I understand that the term "Noob" is used in many cases to illustrate the experience of the OP, but isn't the experience-level of the OP irrelevant to the topic of the question? Should we remove these types of things from the titles?

Examples: https://stackoverflow.com/search?q=intitle:1+noob


4 Answers 4


The title should describe the problem, not the audience - unless the audience is the problem, in which case it's not programming related.

So yes, I'd remove it. If it forms an important part of the question, reformat the question so it's clear that answers need to be aimed for a beginning audience, but the title itself should reflect the problem alone.

Aside from that, it's slang that we don't need to use on a professional programming site, and to some degree implements a needless class or caste system that is unproductive. Yes, there are people of all experience levels, and sometimes the experience of the OP needs to be known. But we do not need to use slang terms that may disenfranchise some even in such a small degree.



I normally edit out stuff like this and add the [beginner] tag if I think it's appropriate for the question.

Question content should be separated from the user asking that question -- if someone is new to something, that should have no bearing on either the question being asked, or the answers they get to the question. However, it does provide some context in which to give an answer (hence the [beginner] tag).

  • 6
    Note that the [beginner] tag is no longer used.
    – user102937
    Commented Sep 6, 2012 at 20:28

I'd also say yes for these reasons in addition to Pollyana's:

  • Is noob something that's really beneficial to SEO, since title is a major player in that?
  • I could see where "noob" being in the title could encourage rep-whoring. Someone seeing noob could think "hey, easy pickin's".
  • 7
    Or more likely, "Hey easy closin's as duplicate"
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Mar 11, 2010 at 15:00
  • @Polly: yeah, that's where the whoring would come in. I'd wager there's a good chance that most noob questions coming in would be dupes in which case answers to them are either 1) laziness, 2) ignorance or 3) rep-whoring.
    – squillman
    Commented Mar 11, 2010 at 15:20

Tough call. Personally, I feel like terms such as that should be edited out. I grant that often the OP himself has placed that in the title -- probably to acknowledge that he ought to know the answer, but doesn't. However, I think it really doesn't add any value to the title, and may in fact turn off some people from answering.

I guess YMMV. (Talk about a wishy-washy answer.) Personally, I guess I'd treat it the way I treat greets -- I probably wouldn't go in and edit just to get rid of it, but I'd most likely get rid of it if I was in editing for other reasons.

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