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How to answer a question on stack overflow

We’d love to help you. To improve your chances of getting an answer, here are some tips:

Search, and research

. and keep track of what you find. Even if you don’t find a useful answer elsewhere on the site, including links to related questions that haven’t helped can help others in understanding how your question is different from the rest.

Write a title that summarizes the specific problem

The title is the first thing potential answerers will see, and if your title isn’t interesting, they won’t read the rest. So make it count:

Pretend you’re talking to a busy colleague and have to sum up your entire question in one sentence: what details can you include that will help someone identify and solve your problem? Include any error messages, key APIs, or unusual circumstances that make your question different from similar questions already on the site.

Spelling, grammar and punctuation are important! Remember, this is the first part of your question others will see – you want to make a good impression. If you’re not comfortable writing in English, ask a friend to proof-read it for you.

If you’re having trouble summarizing the problem, write the title last – sometimes writing the rest of the question first can make it easier to describe the problem.

  • Bad: C# Math Confusion
  • Good: Why does using float instead of int give me different results when all of my inputs are integers?
  • Bad: [php] session doubt
  • Good: How can I redirect users to different pages based on session data in PHP?
  • Bad: android if else problems
  • Good: Why does str == “value” evaluate to false when str is set to “value”?

Introduce the problem before you post any code

In the body of your question, start by expanding on the summary you put in the title. Explain how you encountered the problem you’re trying to solve, and any difficulties that have prevented you from solving it yourself. The first paragraph in your question is the second thing most readers will see, so make it as engaging and informative as possible.

Help others reproduce the problem

Not all questions benefit from including code, but if your problem is with code you’ve written, you should include some. But don’t just copy in your entire program! Not only is this likely to get you in trouble if you’re posting your employer’s code, it likely includes a lot of irrelevant details that readers will need to ignore when trying to reproduce the problem. Here are some guidelines:

  • Include just enough code to allow others to reproduce the problem. For help with this, read How to create a Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example.
  • If it is possible to create a live example of the problem that you can link to (for example, on http://sqlfiddle.com/ or http://jsbin.com/) then do so – but also copy the code into the question itself. Not everyone can access external sites, and the links may break over time. Use Stack Snippets to make a live demo of inline JavaScript / HTML / CSS.
  • DO NOT post images of code, data, error messages, etc. – copy or type the text into the question. Please reserve the use of images for diagrams or demonstrating rendering bugs, things that are impossible to describe accurately via text. For more information please see the Meta FAQ entry Why not upload images of code/errors when asking a question?

Include all relevant tags

Try to include a tag for the language, library, and specific API your question relates to. If you start typing in the tags field, the system will suggest tags that match what you’ve typed – be sure and read the descriptions given for them to make sure they’re relevant to the question you’re asking! See also: What are tags, and how should I use them?

Proof-read before posting!

Now that you’re ready to ask your question, take a deep breath and read through it from start to finish. Pretend you’re seeing it for the first time: does it make sense? Try reproducing the problem yourself, in a fresh environment and make sure you can do so using only the information included in your question. Add any details you missed and read through it again. Now is a good time to make sure that your title still describes the problem!

Post the question and respond to feedback

After you post, leave the question open in your browser for a bit, and see if anyone comments. If you missed an obvious piece of information, be ready to respond by editing your question to include it. If someone posts an answer, be ready to try it out and provide feedback!

Look for help asking for help

In spite of all your efforts, you may find your questions poorly-received. Don’t despair! Learning to ask a good question is a worthy pursuit, and not one you’ll master overnight. Here are some additional resources that you may find useful:

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As a new Stack Overflow user, I am learning about how to use the system (reputation, etc.).

I have had many technical questions that I believe may be useful to post, but I answered them myself.

Is it acceptable to post a question you know the answer to and then answer it yourself?

How to answer a question on stack overflow

3 Answers 3

Is it acceptable to post a question you know the answer to and then answer it yourself?

Yes, in fact, it is encouraged as pointed out in a previous comment.

The site is here so developers can share their knowledge. So, if you have spent a good amount of time on a problem and haven’t found the answer on SO, then by all means please share it with the community by answering and accepting.

However, I suggest you keep in mind other rules of the site such as not posting duplicates or questions/answers that are so narrow that they will only pertain to you or any other one person. This is not a place to post a blog so make sure that the question/answer is general enough to be helpful to other members but not so broad that it doesn’t target a specific programming issue.

codeMagic’s answer is correct. For the sake of those who might benefit from explicit examples of what to avoid, here are some common mistakes that I’ve seen where people should have abstained from self-answering.

Self-answering a question in which the problem was a typo. This may seem obvious to many readers but every day I run into questions where the issue was a typo and the OP does not realize that their question and their self-answer are good for the trash heap. This is worthy of a vote to close.

Self-answering really basic questions (for instance, questions that are readily answerable by reading the fine manual). I’ve flagged posts by users who did this repeatedly. They looked like they got the idea that they could seed Stack Overflow with a bunch of trivial questions and answers, sit back, and reap the reputation. My flags were deemed helpful and the questions were deleted.

Self-answering with an answer that is a sketch of a solution (instead of a complete solution) that only demonstrates that the question did not contain the information needed to provide an answer. In this case both the question and the answer are worthy of being downvoted. The question is worthy of closure for being unclear or lacking the information necessary for diagnosis.

When you finally post a question on Stack Overflow, a long wait starts. Will someone answer your question? Will the community downvote what you asked, judging your question as bad? Will someone ever give you an answer? Have they answered it yet?Can we predict any of these? Let’s do that.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

I love Stack Overflow. It has answers to most of my programming questions, and when it doesn’t I can post a new one. In a normal month more than 120,000 users contribute new questions — and more than 75,000 community members are ready to help. I know, because I’ve been in both sides.

BigQuery offers many public datasets, and one of these is a quarterly updated copy of Stack Overflow. We can use this data and the recently announced BigQuery ML features to predict how long it will take to answer your Stack Overflow questions.

Did you just post a question on Stack Overflow? Let’s review how these predictions are run — while you wait.

The first step is to measure how long a user has to wait before someone on Stack Overflow gives them an answer. We’ll get this from the questions table in BigQuery, and a correlated subquery to get the answers:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

The basic query that joins answers with questions, producing the time between a question and its first answer:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

That’s a good start — let’s get the average per tag, for some popular tags:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Turns out Perl has the most amazing community: it’s the quickest to reply! Followed by Rust, Ruby, and PHP. The slowest communities are Android and iOS. In between you have…. STOP RIGHT THERE

Warning: Plain averages are no good here. Instead, we shall calculate the geometric mean.

I won’t go here into a full explanation of why plain averages are not good — but the first thing you should notice is these numbers are telling us we have to wait for days before getting a reply on Stack Overflow — and that doesn’t reflect our normal experience. To reduce the impact of outliers, we can ask for the geometric mean and median instead:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

That makes more sense: You’ll get your JavaScript questions answered in

35 minutes, while Rust, Android, and iOS questions will take more than an hour to show up.

We can also calculate the chance of getting an answer:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Perl, Ruby, and Rust look good here: From our selection, these are the only tags with higher than an 80% reply rate. Interestingly enough, these tags get way fewer questions than the others in this selection.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Now, there’s a lot of other variables we could explore: Does it take more time to get answers on a Monday or Saturday? New Stack Overflow users get faster replies than veteran users? Does it matter which word you use to start a question? Does it matter if you don’t end a question with a question mark. Longer questions or shorter questions? Time of the day? Let’s answer all of these questions:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

My basic query to get all of these dimensions:

So how do we combine all of these averages? What if I have a short SQL question at 3pm on a Thursday, and I’ve been a Stack Overflow user since 2009. My question starts with ‘what’ and I’ll make sure to ask it in the form of a question. Can we create a formula that encapsulates all of these metrics, even if no one has ever attempted this combination before?

Yes! That’s why BigQuery now supports linear and logistic regressions (expect more). Say hello to my friend, BigQuery ML.

To create a linear regression model that combines all of these features into one prediction of how long you have to wait for an answer, just do this:

This query goes over 3,784,571 questions and their replies, on over 46,178 different tags. You might notice that I duplicate question for each of their tags (when they have multiple tags), which gives me a total of 11,297,337 rows. This might give some tags an unfair balance on the equation, but we can discuss that later. How long did it take to train this model? 6 minutes, the last time I tried.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Some stats:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

To check what these values mean, see the machine learning glossary, or see an analysis of similar values for different predictions in Sara Robinson’s predicting CPU performance. And before trying to give meaning to the weights, check Lak Lakshmanan on why feature weights in a machine learning model are meaningless.

