Many questions on these forums are not technical and are about careers. Whether it be a question about the ethics of the work place or what one needs to do to get a job, etc.

Some of these posts are closed, but many are not because the mods feel they have some relevance.

My suggestion is that we have either

  1. A question-and-answer-based career forum which spans all sites, with a tag or button to qualify each question to a topic. Or,

  2. A qualification on the sites which enables users to ask non-technical questions that have a relation to the given site. It will be different than the exiting Community-Wiki option, because these posts will have a special place where users will have to go to, to see and post them. There may be a link in the users profile page which will bring them to a sub area that allows people to post topics which still relate but are not 100% technical. This way the main site is not filled with non technical questions and folks can still ask the opinion of the peers they respect.

1 Answer 1


Programming-related career questions tend to stay open. Career questions that have no relevance to programming apart from being asked by a programmer tend to be closed.

IMHO, this is fine. It's the same for questions on software tools, SEO, etc...

A lot of people seem to get hung up on career questions that are slightly programming-related but ask for discussion and/or anecdotes ("Get To Know You" questions) rather than anything resembling an objective answer. These might survive, if marked Community-Wiki... but only because voters tend to be more lax in closing inappropriate questions if they're marked CW. Strictly speaking, SO is not a forum, and these questions don't belong.

With that in mind, I don't see any good reason for either of your suggestions: SO doesn't need to become a forum, nor does it need a built-in "question ghetto" for off-topic questions. There are other sites that serve these needs.

See also:

  • You're right. But lets say a question like "Can you please look over my resume". Its not technical and really has no objective answer to anybody else, unless they wanted to use it as a template. While this is not a forum as you mentioned, the community in general is incredibly strong and its that community people may want to learn from. Sure we could go to a forum like the ones linked above, but you then don't have the community any more. Lots of managers and high up guys on these sites, whom are willing to help but really cant because the sites are very rigid.
    – user138304
    Nov 22, 2009 at 20:34
  • 1
    I understand the temptation. There are some very smart, talented people on SO, and they could probably solve many problems that have nothing to do with programming. But the fact that they're using SO indicates that they're looking to help with programming problems; even if their skills also include proof-reading, cooking or auto repair, allowing these questions on the site dilutes its purpose and in a way abuses the goodwill of community itself (think of friends or family who invite you over for dinner and then expect you to fix their computers...)
    – Shog9
    Nov 22, 2009 at 20:39

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