How to ask questions?

This is an awesome blog post that I often recommend anyone getting started with open-source project. It is about how to learn what is a great way to ask questions.

A rule of thumb that I always reiterate whenever someone asks me a question is:

Vague question, vague answer!

Well, that is so simple, what does it mean? The basic idea is that when asking questions to experts, try to be as specific as possible. Example of vague questions are:

  • How do I learn programming?
  • How do I learn Python?
  • Why doesn't my code work?
  • I got an error trying to do XXX, what should I do?
  • The code you put up on XXX place is broken, what do I do?

I can go on and on with the examples, but what is important here  is that none of these questions can be resolved in a single reply. There is going to be always a back-and-forth, which most people who are busy don't want to get into.

Like the first question, How do I learn programming? Well, like you learn anything, read a book, practice some things etc etc. There is a no real answer that I could give someone when asked that question.

2nd question, How do I learn Python? may seem more specific than that, but I would answer the same for it. This is not a new or novel questions, you find a guide and you start there. A better question is Can you point me to a beginner guide to Python which you recommend?

I am not going to dive deep into each of these questions, but I highly recommend that you go you read the blog post.