Not bad, for a 6 minutes experiment. There are plenty of improvements we could do, but let’s move on for now.

Training the probability of answer is equally as simple, just with a logistic regression this time:

Oh, the queries above won’t work without the temporal table answers , which has the features we modeled:

Predicting

Once the models has been created, you can predict for any sort of combination with a query like this:

And to combine all 3 models in one query:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

You might be wondering “how is this interactive Data Studio dashboard this fast?”, or “what are the costs of connecting Data Studio to BigQuery”? We’ll have to save that conversation for future posts, but a preview for now:

What action should I take if I come across non-English content? Does the amount of non-English content make any difference?

1 Answer 1

We require English on Stack Overflow.

Questions not written in English should be closed/flagged as “Needs more details or clarity,” or close voters can use the following custom close reason: “I’m voting to close this question because it is not English.”

Answers not written in English should be flagged as very low quality, although not an answer will also work.

In code blocks, it is acceptable to name variables in any language. A code snippet containing non-English variables that can easily be followed does not require flagging or editing. Of course, we strongly prefer English, even for variable names, to increase accessibility and readability for our target audience. Comments in code blocks must be written in English.

Comments not written in English should be flagged as no longer needed.

Non-English posts should not normally be translated into English by anyone other than the original poster (OP), unless there is indication in the OP’s statements that they actually can speak English. The OP needs to be able to respond to feedback provided in English (via comments, answers, or Help Center content). Translating a post for a non-English speaker sets them, and anyone participating on the post, up for a poor experience, due to the OP not being able to follow and respond to comments, understand answers, or get assistance from the Help Center.

It is not recommended to raise a custom flag to ask a ♦ moderator to migrate these questions to other sites. The odds that migration will happen are extremely low and such flags are usually declined, since Stack Overflow moderators will not be able to read and evaluate the quality of the question to determine whether it is suitable for migration. If you want to suggest that the asker delete and repost their question on another site, you may do so in a comment. See this list for localized Stack Overflow sites in languages other than English.

Мы благодарны вам за то, что вы потратили свое ценное время на написание ответа. Только благодаря таким людям, как вы, готовым бескорыстно помогать другим, мы вместе можем учиться новому.

Благодарите за ответы на ваши вопросы

Ваше простое искреннее «спасибо» очень ценно, но это не все, чем вы можете отблагодарить ответившего — проголосуйте за ответы, которые вам больше всего помогли, и, по возможности, отвечайте на вопросы других участников.

У вас такая же проблема?

Вы нашли на сайте вопрос, который интересен вам не менее, чем автору, но на него никто не ответил? Помогите найти решение, изучите проблему, поделитесь в ответе результатами своих исследований. Таким образом, даже если окончательное решение не будет найдено, тому, кто займется этим вопросом после вас, будет предоставлено больше полезной информации. Чтобы привлечь внимание к интересующему вас вопросу, вы можете проголосовать за него или назначить вознаграждение за его решение.

Ответ на вопрос

Внимательно прочитайте вопрос, уясните, в чем заключается его суть. Перед написанием ответа подумайте, чем он будет полезен. Не стоит отвечать просто «не делай этого», следует добавить «попробуй вместо этого сделать следующее» — предложите достойную альтернативу. Любой ответ, который направляет спрашивающего в нужное русло, является ценным. Постарайтесь рассказать обо всех нюансах, которые могут возникнуть при решении проблемы по вашему сценарию. Изложите свои предложения. Возможен и краткий ответ, но чем подробнее и понятнее он будет изложен, тем лучше.

Оставляйте описание к ссылкам

Ссылки на внешние ресурсы — это прекрасно, но оставьте вместе со ссылкой описание, чтобы другие пользователи имели представление о её содержимом. Всегда цитируйте самую необходимую информацию, которую вы взяли из указанного источника, на случай если он недоступен или навсегда закрыт.

Пишите как можно лучше

Мы не ожидаем, что все ответы будут идеальны, но ответы с правильной орфографией, грамматикой и пунктуацией лучше воспринимаются. Кроме того, за них чаще голосуют. Помните, что вы можете в любое время вернуться и отредактировать ответ, чтобы его улучшить.

Отвечайте на хорошо заданные вопросы

Не на все вопросы стоит отвечать. Уберегите себя от разочарования и не отвечайте на вопросы, которые:

  • непонятны или не содержат конкретных подробностей, что не позволяет однозначно определить проблему;
  • провоцируют обмен мнениями, а не фактами; и получили не один ответ;
  • требуют слишком много наводящей информации для полного ответа;
  • требуют ответов на несколько вопросов сразу;
  • не относятся к тематике Stack Overflow на русском, согласно определению в Справке.

Не забывайте, что вы можете отредактировать вопрос, на который отвечаете, чтобы сделать его ясным и целенаправленным – это поможет избежать его закрытия или удаления.

Всегда будьте вежливы и доброжелательны

Вы можете выражать своё несогласие или сомнение, но не забывайте о вежливости, ведь с вами общаются реальные люди, которые тоже имеют право на ошибку. Мы здесь не для того, чтобы ссориться, а чтобы учиться друг у друга.

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Вот несколько советов, позволяющих увеличить шансы на получение ответа:

Ищите и изучайте

Прежде чем задать вопрос, убедитесь, что вы выполнили тщательный поиск ответа. Поделитесь результатом вашего поиска и расскажите, что вы нашли и почему найденные ответы вас не устроили. Это продемонстрирует вашу способность думать самостоятельно, поможет избежать повторяющихся очевидных ответов и, самое важное, увеличит шансы на получение точного ответа!

Кратко опишите вашу конкретную проблему в заголовке

Заголовок — это первое, что увидят читатели, которые могут ответить на ваш вопрос. Если заголовок неинтересный, они не будут читать дальше. Каждое слово на счету:

Представьте, что вы обращаетесь к занятому коллеге и вынуждены выразить весь вопрос в одном предложении: какие детали вы можете включить, которые помогут опознать и решить проблему? Добавьте любые сообщения об ошибке, ключевые API (имена существенных библиотек/сервисов/функций/классов/итд) или необычные обстоятельства, которые делают ваш вопрос отличным от других похожих вопросов на сайте.

Пишите грамотно! Помните, эту часть вашего вопроса увидят в первую очередь — она должна произвести хорошее впечатление.

Если поначалу вам трудно описать проблему в одном предложении, придумайте заголовок в последнюю очередь. Когда вы напишете сам вопрос, вам будет проще сформулировать заголовок.

Размытый заголовок без деталей затрудняет поиск решения будущими посетителями из поисковиков с похожей проблемой (основная аудитория Stack Overflow), делая вопрос менее полезным, и может уменьшить шансы на ответ и/или привлечь голос «против» (минус).

  • Плохо: Непонятно как работает математика в C#.
  • Хорошо: Почему если использовать float вместо int, результаты вычислений отличаются, хотя все вводимые числа — целые?
  • Плохо: Сессии в [php]
  • Хорошо: Как перенаправлять пользователей на различные страницы в зависимости от данных сессии в PHP?
  • Плохо: Проблема с условиями в Android
  • Хорошо: Почему str == “value” ложно, когда str имеет значение “value”?

Сначала опишите проблему, потом добавьте код

Сначала более подробно опишите проблему, которую вы сформулировали в заголовке. Поясните, как вы столкнулись с проблемой и что препятствует её решению. После заголовка, первый абзац — самая часто читаемая часть вопроса. Дайте в нём максимум информации, чтобы заинтересовать читателей.

Расскажите, как воспроизвести проблему

Если ваша проблема связана с написанным вами кодом, обязательно добавьте код. Не копируйте вашу программу целиком! Во-первых, есть риск, что вы опубликуете закрытый код, принадлежащий вашему работодателю. Во-вторых, в нем будет много лишнего, что не относится к вашей проблеме.

Как сделать хороший пример кода:

  • Добавьте ровно столько кода, сколько нужно, чтобы воспроизвести проблему. Прочитайте об этом подробнее: Как создать минимальный, самодостаточный и воспроизводимый пример
  • Если можете — сделайте запускаемый пример кода и дайте ссылку на сайт (например, на http://sqlfiddle.com/ или http://jsbin.com/). Обязательно добавьте тот же код и в сам вопрос. Сайт может быть недоступен для читателей, а ссылка со временем может устареть.

Отметьте вопрос всеми подходящими метками

Добавьте метку языка, используемой библиотеки или конкретного API, к которым относится ваш вопрос. Напишите часть названия в поле для меток и сайт предложит вам подходящие метки. Прочитайте описания меток и убедитесь, что они соответствуют теме вашего вопроса. Подробнее о метках читайте в справке: Что такое метки и как их использовать?

