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I am new to this community, previously coming from Stack Overflow and having no luck there. My questions always got downvoted and I was restricted from asking questions for days at a time. Then I learned about this community and gave it a try. Just two days after I joined, I got a reputation of 50. However, the first question that I asked got a downvote of 4.

To prevent this from happening, what types of questions are we allowed to ask? For example, if I can't figure out how to code a specific thing, what I am supposed to do? I am a beginner and I don't really fit in at Stack Overflow. I choose this website because it is more friendly, however I am not entirely sure about the question types and such.

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    \$\begingroup\$ How about reading How to Ask ? \$\endgroup\$ – Heslacher Jul 21 '15 at 14:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ You shouldn't choose between Stack Overflow and Code Review based on your level of expertise. \$\endgroup\$ – nhgrif Jul 21 '15 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ See: A guide to Code Review for Stack Overflow users \$\endgroup\$ – durron597 Jul 21 '15 at 14:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have read the How to Ask, but I don't get if I can ask specific questions about how to code. \$\endgroup\$ – Vishvak Seenichamy Jul 21 '15 at 14:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VishvakSeenichamy Code Review is not for how to code, it's for how to improve working code. \$\endgroup\$ – Quill Jul 21 '15 at 14:46
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Welcome to Code Review, we're glad you found this site and have shown interest!

Even though Stack Overflow and Code Review are both focused primarily on code, there is a marked difference that should help you choose which site is best for what purpose. Many Code Review users also frequent Stack Overflow, either to ask questions or provide answers.

TL;DR: A Guide to Code Review for Stack Overflow users

Here is the short version:

Stack Overflow addresses specific problems.

Questions that have a clear description of the problem, as well as an explanation of what you tried, etc. are usually well received. Questions with unclear, vague problem statements or questions that show little effort on the part of the asker are usually not well received. Stack Overflow prefer to have the minimum amount of code required to reproduce the problem.

It is also acceptable to post questions about how to write code, as long as you can show that you have a specific problem and what you have tried so far, where you got stuck, etc.

Code Review addresses improvements on all aspects of code which already works as intended.

On Code Review, questions that are well received provide real, working code, along with a plain English explanation of what the code does and why, and the more background information, the better.

On CR, it is fairly common to see posts with dozens, sometimes even hundreds of lines of working code, which on Stack Overflow would get down-voted, but on Code Review is welcome.


I hope this helps clarify the difference between the sites!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! That really helped! \$\endgroup\$ – Vishvak Seenichamy Jul 21 '15 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're welcome! \$\endgroup\$ – Phrancis Jul 21 '15 at 15:07
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There are multiple aspects to computer programming that an individual goes through in their "life":

  1. let's identify a problem that needs fixing
  2. let's design what the solution should look like, and what features it needs
  3. let's implement those features by coding
  4. let's fix any issues we run in to which prevent the features from functioning
  5. let's make sure the code that implements the features is as good as it can be.
  6. let's deploy the code so people can use it.
  7. let's make sure that any issues people run in to are resolved (typically by skipping back to step 4).

If you have issues and need help at step 1, well, you're out of luck on stack exchange.

If you have issues and need help at step 2, then it is possible that you can get help at Programmers.se.

If you have issues and need help at step 3, then it is possible that you can get help at Stack Overflow Careers.

If you have issues at step 4, then you can get help at Stack Overflow

If you would like help at step 5, then you can get help here on Code Review

If you have problems deploying the code in step 6 you can maybe go back to Stack Overflow for help.

your first question was in step 4, so was downvoted.

your second question was at step 5, so was upvoted.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the explanation, this chart made it clear! \$\endgroup\$ – Vishvak Seenichamy Jul 21 '15 at 15:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ what do you mean exactly by "possible that you can get help at Stack Overflow Careers"? \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Jul 22 '15 at 12:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean @SimonAndréForsberg that there's no-where other than the careers site where it is in-topic to ask people to write your code for you. Yes, it's a bit of a back-handed joke, but it's true, too. If you want help with writing your code, then the right place to ask is to pay someone to work for you, or generate a community somewhere else to help. "Gimme the code" questions are off-topic in all other stack sites. \$\endgroup\$ – rolfl Jul 22 '15 at 12:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had a feeling you meant that, but it's not immediately clear from your post itself :) \$\endgroup\$ – Simon Forsberg Jul 22 '15 at 12:36

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