Example: How can you filter out irritable programmers in interviews?

Obviously, other professions probably have similar problems. You wouldn't want an irritable policeman, teacher or salesmen in your team either.

On the other hand, one might argue that the solution depends on the job. At least it's easier to implement a solution crafted for the typical interviewing process of a programmer than a generic answer that might fit for every possible job description.

  • Another recent example: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/82791/… Technically, this question applies to many other professions as well, but the answers would be very different for a firefighter, secretary or doctor.
    – user281377
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 20:21
  • 3
    As a 3K+ guy, I vote to close questions applicable to other professions also when I don't expect the answers to be too much different. If the answers for programming are likely to be a lot different, I'll go for open. Commented Jun 10, 2011 at 21:46
  • Aggreed. This line of thinking seems to be common practice among mods too.
    – user281377
    Commented Jun 11, 2011 at 6:58

2 Answers 2


From the FAQ

Please note that the following subjects are considered off-topic here:

  • If your question can also be applied to other jobs then it's not really something that uniquely applies to software development.

So basically yes.

However, I can see that, as you point out, there might be cases where the solution is unique to software development - but it might not be immediately obvious and these situations might be few and far between.

The danger is, that if we (as a community) leave these questions open we risk diluting the site content until it becomes a general employment discussion site - something we don't really want.

I don't know what the answer is. Unfortunately I think we have to err on the side of caution at the moment. If you think something's been unfairly closed then please do flag it or raise it here.

  • Thanks for pointing out in the FAQ - I should have read it more careful.
    – user281377
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 13:37
  • @ammoQ: There are a few proposals (including one of mine) floating around Area51 trying to categorize these types of questions.
    – Josh K
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 13:52
  • Why do we have a different consensus for this question? meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/1618/…
    – Jeremy
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 17:40

You have to make a very strong case that the question is truly specific or at least unusually applicable to programmers.

For example, programmers tend to be introverted and sometimes suffer from Aspergers-like symptoms, so questions about those factors in a job or career would tend to be on-topic.

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