Сначала перечитайте, потом публикуйте

Когда вопрос готов, перечитайте его ещё раз с самого начала. Представьте, что видите его впервые. Всё ли вам понятно?

Воспроизведите проблему по инструкции из вопроса в чистом окружении. Хватило ли вам для этого информации в вопросе? Если нет — добавьте в него недостающее и снова перечитайте.

Проверьте, что заголовок по-прежнему точно описывает проблему.

Опубликуйте вопрос и отвечайте на комментарии

Когда опубликуете вопрос, оставьте открытой вкладку браузера и следите за комментариями. Если вас попросят добавить информацию или уточнить вопрос — отредактируйте его и добавьте нужное. Проверяйте каждый опубликованный ответ и пишите комментарии о том, что у вас получилось.

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Microsoft Q&A enables the community to deliver timely, high-quality technical answers. Based on our community experience and research, a well-crafted question receives more attention from the community and results in the fastest and the most insightful answers.

This article outlines best practices and guidelines for posting a quality question on Microsoft Q&A which enables the community to deliver swift and reliable answers.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to fully utilize a diverse range of contributors on Microsoft Q&A which include veteran MVPs and Partners, Microsoft community experts, Microsoft product group owners, and other users passionate about similar services and problems.

Avoid duplicate questions

Avoid creating threads or questions that have been answered already. To avoid duplication, when you search or ask a question on Microsoft Q&A, you will see related, previously asked-questions from Microsoft Q&A, MSDN & TechNet Forums, and Stack Overflow. The autosuggestion helps guide you in the following ways:

  • MSDN & TechNet Forums as well as Stack Overflow have a vast knowledge base of good questions and answers. So if the answer is there, we bring it to you in Microsoft Q&A so you save time and get to the answer immediately.
  • By referring to answered threads, either on Microsoft Q&A or an external site, your issue might be resolved without having to create a new question which saves you a lot of time.
  • If there is an ongoing thread, you can add your question to the existing thread by including details of your scenario or vote on the question to indicate your scenario is the same. If multiple users report the same issue, the thread will receive more views which increases the amount of attention from the community. Ultimately, that usually results in a solution being provided faster from the community.

If there are no relevant threads, then you can then create a new thread under the appropriate tag on Microsoft Q&A to ask your question.

Write a title that summarizes your question

Since everybody tries to answer the maximum number of questions they can, experts might often skim through question subjects to quickly find the ones which they are more likely to know the answer. A question with a title of “Urgent! Help needed!” is not as likely to get answered as a question with a title of “How do I use the BinaryFormatter with IIS”. A more specific, detailed title is far more likely to get a response than a general one. A good title summarizes your scenario and the technologies involved.

Components of a good title: Service – Scenario – Result

  • Service – Service or technology you’re leveraging.
  • Scenario – Brief snapshot of the scenario or action you’re trying to accomplish.
  • Result – What is the outcome of your scenario, mostly an error or you need guidance with a specific step.
  1. Azure Windows Virtual Machine – Unable to RDP due to authentication error.
  2. Azure WebApp – How do I upload and configure an existing SSL certificate.
  3. Azure IoT Hub – All requests to IoT Hub fail due to an error code 403002 IoTHubQuotaExceeded.

Keep it clear and concise

To receive a quick and reliable answer to your question, help the community to assist you by posting a clear and concise question with all the relevant information to your question or scenario. Share enough details about the problem for the community members to reproduce or correctly understand your issue. This is crucial as it avoids time lost messaging back and forth to fully understand the scenario.

Generally, a quality question consists of the following attributes:

  • Scenario – Describe your scenario and results as well as what you’re trying to solve by focusing on the what and how in the question content.
  • Technology – Include the technologies involved in your scenario or that you intend to leverage. E.g.: Azure WebApps, Python, code snippet, etc.
  • Result – Share the results of your scenario. Error codes, stack traces, and controls are all very helpful.
  • Environment – Specific scenario requirements, system information, OS or application version, network details, etc.
  • Things you’ve tried: Share any documentation that you’re referring to and list what you have tried to troubleshoot the problem.
  • Screenshot/screencast: If possible, share a screenshot, video, code snippets, or logs for other users to understand your issue better.
  • Give reproducible steps: If possible, outline the exact steps and share any documentation that you may be referring to for accomplishing the scenario. For programming related questions, provide a minimal bug demonstrating test case. You can share just enough skimmed code for the users to reproduce the scenario which would enable them to share their well-researched recommendations.

Ensure that you do not include Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This is a public site and any posts found with PII will either be edited or removed to protect that data.

Ask one question at a time

Do not thread multiple questions in the same thread unless the questions are related. Posting multiple questions on the same thread would not help the community to provide an insight into the problems and can potentially complicate the actual scenario. Based on our community experience and research, the users would not be interested in answering a thread with multiple questions. Hence for additional or unrelated questions, create a new question.

Use the right tag for your question

Since the experts in various subject matters tend to stick to the set of tags that focus on those topics, selecting the right tags will increase the chances to receive an answer faster. On Microsoft Q&A, you can add up to 5 tags that are relevant for your scenario.

Tags – are topics related to your thread that help group and organize all the content on Microsoft Q&A. You can add tags to any kind of post by searching from a wide range of topics at the bottom of a thread that you are creating. You can find a list of supported tags on the Tags list page.

Once you receive a correct answer, mark it as “Accepted”

This step is important, since it lets people scanning Microsoft Q&A know that they can find a verified answer to that question by reading the thread. See more information on the Accepted answers article.

Don’t use this site to report product bugs or feature requests

This is a site for support, so please use the right site to requests new feature requests about a Microsoft product or report any bugs. This will ensure that the experts can focus on resolving user’s problems instead of having to redirect you to the right site.

We are building a marketplace app similar to the Uber model. In this the service provider and end customers both register with the platform. Once they negotiate for a particular service with each other, they need to sign a contract before they can transfer any payment. This will be a docusign embedded signing request where the service providers terms and conditions will be uploaded as PDF and then signed by the end user.

Do we have a way in the API to get the document sent on behalf of the service providers to the end users? Do we need to be an ISV for this? We do not want to make any one login to docusign and want to application to work seamlessly.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

2 Answers 2

If I understand correctly, you want to automate the sending of agreements from the providers to the customers.

Since the providers are in different companies, each provider company should have their own DocuSign account.

The providers could then use your app to automate the sends.

Or you can provide the DocuSign accounts (one per provider company)

Both options work fine. With the second option, you have a different status with DocuSign. (“ISV-L”) rather than regular ISV.

If you feel that many of the providers already have a DocuSign account, then the first option may be better.

Contact partners.docusign.com for more information.

Follow-up question (see comment)

A follow up from the original poster: Will it be ok to just use a regular DocuSign account and then have the service provider agree to something like “We accept and authorize XYZ app to handle contract on behalf of our company”

I think you’re suggesting that the providers would authorize your company to make legally binding contracts on behalf of the providers.

You’re asking a contract law question. My answer (IANAL) is no. But your mileage may very. Consult your finance director or legal counsel for the answer that applies to you.

You could use DocuSign to send out a contract where the first party is the provider, and after they sign, the contract is sent to the end customer.

But that probably violates DocuSign’s terms and conditions. Ask your lawyer before proceeding.

My suggestion is the first option listed above. Many of your providers may already have a DocuSign account, and others would be willing to purchase one to achieve the benefits of eSignatures and automatic contract generation via your app.

If you design your app correctly, it will be easy for your providers to install and use.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

You’ve been out there for years asking and answering Twilio questions on Stack Overflow and we salute you for it. We’ve launched the Twilio Collective on Stack Overflow to make asking and getting answers to those questions an even better experience.

First things first, what is the “Twilio Collective on Stack Overflow”?

The Twilio Collective is a one-stop homebase for all the Twilio knowledge, and the developers sharing it, on Stack Overflow now and into the future. The Collective also allows us to curate the Twilio tags, by highlighting recommended answers to the most burning of questions.

Highlighting answers means we can promote answers even when they don’t have the most votes, like this SendGrid question where the library updated but the accepted answer (which was right at the time) has not.

By joining the collective, you’ll get easy access to a feed of questions on all things Twilio, including SendGrid and Segment, and the contributions you make will place you on the member leaderboard.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Who can join the Twilio Collective?

Anyone with a Stack Overflow account that’s interested in becoming part of the Twilio developer community.

Where is the Twilio Collective within Stack Overflow?

You’ll find the Collective anywhere you find questions with Twilio tags, like twilio or sendgrid.

