, only to ask a question and the first comment is, do some research. – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 15:01
  • Depending on how important it is to you, there are various code mentorship programs online where you can have a more direct interaction with expert developers than the SE network offers @KyloRen. – Bart Apr 11 '17 at 15:06
  • @Bart, why did I not think of that. Should I mention I have been using codementor for nearly 8 months now. – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 15:10
  • If you feel it is somehow relevant to your question and improves it, go ahead. – Bart Apr 11 '17 at 15:12
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    You show what you have done. You let people know where you're stuck and what you've tried. If you show you have read the documentation, people can't say "RTFM noob" – Journeyman Geek Apr 11 '17 at 15:14
  • I don't follow? – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 15:15
  • Hit the enter button a moment too early. – Journeyman Geek Apr 11 '17 at 15:15
  • Of late my Q's have been better, but still struggling with what code is needed and what is not. But,I do consider myself beyond a beginner now as I have made a working MVVM application that is quite involved. Sorting out a few bugs with binding, but I can pretty much debug them myself . I am posting this question for future reference. But, as someone has already linked , the owner does not like the tag, so what chance do I have? I am out, everyone can down vote to their hearts content, I wanted a constructive discussion on this and this is what I have been given. – KyloRen Apr 11 '17 at 15:22

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