I just been a Stack Overflow'er for a few days now, and the quality of answers has been great. It has especially saved me many hours of time, otherwise on the steep learning curve of tackling a new programming language.

But I wonder, I've got many more questions than answers at the moment. Is it OK to keep asking?

At some point I'll contribute some answers, but at the moment I feel on the verge of asking too much!

  • 1
    I have a terrible time asking questions. Here, and in real life. So if you can do a good job of it, then don't stop! You should, however, stick to programming questions when asking on SO.
    – Shog9
    Mar 11 '09 at 0:31
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    Run!!! it is a trap. Suddenly you will be SO addict and won't be able to quit. You're still on time, you're still on tiiiimmeeeeeeeee......
    – OscarRyz
    Mar 11 '09 at 0:37
  • On the other hand, it's pretty much a dup of meta.stackexchange.com/questions/17494/… Mar 11 '09 at 1:12
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    I don't think this is a dupe of "What should I consider before asking questions?" The matter of whether Q:A ratio matters is quite a different thing. This should definitely be community wiki, though.
    – Chuck
    Mar 11 '09 at 1:49

Yes, keep asking.

Do check that you're not asking a duplicate questions, though.

Update: there are new asking limits. Any user (or IP) can only ask a maximum of 50 questions per month, and 6 questions per day.

  • 9
    @Jeff - I didn't realize this limit. I'm sure you must be handling this but was curious - many organizations use a common internet gateway & static IP, for e.x. from a large s/w firm with many SO users this limit would be reached very quickly. May 15 '11 at 22:50

Read https://stackoverflow.com/questions/469150/im-new-to-stackoverflow-what-should-i-consider-before-asking-questions

Quality matters. Quantity does not.

Bad questions (especially plzsendtehcodez) are irritating. We'll be glad to vote them down.

Good questions are a joy. That's why we're here.


Keep asking. Make sure you search the site first so you don't your questions closed as duplicates. Also, if you're going to ask meta questions like this, make them Community Wiki. And take some time to contribute back to the site, either by answering other people's questions, or by voting other people's questions and answers up or down.

Actually, if you look at the list of possible badges, they'll give you a good indication of what behaviours we'd like to encourage.


SO is for programmers to learn. Some learn by asking, and some learn by teaching. Some even learn by both asking and teaching.

And many of us learn by reading. I learn a lot by reading some questions and the answers given to them. It gives me a view on problems which I would not have considered looking at if I hadn't bothered because the question looked too hard or because the question had nothing to do with me.

Yes, you should keep asking questions. Asking is part of learning, and learning is what keeps SO alive.


When I started out as a SO user, I asked a ton of programming related questions before I started answering them. I have about a one to one question to ratio answer.

I would HIGHLY discourage you from asking non-programming-related/subjective questions. They seem to be closed early and some have started some pretty ugly flame/edit wars.

Here is Jeff's response to the great edit war on the SO blog

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