Why should I join the Twilio Collective?

As part of the Collective you:

  • Will gain Stack Overflow reputation when you ask or answer questions
  • See your contributions appear on the member leaderboard
  • Bonus: If your contributions stand out, we can invite you to become a Recognized Member. Recognized Members get extra flair on their Stack Overflow profile and a few extra privileges within the Collective, like being able to recommend answers

Become part of our supportive Twilio community

Whether you’re having trouble importing the Twilio Python library, can’t send SMS to that one country, need help creating a hash signature of your app, or just want to know whether you can use jQuery with that, the Stack Overflow community is there to help and the Twilio Collective makes it even easier to get that help.

Already on Stack Overflow? Join the Twilio Collective now!

New to Stack Overflow? Sign up and join us, just make sure to check in on how to ask a good question first.

We’re building a community on Stack Overflow that supports each other and helps you to share your knowledge. We can’t wait to see what you ask and answer!

Stack Overflow for Teams is a knowledge management & collaboration solution that technologists already trust.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Thousands of organizations around the globe use Stack Overflow for Teams

How to answer a question on stack overflow

You can improve the overall efficiency and the health of people onboarding in an organization with [Stack Overflow for Teams].

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Our client support answer time is now 30 minutes, and we have a 97% resolution rate due to Stack Overflow for Teams

How to answer a question on stack overflow

When these questions are on Stack Overflow for Teams, I get to be more productive because I don’t have to answer the same question twice.

Onboard faster

Get new hires up to speed in record time

Drive employee engagement

Reduce information silos while working across departments

Improve productivity

Stop digging through chat threads, emails and old company wikis

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Always free up to 50 teammates

Basic

Up to 250 teammates

Business

Enterprise

From engineering to business partners

Departments of all types rely on Stack Overflow for Teams to meet deadlines and drive innovation

Engineering

Reduce distractions and meet release deadlines using a platform Engineers already trust.

Data scientists

Provide quality analysis through collaboration and transparent information sharing.

DevOps & SREs

Increase release velocity by breaking down knowledge silos.

Support

Minimize time to resolution and per-ticket costs by capturing support knowledge.

Product Management

Enable cross-team collaboration to help with product innovation.

Minimize distractions and save time onboarding new employees

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Improves other tools

Streamline workflows across the entire organization

Get the most out of knowledge sharing by integrating Stack Overflow for Teams with popular tools. Our search capabilities make finding answers fast without interrupting the workflow.

Enhance your existing workstreams, resolve blockages faster, and accelerate development time with our Microsoft Teams integration.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How our integration with Microsoft Teams works

A native Stack Overflow for Teams experience within Microsoft Teams

The out-of-the-box Microsoft Teams integration empowers users to access the organization’s collective knowledge to solve blockages without switching between applications or disrupting team members.

How it works

How to answer a question on stack overflow

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Minimize context switching by asking the channel bot or using the message extension to search Stack Overflow for Teams.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Use the channel tab to access Questions or Articles that can be filtered by tags that are applicable to the channel.

Capture knowledge and solutions for reuse
from within Microsoft Teams

Convert a post within Microsoft Teams to a question within Stack Overflow for Teams using the messaging extension.

Stay up-to-date with automated notifications

Set up tag-based push notifications to share new questions, answers, and comments directly to Microsoft Team.

Resolve blockers faster using knowledge
within the personal app

Access critical solutions including bookmarks, Questions, and Articles without having to leave the personal app within Microsoft Teams.

Why companies use Stack Overflow for Teams alongside Microsoft Teams

Help teams work more productively and stay focused

Users find what they need to resolve issues faster, without interruptions.

Build a personalized and robust knowledge repository

Capture knowledge that used to get lost in chat, and get teams talking about it.

Stay up-to-date whenever new information is available

Never miss a beat with automated notifications for new knowledge and updates.

Create an oasis of knowledge within a personal app

Get quick access to tailored solutions and content that helps you resolve issues.

With the integrations between Microsoft Teams and Stack Overflow [for Teams], I’m excited to have one place that I can see my question within an area that I already do my work today

Every year we run a survey. This year, more developers answered more questions than ever before.

26,086 people from 157 countries participated in our 45-question survey. 6,800 identified as full-stack developers, 1,900 as mobile developers, 1,200 as front-end developers, 2 as farmers, and 12,000 as something else.

Code is everywhere, and just about every coder uses Stack Overflow. Every day more coders are finding great jobs on Stack Overflow Jobs.

We conducted this survey to help us better understand our community and to help our community better understand itself. For 2 weeks in early February we ran ads for the survey on Stack Overflow, posted it on Meta Stack Overflow, and shared it across social media.

These results are not unbiased. Like the results of any survey, they are skewed by selection bias, language bias, and probably a few other biases. So take this for what it is: the most comprehensive developer survey ever conducted. Or at least the only one that asks devs about tabs vs. spaces.

See the link in the footer to download the full data set.

Developer Profile

Who codes? Where do developers live? Are developers programmers and are programmers developers? Let’s talk demographics.

I. Geography

There are now more than 7.2 billion people on planet Earth. About 32 million of them visit Stack Overflow monthly, and more than 25 million are return visitors. Return visitors land on Stack Overflow an average of 6 times every month. These are our Active Users in the map above.

This survey under represents developers who don’t like to take English surveys. It’s biased against devs in countries like China, Brazil, and Japan, who participate on Stack Overflow less than devs in other non-English speaking countries. It’s for these devs that we’ve started to launch localized versions of Stack Overflow. Wherever you live, whatever language you speak, we want to help you build as efficiently and collaboratively as humanly possible.

II. Devs Per Capita

Country Devs per 1,000 people
Luxembourg 39.8
Iceland 35.0
Sweden 35.0
Israel 33.4
Finland 33.0
Singapore 31.7

With devs defined as return users. Among countries with at least 10,000 monthly Stack Overflow sessions.

Country Devs per 1,000 people
Somalia 0.000
Chad 0.000
North Korea 0.000
Congo 0.004
Mali 0.009
South Sudan 0.012

With devs defined as return users. Among countries with at least 10 mil population.

Accounting for 25% of all sessions, the United States is the top traffic source to Stack Overflow. India is second (12.5%), followed by the UK (5.5%), and Germany (4.2%). But Luxembourg delivers more uniques per capita than any other country.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

StackOverflow is an online community, used by programmers to learn, share knowledge and further develop their programming careers. Founded in 2008, it’s the largest part of the Stack Exchange network; a family of over 150 knowledge sharing communities, covering topics from mathematics to photography, home improvement to information security.

Many companies use StackOverflow to source passive candidates. Community members have their own profiles and it’s easy to see the technologies they use and how they interact with other members of the community.

But as home to a global network of engaged developers, posting jobs on StackOverflow is also an excellent way to connect with your target audience. If you’re looking for Rails developers for example, your job post will be displayed on the StackOverflow pages discussing Rails. There are very few other job boards that have such a specific reach in the development community, and StackOverflow themselves say that “your jobs will have the potential to reach at least 16 million professional developers”.

Post your jobs for free

Workable’s world-class recruiting software helps you post jobs for free with one click to top job boards. Get started today with a 15-day free trial!

How to post jobs on StackOverflow:

Developers are in high demand. When you’re posting a job on StackOverflow, always create targeted job postings; clearly identify the interesting challenges of the role and the latest technologies the candidate will be using.

Company pages

StackOverflow gives employers the option to create a free company page, which is a great way to kick off your employer branding. Showcase what’s exciting about your company, and why a potential candidate would want to work for you. Suggested things to include are employee benefits (everything from your training budget to social activities, snacks and remote working options), the work culture, and any team members new employees might be working with.

It’s free to create your company page – all you need to do is set up a StackOverflow Careers account to get started.

StackOverflow pricing

StackOverflow is a premium job board, which means that there is a fee to post a job listing. There are two upgrades to the basic job listing available:

  • Featured listings are given special placement on the homepage and will be highlighted in the search results.
  • Top spot listings are always shown in the top position of banner ads on StackOverflow.

Want to get your job advertisement in front of the best developers? Try Workable for free for 15 days to post to the top job boards and manage the hiring process.

How to post a job on StackOverflow

To post a job to StackOverflow you’ll need to sign up for an account with careers.stackoverflow.com. Select ‘log in’ in the top right corner of the homepage, and then ‘create a new account’ from the page that follows. Just enter your email address and a password to complete your sign up.

Once you’ve verified your account, posting a job is easy:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Select ‘Post a Job Listing’ from the top of your account’s homepage.

In the following page, enter your job description and company details.

