I think the Programmers tag line is misleading when mixed with our site name, and that it implies on first glance that the site is about "Programmers [interested in conceptual questions about software development]".

Since the tag line is a summary of the site for the SE site description, search description, and the welcome message for users not logged, can we remove the words "professional programmers interested in" to make it more clear what the site is actually for?

This is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for conceptual questions about software development.


Thomas pointed out that the tag line should describe who the site is for, so perhaps we could just reverse the order of the objects so the topic is the first thing people read, and the audience is second?

This is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for conceptual questions about software development, intended for professional programmers.


This is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for conceptual questions about software development. It is intended for use by professional programmers.

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    I'm going to give this discussion a few days. If the idea that a new tagline is in order is well received, I'll make it a point to follow up with the appropriate people. I'm not sure what would need to be done to change the tagline across the system, since it's used in other places (such as the description on stackexchange.com and in migration fields), but I want to let this discussion run its course before anything else happens. – Thomas Owens Apr 23 '12 at 13:37
  • @ThomasOwens Alright, thanks. I've cleaned up the question a bit to clarify the change I'd like to make, although let me know if you think it can be improved further. – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 13:48
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    @ThomasOwens: I have no objection to the new wording. I don't think there's a tangible difference, though. – Robert Harvey Apr 23 '12 at 16:59
  • I agree with @RobertHarvey when looking at the latest version of this question. What exactly is the difference in meaning between the original and proposed version? This site is a site for professional programmers who are interested in asking or reading answers to questions about the conceptual side of software development. – Thomas Owens Apr 23 '12 at 17:08
  • @RobertHarvey, TO - The difference is the subject of our site's description becomes conceptual questions about software development, and not professional programmers [interested in software development]. Too many people seem to think our site is about programmers, not software development, and this is one way to help clarify our site scope to new users. – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 17:29
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    I just don't see how this minor change would materially matter to the vast majority of people visiting the site; the minor change in wording 1) presupposes that the distinction between professional programmers and software development somehow matters to most people, and 2) even if it matters, that this distinction would somehow make some sort of difference in how people view the scope. It seems like either 1) a solution in search of a problem, or 2) an ill-advised attempt to reframe the rules based on your own sensibilities, using a thinly-veiled end-run technique. – Robert Harvey Apr 23 '12 at 17:30
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    In short, "meh." – Robert Harvey Apr 23 '12 at 17:38
  • @RobertHarvey I am getting quite tired of trying to help SE improve their sites using their rules and following the advice their moderators have given me as I learn the sites, only to get attacked on everything I do for apparently having some kind of nefarious agenda. I'm not sure where you guys got that notion, but I can only assume that a certain moderator decided to vent about his opinion on me in TL, because ever since then I have had SE moderators constantly telling me that everything I do has a hidden meaning or that I am passive-aggressively venting about my opinions. – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 18:00
  • @RobertHarvey This is an honest attempt to help. I see a lot of users mistakenly thinking this is a site about programmers, and its not. I noticed the tag line because of a question on UX.SE that asked about the importance of matching the name and content of descriptive site names, and P.SE was one of the examples. Of all the 5 examples given, P.SE is the only one that both did not have a name that matched it's content, and and that did not have a clear message displayed for new users clarifying what the content actually is. – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 18:00
  • @RobertHarvey I'm not sure if you've noticed the fact that the question quality has dropped, along with user participation. Use Data.SE to verify that if you wish, or see my answer here, which contains some query results already. I see many questions closed on a daily basis which look like they would be fine if asked on a site about programmers, but they are off-topic on a site about software development. There's something wrong with a SE site if a large number of their questions are getting closed as off-topic – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 18:03
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    Fine; I apologize for obliquely inferring that your intentions are somehow nefarious. But this wording change... Really? It seems as if you believe that there is some "perfect state" to which Programmers.SE will eventually be molded. It doesn't exist; where people are involved, there is no such thing as perfection. There is only the uneasy peace between those folks who think anything goes, and the ones who strive for some notion of higher quality, while willingly accepting the tradeoff that some discourse must be sacrificed to achieve that end. – Robert Harvey Apr 23 '12 at 18:04
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    Those graphs only prove that the "anything goes" people are going elsewhere to ask their bikeshed questions. That's what we want. – Robert Harvey Apr 23 '12 at 18:06
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    Rachel please provide some evidence that the current wording is confusing to a large number of people. No theories, guesses, assumptions, but actual evidence. – yannis Apr 23 '12 at 18:30
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    @YannisRizos Take a look at our last 24 hours worth of questions. 50% of them are either closed or migrated, and many look like they'd be fine if this were a site about professional programmers, and not software development. I think that shows we are doing something wrong with the way we communicate with new users about what this site is for. This isn't the first time someone has pointed this out either. – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 18:33
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    it's getting old Finally something we can agree on. – yannis Apr 23 '12 at 19:32

The typical tag line should define who the target audience of the site is and what types of questions are allowed.

In our tagline, the who is "professional programmers" (although I'd support changing that to something more like "professional software developers" to capture the non-programmers such as process improvement specialists, architects, designers, project managers managing software-intensive projects, software testers...) and the allowed questions are "conceptual questions about software development".

Removing the who part would lose part of the key definition of this site. The questions here, although they might be relevant to hobbiest software developers, are geared toward software developers in a working environment. That is a core definition of our audience and shouldn't be removed from the tagline.

  • "Professional Software Developers" sounds better too, I'd support a change like that. I was looking at a UX.SE question about the importance of a descriptive site name matching it's content, and of the list of examples provided, P.SE was the only one that didn't have the name/content matching, and that didn't have a clear definition of the site's content on the home page. Perhaps we can just change the "interested in" to "about"? – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 13:17
  • I edited my question a bit in response to your answer – Rachel Apr 23 '12 at 13:24
  • Is the site even for "Professionals" alone? – Dynamic Apr 23 '12 at 19:14
  • @Jae You don't need to be a professional to use the site (there's no way to enforce it), but the subject matter should be interesting and relevant to professionals in the field of software development. I'd even include students in related disciplines (future professionals) in that category. – Thomas Owens Apr 23 '12 at 19:51
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    @Jae the scope presumed for Programmers.SE is software development in a professional setting, so while you can consider yourself to not be a professional, your question should be about professional programming. My answer here summarizes the past discussions about it. – user8 Apr 23 '12 at 19:51

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