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TLDR: due to ongoing issue of StackOverflow being unwelcoming/discouraging to beginners, why not just create a different forum?

I am extremely new to programming, very passionate about it and trying to work on a project in a professional environment for the first time, but I have limited time to do so as it is not my main job role.

I have no formal training outside of a 101 programming course from community college. I have some psuedo-mentors at work who I am learning from but they are by no means experts and I have limited time to interact with them during the day. I do not interact with them at all outside of work.

I spend my time googling and reading and researching, trying out various different codes, pouring over different possible solutions and doing my due diligence to answer my own questions before going to them. When they are not available, I come to StackOverflow. I am explicitly clear about how new I am, I am thorough in explaining my problem/question, I am polite and apologize for my ignorance and do my best to ingratiate myself to your users.

And I am still downvoted constantly and threatened with being banned from asking questions.

I dread every single time I have to go to StackOverflow now because apparently I'm on the verge of getting banned because people don't like my questions, and I just don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I just want to learn and not feel like trash for asking comparatively dumb or broad questions on occasion. Seeing a "reputation" score that keeps going down because I'm apparently not experienced enough to ask the right questions is not just discouraging, it's downright demoralizing.

I can't even ask this question on StackOverflow's meta area now because my latest post caused my reputation to go down again, after I spent over an HOUR writing and re-writing it and tailoring it to the standards of the community (I thought).

This is ridiculous. I just want to learn! It's no secret that this community has a problem with being unwelcoming and sometimes straight up hostile to beginners. I've never seen a community that is so brusque and discouraging toward people trying to get into a hobby/profession. You guys are programmers, not programs yourself. But I digress...

At this point, would it not be better to just have a separate forum for super-newbs that focuses on being welcoming, encouraging and thorough? A place where people who don't have very specific problems and are just trying to learn how to do something (and may not even know how to properly word what they need!) can post without feeling like a nuisance?

marked as duplicate by random discussion Dec 27 '18 at 0:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    Doesn't surprise me that this has been asked for a million times before. Ironically, none of the site's algorithms pulled any of these duplicate questions for me. – irisshootsface Dec 27 '18 at 0:25
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    Who is going to answer all these questions submitted by these "super newbs"? What good is a Stack Exchange community with unanswered questions? – Ramhound Dec 27 '18 at 7:25
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    why not just create a different forum? because we're not forums? – rene Dec 27 '18 at 9:52
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    How can a noob ask questions about "how to start with this cool stuff"? "It seems to be a common misconception that Stack Overflow is intended as the be all, end all of Programmer Information Sharing Resources. This is simply not the case." – Josh Caswell Dec 27 '18 at 16:55
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    "A place where people who don't have very specific problems and are just trying to learn how to do something (and may not even know how to properly word what they need!) can post without feeling like a nuisance?" Sounds like you want to enroll in a programming class. That's exactly the environment they foster. – Servy Dec 27 '18 at 18:42
  • @ramhound I keep seeing this argument used against this suggestion but it makes no logical sense to me. Why in the world would ONLY beginners use it??? It would clearly be a space for beginners to ask questions and for more experienced folk to answer them. Are you implying that there are no people out there that actually want to help teach new people? – irisshootsface Dec 27 '18 at 20:36
  • And based on what @rene said, I must be deeply misunderstanding the goal of this site. A forum is a place for discussion. To me, these sites are specialized forums where the topics are always questions and the discussion is clarification/answers. Is that not the case? – irisshootsface Dec 27 '18 at 20:37
  • And looking into what @JoshCaswell linked, I'm beginning to see that this is apparently not the case. That's a different beast in and of itself. Because the fact of the matter is, when people go to google and try to look for answers to their questions, 99/100 times a SO thread is going to show up. The site has been around for ages and has an established, experienced and active community. It's no wonder most people see it as a hub for answering their programming questions. If they can't find the answer to their question they see nothing wrong with asking their own. That's how I ended up here. – irisshootsface Dec 27 '18 at 20:41
  • At this point, the owners of the StackExchange family are in a prime position to create a new area for people like me. I don't want to venture so far as to say they have a responsibility to.. but its clear that there are plenty of people who misunderstand the purpose of StackOverflow and are being turned away at what appears to be the single most popular source of programming help on the internet. There's an opportunity here to help those that may not have a good mentor or can't afford a programming course but are interested in learning programming languages. – irisshootsface Dec 27 '18 at 20:45
  • @irisshootsface - If everybody uses the community how does it differ from the current community? Why can’t beginners use Stack Overflow? Stack Overflow welcomes questions from new programmers. It isn’t much to ask to provide the information required to answer those questions though – Ramhound Dec 27 '18 at 20:45
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    We never relate to them as forums but as Q and A sites because on Forums users tend to keep going on once a thread is started with hundreds of side-steps not related to the original topic. And a forum is in general open for anything, for all kind of questions. On SE we focus on content that is useful for future visitors. That means a lot of stuff is not acceptable on SE sites where it would be on a forum. To you it might seem a futile difference, for the community it is a vital and key difference that doesn't need to be underestimated. – rene Dec 27 '18 at 20:46
  • It's a long and ongoing struggle to help people who come to SO understand that it's not a traditional forum for back-and-forth discussion. Although in the site's defense, there is the tour: i.stack.imgur.com/1yb47.png One of the fundamental points here is that the "thread" should be able to help another person with the same problem. That tends not to happen when it's a mentoring session, because no one else is going to have exactly the same situation. It tends to happen when it's a clear, concise, well-focussed question about a very specific task. – Josh Caswell Dec 27 '18 at 20:48
  • I only see a single question you have asked that has received downvotes. The downvotes you earned from this question isn’t the reason you can’t submit a question at meta Stack Overflow. – Ramhound Dec 27 '18 at 20:49
  • @Ramhound I logged in today to suddenly having +15 reputation, when I first posted this, I had gone from 5 to 2 with my latest question. I have no idea how I even gained it, considering how downvoted this post is. – irisshootsface Dec 27 '18 at 21:03
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    "I usually struggle with understanding the answer and extrapolating that [...] or even identifying if the situation is similar to my own enough" This will become easier as you gain experience. In fact, for people with some experience, the specificity is invaluable, because it makes it easy to understand, extrapolate, and identify problem matches. The rambling archived forum threads where 12 people help the OP with 27 different problematic aspects of their code, none of which are present in my code, on the other hand, are immensely frustrating. This is the key to SO's success thus far. – Josh Caswell Dec 27 '18 at 21:19

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