If you need some job description inspiration to get started, browse a selection of job description templates for the technology industry. They’re ready to copy and paste and customize to your needs.

Next you’ll see the ‘Application Method’. If you’re using email as your main recruiting tool, then check ‘Use StackOverflow Careers’. If you’re using an applicant tracking system to manage your recruiting, you’ll see a place to enter an email address or job shortlink as the ‘Optional application method’.

You’ll now see the option to include questions from the Joel Test. While not appropriate for every role, this is a quick list of yes/no answers to give a broad idea as to the quality of applicants.

Select ‘Continue’ at the bottom of the page to preview your StackOverflow job posting. If everything looks good, proceed to the next page.

On the Checkout page, enter your billing information, choose the length of your job post and select ‘Place Order’ to post your job to Stack Overflow.

Managing applications from StackOverflow

If your company’s main recruiting tools are email and spreadsheets, you’ll need to keep on top of your inbox over the following weeks. Email is often used to gather applications, share them with the broader team for comments and then to manage feedback. The alternative is an Applicant Tracking System, like Workable.

Workable is software used by teams to help streamline their recruiting. In short, recruiting software is used to:

  • Get more exposure for every job by posting to multiple free and premium job boards and social networks with one submission
  • Automatically create candidate profiles, and gather them into a searchable candidate database
  • Collect and share team feedback as candidates move through the pipeline and evaluate candidates
  • Gain greater insight into your hiring activity with reports that assemble and analyze recruiting data

Using Workable with StackOverflow

Workable partners with a broad range of free and premium job boards, including StackOverflow. This means that you can post jobs to StackOverflow without ever needing to leave Workable. To find more about this read our short StackOverflow support article.

If you’re buying a StackOverflow post outside of Workable, you can still gather your candidates in your Workable pipeline for review. Once you’ve used Workable to post the job to your chosen free job sites or bought any additional premium posts, you’ll see the job shortlink on the Your Network step:

How to answer a question on stack overflow

When creating your job on StackOverflow, enter your Workable job shortlink as the ‘Optional application method’.

Now, anyone that wishes to apply will be directed to your online careers page and application form. All applications will arrive in the ‘applied’ stage of your candidate pipeline, ready to review with your team.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Stack Overflow and the other Stack Exchange sites have a strong culture that enforces helpful answers.

That culture is introduced to new users through the Stack Overflow Tour (

There is a clear model of behavior explained here,

  • Be honest.
  • Be nice.
  • Do not use signature, taglines, or greetings.
  • Avoid overt self-promotion.

StackOverflow’s full community guidelines can be found on the Help page (

There are also clear guidelines on what is a good, answerable question and how to phrase questions so that they’re clear.

And it’s also expected that askers have done some research beforehand and that the new question addresses topics that other resources have not answered.

As for answers, there’s a healthy discussion on how to write better answers.

  • Be clear.
  • Provide examples.
  • Link to more information and further reading.
  • Quote relevant material to keep the user from having to click on every link given to get basic information.
  • Revise your answer to include more information as it comes along.
  • Be sure to monitor your answer for comments so that you can reply with explanation if questions come around about your answer.

StackOverflow also has a gamified ranking system that encourages community members to take on more responsibilities. The more points you earn, the more tools they give you to help curate bad questions and answers. So the majority of the moderation work is done by members who care about the quality of content on StackOverflow.

http:// stackoverflow.com/help/ privileges How to answer a question on stack overflow

Giving the community these self-moderation tools creates a strong culture of ownership. People want to make StackOverflow better because they feel emotionally invested in building it question-by-question, answer-by-answer. This creates healthy discussions about styles of moderation and goals of the community.

Discussion regarding the community became so prevalent that the creators made a sister-site,

), just for the community members to discuss how to use StackOverflow.

  • Questions about how to use StackOverflow
  • Support requests for bugs
  • New feature requests
  • Moderation plans
  • Proposed edits to problematic questions or answers
  • Community activities

and many, many more

Back in 2009, Jeff Atwood, the founder of StackOverflow, wrote in a blog post,

Do members of 知乎 feel the same level of empowerment?

To help out everyday users, StackOverflow has self-elected moderators that have extra privileges and are active role models for other members,

Moderators are expected to,

  • Be patient and fair
  • Lead by example
  • Show respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • Be open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

One of the most useful activities that senior members and moderators do is to clarify questions and answers. They comment on ambiguous questions and ask for clarifications. They comment on incomplete answers and ask for sources. Overall, they engage in an open discussion with problematic parts of the community and try to help them understand the rational behind the rules.

Every year, the community holds moderator elections on MetaStackOverflow,

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Again, these elections give all community members a voice in how they want their community to be led.

But the culture of self-moderation and the suite of tools available do have a downside: the learning curve for new members is very steep. In many cases, community members zealously close questions and downvote answers to protect the quality of Stack Exchange. In their rush, they often forget to explain the reasons behind their strict behavior and often sour the experience for a first time user. This creates almost a barrier to entry for people with honest intention, but haven’t had time to learn all the rules.

For example, look at this question with 147 downvotes,

. Downvoted to oblivion, locked by a moderator and closed by other members: that’s really harsh feedback. It’d be really confusing and intimidating for a new user.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Considering 知乎, my first instinct is to encourage people to use the tools that are already built in,

  • “反对”
  • “没有帮助”
  • “举报”

I’d also favor more transparency on negative feedback. Right now, I can’t tell how many times my answers are downvoted or how many people think my answers aren’t useful; all I can see is the sum of the votes. It’d be very useful if those numbers were available to the author of each answer.

If these tools become more useful, I think we can safely encourage the community to give more critical feedback and start the process of self-moderation.

I also think it’d help if 知乎 users discussed bad questions in the question’s comments, rather than posting snarky answers. I think if a question is bad, it’ll naturally receive bad answers or no answers. If somebody feels like explaining why a question is bad or challenging the assumptions made in the question, I feel that it’s much more appropriate to do it in the comments since that commentary is not actually an answer to the question.

I wonder that if users start to be more stringent on the answers, maybe my English answers will be the target of a lot more criticism. I’m still willing to accept that if it improves the overall quality of answers on 知乎. I’ve encouraged readers before to downvote my answers if they disagree with the content or don’t like how it’s written in English. Negative feedback is useful. Letting people know your objections allows us to discuss how we can create a better community.

As always, if you have the courage and patience to translate this into Chinese, then go for it! =P

Stack Overflow Questions and Answers

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README.md

SOQ – Stack Overflow Questions

A repository of material related to Stack Overflow questions and answers, primarily those where Jonathan Leffler has contributed. This is by no means a complete list of the questions or answers contributed; these are just the more interesting ones where some part of the contribution was placed under version control.

Note that some questions have been deleted and therefore users with less than 10K of Stack Overflow reputation will not be able to see the referenced question.

As of 2016-08-20, the repository is mostly stable. Most of the material is present with a separate source directory for each question, such as src/so-3567-8399 . There are some exceptions to this in the src directory, with composite directories containing code related to multiple SO questions, or no SO question at all.

For the time being, the directory name for an answer to SO question number abcdwxyz is saved in src/so-abcd-wxyz (e.g. the code for SO 3333-8314 is in the directory src/so-3333-8314 ). Note that SO does not recognize the punctuation in the number. Also note that if you don’t know the question number, finding the relevant material can be hard. There are some directories in src that group others ( matrices , miscellany , posix-regex , primes , python , tries ). These are neither comprehensive (there could easily be other questions that refer to the same topic) nor complete (there are many other topics covered by several answers that could be grouped together).

The inc top-level directory is the directory where common headers are installed (but the source for them is in src/libsoq and src/libcs50 or other locations as appropriate). Similarly, the lib top-level directory contains the installed libraries of common code (but the source for it is in src/libsoq and src/libcs50 ). The headers and libraries are installed by running make install in the relevant source directories.

The etc directory contains miscellaneous files, such as the common makefile control information and also valgrind suppressions file for Mac OS X 10.11.6 (and 4 and 5) and for macOS Sierra 10.12.5.

We have a great How to Ask page that explains all of this, which is linked generously throughout the network. (And on Stack Overflow, due to massive question volume, we actually force new users to click through that page before asking their first question. You can see this yourself by asking a question as a new user.)

What we’re trying to prevent, most of all, is the unanswerable drive-by question. Those help nobody, and left unchecked they can ruin a Q&A site, turning it into a virtual ghost town. On Stack Exchange, questions that are so devoid of information and context that they can’t reasonably be answered will be actively closed, and if they aren’t improved, eventually deleted.

