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Alok Kumar
Alok Kumar

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The Art of asking questions as a DEV

Hey All 👋,

Today's topic will be a little deviated from JavaScript and web dev, but not entirely. Today, I will talk about the importance of asking questions in a developer's life and the different aspects related to questions. So, stick till last :)

But before beginning, let me ask you a question - Do you know everything related to the field you are working on?

I guess the answer would be NO until you are the google; even google fails to answer questions sometimes 😅

So, does that mean you are not worthy of the position you are currently working in???

Absolutely not, No human can KNOW IT ALL. We all are constantly learning, evolving and moving forward. And asking questions can make learning a lot easier.

But there are different aspects related to asking questions like - which questions to ask, how to ask, whom to ask, and the list goes on.

So let's talk about them one by one -

Don't be afraid to ask questions

If there are people in the room who know more than you, then don't hesitate to ask. And, also don't think that your question is dumb as the people you are asking once had the same dumb questions. Gradually your questions will be less dumb.

What could be the worst-case scenario if you ask a question to someone. You don't get a reply, and that's fine, remember there are other people in the room. Ask them. But never kill your curiosity because of hesitation or fear of asking questions.

Be Simple

While asking a question, don't beat around the bush and get to the point. Provide context and code snippets. Try to explain what you have tried so far and what you expect the code to do. And if possible, try to provide the code snippet in text format and not as a pic. The reason is, if required, they can copy the code easily to test it out.

Words matter

But being simple doesn't mean that you should just throw a question to a random person on Twitter or their email. As the headline suggests, words matter to spark feelings in a conversation. At least greet them before asking a question. Ask them to reply in their free time. Thank them after getting any reply.

Ask good questions

So you may be thinking that I just said that don't be afraid to ask dumb questions, and now I'm suggesting to ask good questions 🤔

Here, asking good questions doesn't mean that the questions should be technically perfect. Instead, good questions mean questions that are easy to understand and are easy to answer.

Some tips for framing a good question -

  • Do some research about your doubt/error before asking, and chances are you'll find your answer on the internet, or you'll understand your doubt/error more clearly, which will help you to frame your question better.

  • If possible, frame questions that can be answered in Yes/No, and for that again, you have to do some research and state what you know.

Whom to ask

It is also essential to consider that from whom you are seeking your answers. You can't simply throw questions to anyone randomly.

Try to find people related to the field like if you have a question of react, find a person who belongs to that field. Observe their tweets/bio to know about their experiences, and if their DMs are open, you can proceed.

Or you can ask the question publicly, tagging communities and the people you want to ask(only if you find they are okay with this). This way, people can reach out to you with answers.

Be Gracious

There will be times when you don't get a reply, or you are not satisfied with the answer you got but then also, be thankful.

Let me explain this with one example - imagine that a friend of yours suddenly comes with a wrapped gift box and gives it to you. And when you open it, it doesn't matter whether inside there is a pen or an expensive mobile you get happy at that moment.

Think of the reply/answer you receive from someone as a gift as they have invested time and energy just to reply to you, so be happy and thankful and respond with a thanks 🙂 at least.

P.S. - There can be different approaches but this is completely based on my experiences feel free to add yours in the comments :)

Keep learning and asking questions 🙋‍♂️

If you find this useful then you can share it with others :)

You can also follow me on twitter as sometimes I post good tweets there too 😅

Feel free to drop a Hi and let's chat 👋👋👋

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