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Looking at migrated questions shows how a "migrate to Software Engineering" closing reason is sorely missing. The problem is that many askers see the the "Review" part of the site, but not the "Code", and end up asking about best practices or looking for feedback on design/architecture.

I found some information suggesting that the list of migration targets can't be expanded during beta. This is really unfortunate, so how can we work around this?

  • Would it be possible and make sense to implement a new close reason? We currently use this solution for questions destined for Stack Overflow:

    Your question must contain working code for us to review it here. For questions regarding specific problems encountered while coding, try Stack Overflow. After getting your code to work, you may edit this question seeking a review of your working code.

    ... which has the advantage over migrating that the asker might come back and edit in his working code, thus contributing to the community.

    The distance between a design and working code is greater than the distance between broken code and working code, so this might not be the solution I'm looking for.

  • Currently, I will cast some superficial close vote, and flag the question for migration. This is suboptimal, because I feel compelled to write a few lines of justification beyond a laconic "migrate → Software Engineering". Also, this places the responsibility of migration on as few as two people (flagger + mod), rather than five people who would have to cast a vote to migrate.

  • Questions that don't include any code blocks are off topic here. This is mentioned prominently in the FAQ: "Make sure you include your code in your question", and hinted at on the "Ask a question" page: "relevant code sections must be included in your question". It would be great if this could be enforced by analyzing a question before it is posted (but I'm quite sure this isn't going to happen).

    What is missing from the FAQs is a mention that a codeless question could be a candidate for Software Engineering (although it is mentioned that “whiteboard-style” questions about code reviews belong there – right at the bottom of the “on topic” page where most new users aren't likely to look).

What steps can we as a community take so that new askers start on the site where their question is signal instead of noise? Are the steps that I am currently taking (close vote + flag) the optimal way to deal with questions that would be on topic elsewhere?

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Migration

Since we are still in beta, we don't have full migration capabilities. The only current migration paths are to and from our Meta. At the same time, graduated sites don't have beta sites as migration paths since they are not yet "permanent" sites. This explains why, for instance, SO cannot have us as a migration path at this time, despite the current rate of migrations.

Bearing this in mind, all you can do is provide a custom flag for migration. In case a moderator isn't around, it's still okay to flag/vote to close in the meantime, still giving the indication that the question is off-topic. When a does moderator show up, the question can still be migrated by them.

Custom close reason

Read this answer of mine. In short: not likely to happen at this time. For such cases, just vote-to-close with a custom reason if a question belongs on another site. If the OP moves the question there (without deleting the question) and the migration occurs as well, the target site will just close one of them as dupe. Just to clarify: having a migrated question closed as such does not reject migration. Any other close reason, or a deletion, will reject migration.

FAQ

I can share this with the other moderators for consideration. Revising the FAQ is a big change, and it's not something I should do myself. Personally, I like the idea we do commonly receive questions that belong on Software Engineering. It could also help give others an idea of when it belongs there and not on SO.

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