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Don't Post Your College Programming Problems in Stack Overflow

Don't post your college programming problems in Stack Overflow and here's why...

I am a first-year IT college student and for the last 2 months, I have a Stack Overflow account for asking my coding problems in my Programming subject. I asked for my homework and solving problems. When I have hard time to search most of error codes, it never answers my questions. When I asked my friends and classmates, they didn't answer my problem in coding. My last resort is posting the error on Stack Overflow.

When I posted my code on Stack Overflow, things are not like what I expected. I thought that they will answer all my questions and get many upvotes. I got many downvotes and even though I got the answer I needed, they never liked the question. I posted another question, hopefully I got what I expected to be. It turns out, I got another downvotes and one answers says that "It has so much errors...", "Don't post your college homework questions in Stack Overflow, it was highly discouraged"

Stack Overflow Question

I forgot to say that my subject requires only this knowledge and my professor doesn't accept some functions and variables that were not yet discussed. My questions should be improved but because I was new to the community, it was like I was not welcome in the community.

If you are new in programming and still having a hard time on coding especially if you are first year college in Computer Courses, here are most acceptable things you need to consider.

  1. Ask GOOGLE
  • You need to ask Google if you have any coding topics that you were not able to understand. You may search on Google and Youtube for some answers. You may also read some similar problems on Stack Overflow BUT DON'T POST IT.
  1. Ask a fellow coder
  • If you have a friend who is a coder or yet a professional developer and are willing to help you on coding problems, you may ask them.
  1. Ask in the Programming Groups
  • Ask in the programming groups (like in Facebook) and they are willing to help you to solve your problems.

There are so much thing to learn on the internet. A message to fellow coders out there, always welcome to criticisms and more improvements. For professional coders, always welcome to help other future coders and always remember that you experienced just like them. Be friendly to everyone.

Top comments (6)

cubiclesocial profile image

Knowing C (or C++) is a useful skill to have. I'm glad that it is still being taught somewhere. It's not a language you can simply pick up one day and be a master in it over a weekend.

In my opinion, PHP is a better language to pick up for doing most day-to-day tasks. PHP is lightweight on system resources, is very fast (but not as fast as C), and runs on the command line (CLI) just fine. PHP is perhaps a better CLI language than web server language. It is written in C but also exposes many C-like functions to PHP userland. I keep a copy of the C source code to PHP handy at all times because knowing how a PHP function works behind the scenes is extremely useful. Although searching the source tree for the file that contains the code for a given function can take a couple of minutes. The PHP source code, while a little bit daunting with its use of C macros, is pretty readable as far as a major project written in C goes. I know a lot of people use Python for command-line tasks, but that's mostly because they don't realize PHP can do the same thing but better in every way that matters: Jumping between PHP and C feels more natural too and the world mostly runs on C/C++ anyway.

C and C++ have their place. These days, I'll drop down to C++ if I need to do a high-performance task that needs to run blazing fast or access low level system calls/APIs not available to higher level languages (scripting languages will only get you so far). Assembly language is also useful to learn for doing CPU-level optimizations and/or calling CPU-specific routines. But Assembly language does restrict you to a specific CPU architecture while C/C++ are designed to be a little bit more cross-architecture and cross-platform while still being extremely "close to the metal."

I'm sure someone will mention Rust. Rust offers a seatbelt to protect you from the windshield when you crash whereas C/C++ is for those who don't mind flying through the windshield now and then in exchange for total control of the vehicle. Using the right tool for the job is the best solution to any problem. If you only have a hammer, everything will look like a nail.

amberitas17 profile image

yeah, sadly, Rust is not taught in colleges like I am... I started in Python first then C language. It was really a stretch because C language was more complex than Python and I have a hard time adjusting it... My classmates and my schoolmates were very lucky to have a Python lesson in my major subjects....

cubiclesocial profile image

I feel like is a much more inviting environment for asking questions. The status quo here is that it doesn't matter if you are a newbie or a longtime dev and it is expected that everyone is on their best behavior. Me likey that! SO/SE is filled with a lot of grumpy people and overmoderation. They tend to take a more "Wikipedia" stance to the content: If it's been asked already, it'll get downvoted, shut down, etc. Fortunately and unfortunately for SE/SO, most questions have been asked. The more esoteric questions require serious understanding of the subject matter and therefore someone who might ask the question is already an expert in the area and generally doesn't need to ask for help.

That said, the SO search engine while typing in a "new question" is pretty solid. If you really can't find an answer to your question via SO/SE via Google search, start asking a "new question" on SO (or relevant SE site), type in your question as if you were going to actually ask the question, and wait for the results to pop in. For whatever reason, the "new question" search engine results are generally better than the main SO/SE search engine. I'll tweak the question a little until it summarizes the content I was planning to write in the body. Sometimes I'll end up starting to write the details in the body and I'll see something pop into the results that hadn't shown up before and I'll land on a page that answers the question. 95% of the time, I can find what I was looking for via this method and don't need to proceed further.

It's the other 5% of the time that drives me up the wall. Most, if not nearly all, questions have been asked in some form or other. It's when I need to find an answer to a question that someone asked a long time ago, has been indexed by Google, and there is no answer available.

XKCD Wisom of the ancients

Or there is at least one response but none of the responses actually answers the question.

amberitas17 profile image

I agree to this comment... I love how is really friendly especially on the side of beginner programmer. StackOverflow is really not friendly when it comes to beginner programming, that is why most developers search some related problems than posting the problems in SO

eric23 profile image

Try using instead of google.
In my experience it gives you better results. Plus it has handy features like cheat sheets. Type something like:
regex cheat sheet

grocker42 profile image

When you ask question on Stackoverflow you don't learn the most important skill as a programmer, how to google stuff.

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