How to ask good questions (and get good answers)


#1

Writing a good post or asking a good question are key to being a valuable contributor in the forums community, vital skills for anyone who wants to code (even professional developers)… and crucial to getting accurate and fast responses to your questions. In general, remember these two golden rules:

  • make it as easy as possible for other users to talk with and understand you
  • Context is critical for solving coding problems, so if you want help, provide as much information as possible

Before Starting a Topic, Search for Existing Answers

Before you start a new topic, check existing posts and use Google to see if your questions have already been addressed. This will very often give you an immediate answer! Cryptic error messages are particularly well suited search queries to Google - many others will have had the same problem.

Provide Information and Context

Before you post your question, remember that the most visible thing of your post by far is the title. Make that title as useful and descriptive as possible! Is it more likely that someone will click on or find “im stuck help plzzz” or “Dasmoto Project: how do I include my images?” (hint: it’s the second one). A great title is usually the difference between something people click on and something people scroll past.

Now on to the body of your post. If you have a question about a particular exercise, course, or resource; include a link. This will make it easier for your fellow users to get context on what you are saying or asking.

If you have a question about a coding exercise or troubleshooting your code, include your code. This makes it even easier for other users to understand what may be going wrong.

If you’re getting an error message, include the error message.

Finally, explain what you were attempting to do and how - your thought process and approach. Always be clear, concise, and include context.

Format Your Code

Codecademy Discuss posts are parsed with Markdown, which allows for easy formatting of code and text. When pasting in code, remember that it needs to be escaped by wrapping it in backticks (the ` key, found beneath the esc button on your keyboard) like this:

```
def hello():
    print("Hello world!")
```

Which looks like:

def hello():
    print("Hello world!")

Just pasting the same code in will come out this way:

def hello():
print(“Hello world!”)

Yikes! That’s not only harder to read, but if you tried to run it, it wouldn’t work! Yes, formatting is that important for code.

See this topic for more details.

Follow Community Guidelines

As always, follow the Community Guidelines. Please treat this discussion forum and your fellow users with respect.


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