I asked my first StackOverflow question

I asked my first question on StackOverflow today and within minutes, I got answers to my question. Unlike what I read online about difficulties in asking a question, mine was actually easy. Aside from insisting I used a title that describes the question and no one has used before which took few minutes, everything went well.

What was your experience when you asked your first ever question on StackOverflow?

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I recall things going pretty well besides a bunch of corrections. I remember someone complaining that I wrote “thanks in advance”, and then it was removed.

It was, like, fine, but bizarre.

FWIW, this is not an individual behavior, it is a Stack Overflow standard:


Apparently this was my first question, which nobody answered, and I found out shortly that it was a bug in MySQL.

How do I convert a mysql function result to tinyint

Most of my questions on SO proper are about solving specific technical problems that I already tried solving at length, so I haven't had a lot of issue there. I've started many questions and then answered them myself in the process of writing the question, so I didn't post. Most of my answers on SO are because I had the same question and ran across the unanswered (or not thoroughly answered) question on SO. After I found the answer I needed elsewhere, I went back and added mine to the SO question for posterity. Most of the bad treatment on SO I've seen is from other users, not necessarily from mods. As far as the mods go, it does really hurt the ego to ask a question and get bopped on the head for it. However, I have often observed that people don't bother to think through their questions or even do a quick search for answers before posting.

The main negative experiences have been from the Software Engineering site:

  • Cutting remarks from mods
    • usually upvoted at least 3 times, presumably by other mods
    • Within the past several months, I saw a question where the mod literally mocked the poster's English mistakes. It was upvoted multiple times.

  • Downvotes of legitimate, answerable questions
    • A couple of times, my question or answer got only downvotes, and I just deleted.
    • Sometimes mods are prone to do this when they have a low opinion of a topic. Or in ignorance, they assume the question is unanswerable.
    • I have even gotten "warned" about answering questions which were closed as too broad, even though I did have a concrete answer.

  • Needless edits for rep sake
    • More than once, I rolled them back because it changed the meaning of what I said or was unnecessary.

  • Corrections on technicalities which don't materially change the question.
    • Some people don't understand "spirit of the law" over "letter of the law".

I have actually never asked a question on the software engineering site... or if I did I deleted it. But I have observed all of these on other questions/answers. Although I shouldn't, sometimes I have participated in comment arguments. Disagreement on a logical basis is usually fine, but because of the nature of the site, comments like that are rarely productive. The culture/rules on the Software Engineering site is just a really broken for its stated purpose. And some of the active mods I see on there are toxic.

If you really want to see how people are treated on the site, watch the newest unanswered questions. This is where you can see how mods and other users treat question askers before they disappear from being downvoted and closed.

Yea stack overflow has a really really bad Iam better than you mind set. I personally feel like they are horrible when it comes to new people. In all honesty if I have questions I come to places like this or slack chat. At least then I actually get help and not down voted. Because people don’t like my question. I have posted things on there in the past and have gained rep ect from it but I get better explanations on other sites and slack chat community’s.

Hugely depends where exactly on SO (like "subreddit") you've asked the question, and the complexity of the question, and the time you did that, and how you did that (proper formatting etc). All that HUGELY affect the response by others and the timing you get at least something.

I asked 1 or 2 times, never got an answer.
Although replied to others and got enough "karma" points to be able to review and edit other questions.


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🥇 My First Question

I first posted a question when SO was still in beta.
So many questions were answered (whether they were duplicate or not) without getting downvoted.

At the time, people were learning how to create a great community.

⏳ Until A few years back

I stopped posting and answering on SO for years as my questions were downvoted/deleted.

😁 Present

But now I see why. It was because I was stuck in the old mindset posting questions without putting myself in other people's shoes according to John Skeet's Golden Rule.

Once you reach a certain level on Stack Overflow you get points for reviewing the posts of newcomers - there's a dedicated section on the site for it. The result is that people come across as overly critical and nit-picky. In fact, they just want the extra points

You do not get SO points for reviewing. You may get badges though but it takes a lot of work to earn badges for edits and usually two or more reviews are needed for an edit to go through.

My first question was three years ago. I was transitioning from Java to C++. And tried to rewrite my learning project, a toy game engine. It worked well until I was trying to load libraries at run time. Turns out the error message was just bad and my error had nothing to do with the loading, but with my project setup (stackoverflow.com/questions/297098...).

After that 5 of my 10 questions were Haskell ones. The people in that community tend to be very nice to newcomers.

In my first (and at least for now last) StackOverflow question I asked, how to use regex in java to split a string at a whitespace character. I asked this question, because I could not get my code to separate a string from the command line. The problem with my code was not the regex, but the fact that I accidentally used "Scanner.read()" instead of "Scanner.readLine()", which stops reading after a whitespace.
The first person wrote that there is no problem in the regex I posted and asked me to share the whole code until the problem accrues. Unfortunately I didn't share my code.
A few moments later another Person posted code solving the problem in php.
After some more time a found the bug, got embarrassed and tried to excuse myself and posted that I will delete the question after enough time for everyone to read my apology.
After a day I tried to delete the question, could not do so and deleted my account.

To sum it up, post every code needed to solve your problem.

Fantastic!!! You people carry a pretty clear/impressive track record on the first impression.

Answers/Comments to my first SO question(Here we go):

  1. Do your homework on your own.
  2. Don't expect us to do your homework.
  3. Duplicate.

Question(somewhere around 2009):
How can I pass data from one page to another in JSP?

Reasons for asking this question:
It was the only second day I had heard of the word "JSP" and I was learning JSP.

No, I was not expecting em to do my homework. I was extremely passionate to learn JSP/Servlet and other technologies which my classmates were not even aware of.

PS: I created a fresh account thereafter and still continuing with the same.

I asked only two questions and noone could answer it. In the end I found my own answer then answered my own question. After that I stopped asking question on StackOverflow.

What the hell are you doing, Are you insane? Why the heck are you using deprecated functions. Please JUST STOP!

PHP is fun, I was using MySQL instead of MySQLI, yeah yeah, bad boi.

The first time I asked a question. I was told to be more clear about the question.

Other time I asked, got the answer, but a guy told me to learn regular expressions.

Experienced developers literally worship that site and stupidity strictly not allowed.

Learned through hard way though

Classic DEV Post from Nov 22 '17

How does it feel to be a junior developer

Learning how to survive this exciting challenge

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Emmanuel Raymond
Hi, I'm Raymond. I love JavaScript
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