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Jim Medlock for Chingu

Posted on • Originally published at Medium on

How to ask for technical help

Sprint 4 — Wednesday

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

Getting help starts with asking a good question.

Consider these two questions…

  1. My React component isn’t returning what I want. What gives?
  2. I have a React component (Locations.jsx) that should be returning a list of location names based on the text entered through a search component (Search.jsx), but is instead returning undefined. These are located in the repo Would someone have time to look at this to see if I’ve missed something obvious?

Do you see the difference? The first is just a complaint while the second provides the reader with information and captures their interest.

Good questions have these 5 parts:

  1. Its actionable and contains contextual information the reader needs.
  2. It states what is wrong, but also what the desired result should be.
  3. Key elements, like the component names in the example above, are formatted so they are easy to identify.
  4. It contains a link to supporting documentation. In this case the project repo.
  5. It ends with the ask. In other words, what do you need? This information you put into asking a good question is the same detail you should put into issues reports as well!

Before you Go!

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