Like I said, we’re kinda jerks about this. But for good reason: we’re not-so-subtly trying to help you help yourself, by teaching you Rubber Duck problem solving. And boy does it ever work. I’ve gotten tons of feedback over the years about how people, in the process of writing up their thorough, detailed question for Stack Overflow or another Stack Exchange site, figured out the answer to their own problem.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

It’s quite common. See for yourself:

  • I have a problem
  • I decide to bring it to stack overflow
  • I awkwardly write down my question
  • I realize that the question doesn’t make any sense
  • I take 15 minutes to rethink how to ask my question
  • I realize that I’m attacking the problem from a wrong direction entirely.
  • I start from scratch and find my solution quickly.

It’s not a new concept, and every community seems to figure it out on their own given enough time, but “Ask the Duck” is a very powerful problem solving technique.

Bob pointed into a corner of the office. “Over there,” he said, “is a duck. I want you to ask that duck your question.”

I looked at the duck. It was, in fact, stuffed, and very dead. Even if it had not been dead, it probably would not have been a good source of design information. I looked at Bob. Bob was dead serious. He was also my superior, and I wanted to keep my job.

I awkwardly went to stand next to the duck and bent my head, as if in prayer, to commune with this duck. “What,” Bob demanded, “are you doing?”

“I’m asking my question of the duck,” I said.

One of Bob’s superintendants was in his office. He was grinning like a bastard around his toothpick. “Andy,” he said, “I don’t want you to pray to the duck. I want you to ask the duck your question.”

I licked my lips. “Out loud?” I said.

“Out loud,” Bob said firmly.

I cleared my throat. “Duck,” I began.

“Its name is Bob Junior,” Bob’s superintendant supplied. I shot him a dirty look.

“Duck,” I continued, “I want to know, when you use a clevis hanger, what keeps the sprinkler pipe from jumping out of the clevis when the head discharges, causing the pipe to. “

In the middle of asking the duck my question, the answer hit me. The clevis hanger is suspended from the structure above by a length of all-thread rod. If the pipe-fitter cuts the all-thread rod such that it butts up against the top of the pipe, it essentially will hold the pipe in the hanger and keep it from bucking.

I turned to look at Bob. Bob was nodding. “You know, don’t you,” he said.

“You run the all-thread rod to the top of the pipe,” I said.

“That’s right,” said Bob. “Next time you have a question, I want you to come in here and ask the duck, not me. Ask it out loud. If you still don’t know the answer, then you can ask me.”

“Okay,” I said, and got back to work.

I love this particular story because it makes it crystal clear how the critical part of rubber duck problem solving is to totally commit to asking a thorough, detailed question of this imaginary person or inanimate object. Yes, even if you end up throwing the question away because you eventually realize that you made some dumb mistake. The effort of walking an imaginary someone through your problem, step by step and in some detail, is what will often lead you to your answer. If you aren’t willing to put the effort into fully explaining the problem and how you’ve attacked it, you can’t reap the benefits of thinking deeply about your own problem before you ask others to.

If you don’t have a coding buddy (but you totally should), you can leverage the Rubber Duck problem solving technique to figure out problems all by yourself, or with the benefit of the greater Internet community. Even if you don’t get the answer you wanted, forcing yourself to fully explain your problem – ideally in writing – will frequently lead to new insights and discoveries.

How to answer a question on stack overflowStackoverflow.com

A systems administrator was showering the other day (maybe not literally) when he had this thought: “I’ve never actually seen Stack Overflow’s front page. I wonder what percentage of their traffic requests are to simply http://stackoverflow.com.”

As with any knowledge market – and news sites such as this one – most of the traffic to Stack Overflow would be assumed to arrive at addresses other than its homepage. The wondering here was about details. And no one need wonder any longer, as stepping up to the plate is Nick Craver, Stack Overflow Architecture Lead:

Someone poked me for an answer here so here’s some data:

Looking at yesterday (traffic from 2017-03-08) it was 49,646,154 hits out of 345,005,994 total to our load balancer (about 14.39%) for all (Stack Exchange Network) Q&A site home pages. For Stack Overflow specifically, it was 48,883,541 out of 167,557,603 (about 29.17%).

That total number includes a bit of internal API traffic and we’re getting hitting by some unwelcomed scrapers at the moment . but yeah, it’s a non-trivial percentage of traffic these days.

The information generated more than 100 replies, the funniest of which was: “This answer is being closed as off topic.”

If you’d like to see more usage statistics for Stack Overflow and the larger Stack Exchange Network, you’ll find them here. They are quite impressive.

If you’re curious about Stack Overflow’s architecture, Craver has all the info you’ll ever want here.

And, since this was on Reddit, someone offered a link to a somewhat relevant xkcd comic.

Today we are announcing a partnership with Stack Overflow to support Stack Overflow Documentation for Microsoft developers. As part of this announcement, we are announcing that Stack Overflow Documentation content will be integrated into docs.microsoft.com API reference content in the future. Microsoft has long been a partner with Stack Overflow in the form of sponsored tags, and the launch of Stack Overflow Documentation enables the community to have an easy way to create and vote on code samples using the .NET Framework, Xamarin, and other Microsoft products and technologies.

Shared Goals

Both docs.microsoft.com and Stack Overflow had shared goals – we want to make it easy and simple for the community to contribute great documentation for using products and services. Both sets of content have an open license, use markdown as the content format, and easily enable community contributions (Click Edit from any docs.microsoft.com page).

A Quick Tour of Stack Overflow for .NET Developers

When you first arrive at StackOverflow Documentation you’ll find the familiar tag-based categorization of the topics available. At first glance you’ll see all the tags previous created by the StackOverflow community. Once you filter by tag, a list of each appears with a few important metrics shown right up front – the count of topic requests, proposed changes, and improvement requests.

Request a Topic

Few developers have solved difficult problems without the help of the StackOverflow audience. Together with our colleagues, peers, and legends from the community who monitor StackOverflow for questions related to their own products, we’ve built a network of information organized by tags. Documentation capitalizes on the audience commitment to collectively building knowledge by giving us a place to ask for help – the “Requested Topics” section of each tag gives the community a place to identify common problems.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

By clicking “Create Topic,” you can create content for the topic, provide your own code samples and documentation. The experience provides guidance on where to provide each section of content, which can be edited using Markdown syntax if you prefer. As you create topics, your progress is saved in the right navigation, where you can see all of the draft content you’ve not yet completed or sent for review.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Familiar Code-viewing Experience

As with the StackOverflow Q&A site, the code for individual topics is presented in clear, concise format so you can copy-edit-use or learn from simply reading the code. Developers can up/down vote code samples just like answers on Stack Overflow.

My 7 year old son was given this question as a sort of bonus question and although I managed to solve it using some really awful simultaneous equations I can’t help but think there is a simpler more intuitive way to solve it. Afterall, it was given to a 7 year old.

The question is this:

Amir, Brett and Carly share some money.
Amir gets a third of the money.
Carly gets 5 times the as much as Brett.
Carly gets £84 more than Amir
How much money does Brett get?

Is there a really simple way to solve this? Any help is much appreciated

2 Answers 2

An attempt to solve it with simple words .

Brett gets $1$ part.

Carly gets $5$ parts

Carly and Brett get $6$ parts.

As Amir gets one third of the total, it is not difficult to derive that Amir gets $3$ parts.

Carly gets $2$ parts more than Amir: therefore a part corresponds to $42$ pounds.

A gets 1/3rd. C gets 1/3rd + 84. B gets 1/15th + 16.8. Total = 11/15th + 100.8. So 4/15th of the total is 100.8, 4 times total = 1512, total = 378. Let’s check:

A gets 128, C gets 212, B gets 43 – that’s why you check 🙂

No, A gets 126, C gets 210, B gets 42, total 378 🙂 A bit hard for 7 year old. I’d have done it at 10, but not at 7.

You could have solved with binary search for the total. 1200 is too much, 600 so too much, 300 is too little, 450 is too much etc. That is possible for a determined 7 year old IMO.

Or try total = 100, 200, 300, 400. Calculate what each one gets, and if total <= 300 you find that total is less than total. With total = 400 you find that total > total. Then you try the values in between. Can a seven year old use a spreadsheet?

Microsoft Q&A is a technical community platform part of Microsoft Docs that provides a rich online experience in answering your technical questions. Microsoft Q&A enables developers and IT professionals across the world to find learning resources, submit questions, connect with Microsoft engineering and community experts, and share feedback all on a single platform. Microsoft Q&A aims to create a thriving technical community to share collective Microsoft knowledge and provide key insights you need to continue your journey with Microsoft technologies.

The following features will help you to better understand Microsoft Q&A. If you are ready to get help from both Microsoft and the community, click on the “Ask a question” button on the top right of any Microsoft Q&A page.

