Suppose I have no technical knowledge on a topic, and there is a Stack Exchange site for that topic. I want to gain knowledge on that topic. I have been in some sites for quite a few months. I know there are questions, not generally so basic. Moreover, if one is a beginner, he just can't build knowledge by just reading questions and answers. Is there some way, I can learn from a technical Stack Exchange site (say, Cryptography), given I have absolutely no technical knowledge on the subject, or are the sites not meant for this? Can we make some changes for this?

marked as duplicate by gnat, Ward, Robert Longson, Rob, Jenayah May 17 at 17:08

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    Well Cryptography actually accepts beginner questions, as long as they are well-written and not duplicates. It has questions ranging from so advanced that the answer is half MathJax and read like dense academic papers, to basic questions asking what a given construction is for and why it is used. – forest May 17 at 6:20
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    @forest, don't forget forest's answer regarding beginners. – Rob May 17 at 9:36

Not really. If you look at the tour of each site, it'll say

Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about programming.

Emphasis mine; note that it doesn't say something like "tutorial or introduction to every topic within the programming domain". It might be that some answers are written like a tutorial, or some questions & answers together form a decent introduction to a certain topic, but that's just a coincidence. It's just what it says on the tin; nothing more, nothing less.

Can we make some changes for this?

I fear that most changes which would be made to accommodate this would be counter-productive to (or at least distracting from) the main purpose of Stack Exchange. While it's a great network, it's just one of the few resources available on the Internet, each having their own place. If I need an introduction to a certain topic, I'm probably heading to Wikipedia; there are a few other sites I know that have decent tutorials (I usually just Google for examples/tutorials and filter the search results mentally).

  • Yeah,thanks for the answer. I am also currently on stack overflow, and I properly know the purpose of stack overflow ( there is no doubt on it!!) – Tojrah May 17 at 5:20

While @Glorfindel is correct as regards Stack Overflow, many of the smaller sites welcome beginners and students, so reading the Welcome page on the sites you are interested in will help you decide.

But if you just want to read and learn, all the sites are suitable - but I would advise searching Stack Exchange using Google or other internet search engines rather than the Stack Exchange one, as it isn't that effective.

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    Indeed; I think it is fair to say that questions should be previously researched (e.g., using Wikipedia, or clicking on and reading info linked after a Google search relating to your question), and indicate, if something you read is confusing, what it is that confuses you. Another way to research your question is to search the site you want to ask on using key terms applicable to your question. At any rate, as Rory indicates, stack-exchange sites are meant to be question-answer sites, not designed to provide tutoring in a subject. – Namaste May 17 at 14:08

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