I ended up posting my question on Software Engineering.

Original question:

I am trying to find a solution to an automation problem. I'm trying to make their life easier, to make sure they do not need to keep track of many things,

But since there is not very much code involved in my actual question, it is mostly process based, I am not sure if I can post it on Stack Overflow.

I read the SO help page where they tell you when a question is good and when it's bad, but I'm still not sure. Mostly since I have a specific problem, and need a specific solution, and because it is a solution I need to implement in my software.

In general, it could be seen as not a question about software. So I could ask the question not even mentioning software/code and probably still get a solution. Though if I would ask the question, I'd probably make sure people understand it's meant as a solution for software.

So my question here is: where can I ask such a question?

Is it okay if I post it on SO or a SE?, or should I try it and remove it when it gets downvoted? (I am hoping to not get question banned.)


Here is a draft of the question I want to post.

Title: How to automatically calculate the norm for users

Body: I'm creating a time registration application for employees where they can register their hours.

I want to show the users their "norm" (not sure if this is an actual word or just made up by my company). The norm is basically the amount of hours someone has to work in a week.

For each week in a year I have to show this "norm".

When someone has a 38 hour contract their norm for a normal week would be 38. Someone with 32 hours has a norm of 32. etc. etc.

Administrators can register "closed days", this means the company is closed for a specific day (national day off or whatever). This closed day counts for all users. As an example, let’s say this closed day is at week 30 on a Monday and the user has a 38 hour contract.

The norm in week 30 should be 30.4 for this user. Since the user works 5 days in a week, 38 / 5 = 7.6 and 38 - 7.6 = 30.4.

In reality the user works 8 hours a day instead of 7.6, meaning that they bill +2 hours a week as extra hours, in case they need a day off without using it’s holiday hours (regardless of whether that is a good practice or not). This means the user would work 32 hours this week (+1.6). This is good.

If employees (users) always work 5 days a week, no matter how many contract hours, calculating the norm would be easy. Just do the contract hours / 5 and subtract that from the contract hours, like I did above, and your done.

But here comes the problem.

Let’s say an employee has a 32 hour contract and is always free on Wednesday, working 4 days. What will now be the norm if on Monday the business is closed?

Now I know the answer is 24, but how does my system know this? Because what happens if the closed day is on Wednesday? Then the hours should be 32. For the system to know this he needs to know on which day people are free and how many hours they work each day. But this data will vary often and therefore makes maintaining it a lot of work.

Currently I just made the system always write the norm the same as the contract hours and added that administrators are able to change the norm for each week. Currently we have around 40 employee's using the time registration and about 6 closed days each year. Which means that each year we have to change the norm for 40 people 6 times. This takes less time than the above solution, but it still is time-consuming which I would like to automate.

Is there a way to do this automatically or make it less time-consuming?

Extra example, what if a user works like this:

Contract hours: 16

  • Mon: 4 hours | Normally 4, but today is free since it’s a closed day.
  • Tue: 4 hours
  • Wed: free
  • Thu: 6 hours
  • Fri: 2 hours

It’s really hard to tell what the norm should be now. I know it’s 12, but how does the system know, without doing a lot of handwork for each employee?

I want it to be as automated as possible, but I'm not sure if this is actually possible.

My idea of a solution is that it has something to do with different calculations. Right now to calculate we manually do: (contract hours - days you work a week = A, contract hours - A = norm), maybe there could be an entire different calculation that does not depend on a variable thing like work days. Something more static.

It kind of became the whole question, instead of a draft, but I have to say that I'm a little bad in explaining things in a simple and clear way without making it too big.

  • 1
    You could try to post a draft of your question here so we can get the idea of it, because currently it feels rather opinion based which wouldn't fly on any stack...
    – Tomerikoo
    Oct 11, 2021 at 14:24
  • @Tomerikoo Oof, okey. I must say that I didn't watch my time. In 5 min the office closes here. So I will make an edit probably later today or tomorrow. Since I do not have time to write my question down.
    – Allart
    Oct 11, 2021 at 14:25
  • 8
    Just posting it, and deleting when you get downvotes is definitely the worst choice.
    – Luuklag
    Oct 11, 2021 at 14:28
  • Probably ux.stackexchange.com but I think we need more clarification to be sure
    – Mohammad
    Oct 11, 2021 at 16:52
  • 1
    @Tomerikoo I Edited my question. Hope it clarifies things and did not make it too big...
    – Allart
    Oct 11, 2021 at 16:58
  • 1
    That whole question seems a bit broad for our format and might solicit opinions instead of answers.
    – rene
    Oct 11, 2021 at 17:41
  • @rene Well, then at least answer if it is possible on stackoverflow. Also I think my question is not that broad, I just want to know where I can ask this. Or are you talking about the question in my edit?
    – Allart
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:10
  • I'm talking about the question you're about to ask / seeking a site for
    – rene
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:12
  • @rene Yeah, I think its not a broad question :)
    – Allart
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:48
  • Well this is an X-Y problem I think. Our company faces the same things and fixes that in a far simpler way.
    – Luuklag
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:51
  • 1
    But as rene said, I don't think this fits on any of the current sites we have.
    – Luuklag
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:56
  • @Luuklag I thought the same, every company must have the issue I have right? Im very interrested to hear what your company does, if possible.
    – Allart
    Oct 12, 2021 at 5:44
  • @Luuklag Does that also mean there will not be answers about other options I can do? Like about sites outside SO/SE? Will my question ever get answered this way?
    – Allart
    Oct 12, 2021 at 8:56
  • Well you could try places like reddit or quora I think.
    – Luuklag
    Oct 12, 2021 at 8:57
  • 1
    @Allart you can find me in the Tavern a lot of times: chat.meta.stackexchange.com/rooms/89/tavern-on-the-meta
    – Luuklag
    Oct 12, 2021 at 10:48

2 Answers 2


Where do I ask: "I'm creating a time registration application for employees where they can register their hours, how do I automaticly calculate the norm for users?":

The question "Which computer science / programming Stack Exchange sites do I post on?" offers too many suggestions for such a specific question, and misses a few great options:

You could ask this question on:

It wouldn't be appreciated on Super User: "Spreadsheet, PHP Script, or Linux program for employee shift scheduling", or our "Project Management" sites, since it's off-topic.


You have a really nice design specification.

The problem is, though, it's literally "these are all the things I need for a program" rather than the program, and honestly having worked with a few of these systems before as an end user, quite a few of these problems are unsolved, even by big commercial software.

If you were writing this software, each of this is a bit of business logic, keeping track of days when

Administrators can register "closed days", this means the company is closed for a specific day (national day off or whatever). This closed day counts for all users. As an example, let's say this closed day is at week 30 on a Monday and the user has a 38 hour contract.

The timesheet system we used just counted these as a mandatory holiday for example or you just track the time and add it.

Systems are stupid. They can add numbers though, so its just a matter of getting the user to clock appropriately and just looking at the total.

So, if you were using a prebuilt system - it would be a question about how to set up time tracking for a 'closed day' and to apply it automatically. I guess if you squinted it might go under webapps or whatever was the appropriate site.

If you were writing it (and as a non software engineer - don't completely trust me, go read through their help and confirm it yourself) - you may be able to break up aspects of this into questions on software engineering site, which includes:

Requirements, architecture, and design

Unfortunately I can't advice on how best to ask the design, and a lot depends on the foundation you're building on.

  • 1
    What do you mean by "They can add though"? Oct 24, 2022 at 11:10
  • Computers are dumb, but they are very good at addition :D Oct 24, 2022 at 11:31

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