Get instant answers from MSDN & TechNet forums and Stack Overflow

Looking at suggested questions before you ask yours might help you get your answer faster. When you start asking a question title, Microsoft Q&A shows similar questions which have already been answered on Microsoft Q&A, MSDN and TechNet forums, and Stack Overflow. This helps you save time and get to the answer immediately. All matches, regardless of the source, also show the number of answers and votes to help you pick the best suggestion.

Once you find a suggestion that might solve your issue, click on the suggestion to view the answer on the corresponding site.

If the answer does not meet your need, please ask your question on Microsoft Q&A and one of the community members or Microsoft engineers will respond as soon as possible.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Collections support all Docs content types, including questions

Collections is a Docs-wide feature, that allows you to curate and share more comprehensive collections that combine questions, documentation, code samples, architectures, certifications, learning content, and more. Each collection entry shows some metadata, such as the number of answers a Q&A question has received.

You can add items to your collection by using the “Save” button that appears in each content type. This single-button “Save” experience replaces the bookmarks button on Docs, Q&A, and both collection and bookmark buttons on Learn content.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Clicking the “Save” button displays the “Save to a collection” modal, including a new “Favorites” collection. You can then choose to save the content item to an existing collection or create a new one.

The Favorites collection is pinned at the top of a user’s list of collections in their profile. In an upcoming update to Docs Profile, the “Collections” tab will be renamed to “Saved Items” to better align with the new “Save” experience.

Visit a demo collection with multiple content types for inspiration.

Accept valid answers

If you ask a question and one of the provided answers solves your problem, mark it as Accepted Answer. The accepted answer acknowledgement gives confidence to other community users that the person who had the problem confirmed the answer solved their issue. You can find more details in the Accepted answers article.

Earn reputation points

Earn reputation points by taking part and contributing positively to the Q&A community. For example, when someone recognizes your answer as correct, you’ll receive reputation points. You can find more details on how to accumulate reputation points in the Reputation points article.

Become a product expert

Another way to build a good reputation on Microsoft Q&A is by becoming a product expert. You become a product expert when you get three Accepted answers on a product tag over a 30-day period. When you become a product expert, you will automatically begin to follow that tag. This means that when a question is posted with a tag within your expertise, you will automatically receive an email notification prompting you to answer. You can find more details on the Community experts article.

Get answers from Microsoft experts

Affiliations for Microsoft employees and Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) show in the user’s card, so you know you are getting an answer from a Microsoft-trusted source.

In order for MVPs to see their affiliation, they need to sign in on Q&A with the same email account that they use for the MVP Program. Likewise, Microsoft employees need to use their corpnet credentials for the affiliation to display.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Autosave

AutoSave is a feature available on Microsoft Q&A that saves your in-progress thread (question, answer, comment, or site feedback) every few seconds, as you work. Autosave helps reduce the risk of data loss in case of moving away before submission or a submission error. You can find more details in the Drafts article.

Private conversations

Private comments allow Microsoft support personnel to have a private conversation with a user to help them troubleshoot when personal and confidential information needs to be shared by the user.

Only certain Microsoft employees (moderators and administrators) can start a private message exchange with an author. In the majority of the cases it will be the person who posted a question, although Microsoft employees can have a private conversation with the author of a feedback item, answer, comment, or article (created by Microsoft Q&A administrators). You can find more details on the Private comments article.

Markdown editor highlighted features

Copy and paste images from the clipboard

You can copy and paste images from the clipboard directly into the editor. Simply paste the image and update the ALT text and you are all set!

Drag and drop images

If you have images saved on your computer you would like to upload to your thread, you can use the drag and drop image feature. Simply click on the image link in the editor toolbar and drag and drop the image in the dialog that has popped up.

Code blocks

You can either use four spaces before each line or triple back-ticks in the beginning and the end as valid markers for code blocks.

See who asked the question

In content lists, in addition to showing the information relating to who last contributed to a question thread, you also see the person who asked the question or suggested the feedback.

I use a Microsoft SQL Server version of the public Stack Overflow data export for my blog posts and training classes because it’s way more interesting than a lot of sample data sets out there. It’s easy to learn, has just a few easy-to-understand tables, and has real-world data distributions for numbers, dates, and strings. Plus, it’s open source and no charge for you – just choose your size:

    Small: 10GB database as of 2010:1GB direct download, or torrent or magnet. Expands to a

After you download it, extract the .7Zip files with 7Zip. (I use that for max compression to keep the downloads a little smaller.) The extract will have the database MDF, NDFs (additional data files), LDF, and a Readme.txt file. Don’t extract the files directly into your SQL Server’s database directories – instead, extract them somewhere else first, and then move or copy them into the SQL Server’s database directories. You’re going to screw up the database over time, and you’re going to want to start again – keep the original copy so you don’t have to download it again.

Then, attach the database. It’s in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 format (2005 for the older torrents), so you can attach it to any 2008 or newer instance. It doesn’t use any Enterprise Edition features like partitioning or compression, so you can attach it to Developer, Standard, or Enterprise Edition. If your SSMS crashes or throws permissions errors, you likely tried extracting the archive directly into the database directory, and you’ve got permissions problems on the data/log files.

As with the original data dump, this is provided under cc-by-sa 4.0 license. That means you are free to share this database and adapt it for any purpose, even commercially, but you must attribute it to the original authors (not me):

What’s Inside the StackOverflow Database

I want you to get started quickly while still keeping the database size small, so:

  • All tables have a clustered index on Id, an identity field
  • No other indexes are included (nonclustered or full text)
  • The log file is small, and you should grow it out if you plan to build indexes or modify data
  • It only includes StackOverflow.com data, not data for other Stack sites

To get started, here’s a few helpful links:

Past Versions

I also keep past versions online too in case you need to see a specific version for a demo.

Why are Some Sizes/Versions Only On BitTorrent?

BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer file distribution system. When you download a torrent, you also become a host for that torrent, sharing your own bandwidth to help distribute the file. It’s a free way to get a big file shared amongst friends.

The download is relatively large, so it would be expensive for me to host on a server. For example, if I hosted it in Amazon S3, I’d have to pay around $5 USD every time somebody downloaded the file. I like you people, but not quite enough to go around handing you dollar bills. (As it is, I’m paying for multiple seedboxes to keep these available, heh.)

Some corporate firewalls understandably block BitTorrent because it can use a lot of bandwidth, and it can also be used to share pirated movies/music/software/whatever. If you have difficulty running BitTorrent from work, you’ll need to download it from home instead.

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Stack Overflow is the default Q&A site for programmers (though the overall Stack Exchange network goes well beyond helping you answer your basic PHP questions). But over the course of the last year and a half, with its new CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar coming on board, the company has also kickstarted its SaaS business with a new focus on its Stack Overflow for Teams product. Teams offers businesses something akin to a private Stack Overflow for managing and sharing knowledge across a company. Until now, Teams was only available through a paid subscription (or a time-gated trial), but starting today, Stack Overflow will move to a freemium model with a perpetually free plan.

As Chandrasekar told me ahead of today’s announcement, Stack Overflow’s $85 million Series E funding round this summer was all about Teams and accelerating its SaaS growth. “We wanted to double down on Teams,” he said. “And that is very much — as we transform into a product-led SaaS company from our foundation of the community and the public platform — that’s a huge, huge focus.”

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Image Credits: Stack Overflow

Like so many products in this space, Stack Overflow for Teams experienced rapid growth in 2020. Its annual recurring revenue grew 72% last year, the company tells me, and it added over 1,500 Teams customers, including 70 that opted for its high-end Enterprise tier. Teams customers now include the likes of Box, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Instacart and Zapier.

The new freemium offering will be limited to 50 seats, but for the most part, it’s quite a fully featured solution, with support for all of the core Teams features. It also includes support for the service’s ChatOps integrations with Slack and Microsoft Teams (side note: maybe there are too many products with the name “Teams” right now?). The free service does not include support for single sign-on solutions, though. You’ll need the basic paid plan for that. And while the enterprise tier is SOC II certified and runs on single-tenant instances, that’s not the case for the free, basic and business tiers.

“At Unqork, we use Stack Overflow for Teams and its Slack integration to empower our creators to learn from each other in a productive way and to support our clients building solutions on top of our platform,” said Olga Gomonova, head of enablement at Unqork. “Since implementing Stack Overflow for Teams for internal and external use cases, we’ve been able to reduce the time to respond to client and internal questions from 60 to 30 minutes, and have been able to onboard new hires faster as our company grows.”

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Image Credits: Stack Overflow

Some of the missing features, however, are access to Stack Overflow for Teams’ Articles format for longer-form content and Collections, a feature that allows users to group together sets of similar questions that can be used for an onboarding workflow or in place of a traditional FAQ document, for example. Stack Overflow CPO Teresa Dietrich tells me that the company has seen over 50% adoption of Articles since its launch in August 2020. The company also recently introduced a private feedback option for Teams.

“We found that, unlike on the public Q&A sites, people weren’t comfortable giving downvotes to content on the Teams product until we introduced private feedback,” she said. “So now they give feedback to the content writer in a private way that says it’s incomplete, it’s out of date, or it’s wrong. And then they can put text around that feedback and only the owner of that content sees it.”

The freemium offering has been in the works for a while. As Chandrasekar and Dietrich both noted, the company removed the credit card requirement to get started with the 30-day Teams trial that had been in place before. “We realized through that experience, that it was actually not enough time to allow companies to create a community internally and that’s basically what we’re trying to do,” Chandrasekar said. “So that was a huge learning for us to say it didn’t make a lot of sense for us to keep a free trial that was timeboxed. And that really expanded to just make it free for life.”

Dietrich added that before launching this free offering, the company also wanted to make sure that it had optimized its onboarding flow for these free users as well.

Early Stage is the premier “how-to” event for startup entrepreneurs and investors. You’ll hear firsthand how some of the most successful founders and VCs build their businesses, raise money and manage their portfolios. We’ll cover every aspect of company building: Fundraising, recruiting, sales, product-market fit, PR, marketing and brand building. Each session also has audience participation built-in — there’s ample time included for audience questions and discussion. Use code “TCARTICLE at checkout to get 20% off tickets right here.

If you’re asking for R help, reporting a bug, or requesting a new feature, you’re more likely to succeed if you include a good reproducible example, which is precisely what the reprex package is built for. You can learn more about reprex, along with other tips on how to help others help you in the tidyverse.org help section.

Where to ask

How to answer a question on stack overflow

Now that you’ve made a reprex, you need to share it in an appropriate forum. Here are some options:

community.rstudio.com: This is a warm and welcoming place to ask any questions you might have about tidymodels or more generally about modeling, machine learning, and deep learning. (You can also ask questions about the tidyverse and RStudio there, too!)

Stack Overflow. You’re probably already familiar with Stack Overflow from googling; it’s a frequent source of answers to coding related questions. Asking a question on Stack Overflow can be intimidating, but if you’ve taken the time to create a reprex, you’re much more likely to get a useful answer. Make sure to tag your question with r and tidymodels so that the right people are more likely to see it.

Twitter. It’s hard to share your reprex only on twitter, because 280 characters are rarely enough and screenshots don’t help others play with your code. However, twitter is a great place to share a link to your reprex that’s hosted elsewhere! The #rstats twitter community is extremely friendly and active, and is a great crowd to be a part of. Make sure you tag your tweet with #rstats and #tidymodels .

If you think you’ve found a bug, please follow the instructions for filing an issue on contributing to tidymodels.

Resources

Each tidymodels package has its own documentation site, full of helpful information. Find links to all package documentation sites and explore them!

Stay up to date with the latest news about tidymodels through our posts on the tidyverse blog.

Apache RocketMQ is developed by an open and friendly community. Everybody is cordially welcome to join the community and contribute to Apache RocketMQ. There are several ways to interact with the community and to contribute to RocketMQ including asking questions, filing bug reports, proposing new features, joining discussions on the mailing lists, contributing code or documentation, improving the website, or testing release candidates.

Ask questions!

The Apache RocketMQ community is eager to help and to answer your questions. We have a user mailing list and apache-rocketmq tag on Stack Overflow.

File a bug report

Please let us know if you experienced a problem with RocketMQ and file a bug report. Open Github Issue and click on the New issue.

Propose an improvement or a new feature

Our community is constantly looking for feedback to improve Apache RocketMQ. If you have an idea how to improve RocketMQ or have a new feature in mind that would be beneficial for RocketMQ users, please open an issue in RocketMQ’s ISSUE. The improvement or new feature should be described in appropriate detail and include the scope and its requirements if possible. Detailed information is important for a few reasons:

  • It ensures your requirements are met when the improvement or feature is implemented.
  • It helps to estimate the effort and to design a solution that addresses your needs.
  • It allow for constructive discussions that might arise around this issue.

Detailed information is also required, if you plan to contribute the improvement or feature you proposed yourself. Please read the Contribute code guide in this case as well.

We recommend to first reach consensus with the community on whether a new feature is required and how to implement a new feature, before starting with the implementation. Some features might be out of scope of the project, and it’s best to discover this early.

Help others and join the discussions

Most communication in the Apache RocketMQ community happens on two mailing lists:

  • The user mailing lists is the place where users of Apache RocketMQ ask questions and seek for help or advice. Joining the user list and helping other users is a very good way to contribute to RocketMQ’s community. Furthermore, there is the rocketmq tag on Stack Overflow if you’d like to help RocketMQ users (and harvest some points) there.
  • The development mailing list is the place where RocketMQ developers exchange ideas and discuss new features, upcoming releases, and the development process in general. If you are interested in contributing code to RocketMQ, you should join this mailing list.

You are very welcome to subscribe to both mailing lists.

Test a release candidate

Apache RocketMQ is continuously improved by its active community. Every few weeks, we release a new version of Apache RocketMQ with bug fixes, improvements, and new features. The process of releasing a new version consists of the following steps:

  1. Building a new release candidate and starting a vote (usually for 72 hours).
  2. Testing the release candidate and voting (+1 if no issues were found, -1 if the release candidate has issues).
  3. Going back to step 1 if the release candidate had issues otherwise we publish the release. Our site contains a page that summarizes the test procedure for a release. Release testing is a big effort if done by a small group of people but can be easily scaled out to more people. The RocketMQ community encourages everybody to participate in the testing of a release candidate. By testing a release candidate, you can ensure that the next RocketMQ release is working properly for your setup and help to improve the quality of releases.

Contribute code

Apache RocketMQ is maintained, improved, and extended by code contributions of volunteers. The Apache RocketMQ community encourages anybody to contribute source code. In order to ensure a pleasant contribution experience for contributors and reviewers and to preserve the high quality of the code base, we follow a contribution process that is explained in our Contribute code guide. The guide does also include instructions to setup a development environment, our coding guidelines and code style, and explains how to submit a code contribution.

Please read the Contribute code guide before you start to work on a code contribution.

Looking for an issue to work on?

We maintain a list of all known bugs, proposed improvements and suggested features in Github issue.

Contribute documentation

Good documentation is crucial for any kind of software. The Apache RocketMQ community aims to provide concise, precise, and complete documentation and welcomes any contribution to improve Apache RocketMQ’s documentation.

  • Please report missing, incorrect, or out-dated documentation as a Github issue.
  • RocketMQ’s documentation is written in Markdown and located in the docs folder in RocketMQ’s site source code repository. See the Contribute documentation guidelines for detailed instructions for how to update and improve the documentation and to contribute your changes.

Improve the website

The Apache RocketMQ website presents Apache RocketMQ and its community. It serves several purposes including:

  • Informing visitors about Apache RocketMQ and its features.
  • Encouraging visitors to download and use RocketMQ.
  • Encouraging visitors to engage with the community.

We welcome any contribution to improve our website.

Please open a Github issue if you think our website could be improved. Please follow the Improve the website guidelines if you would like to update and improve the website.

More ways to contribute…

There are many more ways to contribute to the RocketMQ community. For example you can

  • give a talk about RocketMQ and tell others how you use it.
  • organize a local Meetup or user group.
  • talk to people about RocketMQ.

How to become a committer

Committers are community members that have write access to the project’s repositories, i.e. they can modify the code, documentation, and website by themselves and also accept other contributions.

There is no strict protocol for becoming a committer. Candidates for new committers are typically people that are active contributors and community members.

Being an active community member means participating on mailing list discussions, helping to answer questions, verifying release candidates, being respectful towards others, and following the meritocratic principles of community management. Since the “Apache Way” has a strong focus on the project community, this part is very important.

Of course, contributing code and documentation to the project is important as well. A good way to start is contributing improvements, new features, or bug fixes. You need to show that you take responsibility for the code that you contribute, add tests and documentation, and help maintaining it.

Candidates for new committers are suggested by current committers or PMC members, and voted upon by the PMC.

If you would like to become a committer, you should engage with the community and start contributing to Apache RocketMQ in any of the above ways. You might also want to talk to other committers and ask for their advice and guidance.

Reference

This document is a modified version of the one created by the Flink Project[1].