I saw this question and thought it was going somewhere. It was closed, and with good reason I believe, but I still think that there is a nugget of a usable question in there somewhere. Would I be justified in editing the question even if it requires almost a complete rewrite in order to get it off of a career question? I would just write my own question, but I don't want to ask a question that doesn't pertain to my situation since the FAQ says that we shouldn't ask "random" questions.

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    I'm not sure I see any question there that isn't a career question. If you rewrote it, what question would you ask?
    – Rachel
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 16:20
  • I guess it could be somewhat career related, but I was going to go the route of asking something like "How do I prove to a future employer that I am still up to date with {technology A} if my current employer uses {technology B / any different technology}?". Because although you could show them code once in the interview, you're resume would still look really bad if you had a, let's say, 5 year gap between technologies, so you may not get the interview in the first place. Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 17:27

3 Answers 3


I don't see how any version of the question could be on topic for Programmers. Even a less localized version of it wouldn't really be about an issue that's unique to our profession.

The nugget of a usable question you see in there might be on topic for our sister site, The Workplace, but I'm not sure. You could ask around in their main chat room, The Water Cooler, verify whether the question could be on topic for them and get some suggestions on how to edit it or, if the question is blatantly off topic for them, point you to similar questions that might sufficiently answer the question in question.

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    It seems the question asked boils down to "How do I continue to practice X skill when for 8 hours a day I am paid to use Y skill." This isn't entirely programmer specific; answers might be "practice in your spare time by donating time to Z projects", and that would be a valid answer for any skill. Or maybe not. But that nugget wouldn't belong on Workplace anyway; a question about how best to represent gaps in skill use when moving to a new job could be on topic.
    – jcmeloni
    Commented Jun 25, 2012 at 23:35

I think you'll struggle to find a non-career question in there, but I don't want to discourage you if you see something I'm not.

There are some elements that tie in with Ambler's Generalizing Specialist, but it will be a fine line between career / "what technology next" vs. what is on-topic within the guidelines of the FAQ. There might be something in there from a methodologies point of view.


If you think that you can salvage the question through an edit and not destroy any existing answers (which doesn't apply in this case since it was closed before any answers were posted), go for it. It's called a "heroic edit" (search on Meta and you can find a few posts about them). The point of closing a question is to give people the opportunity to turn a poor question into a good question. After you edit, it might be a good idea to flag it for moderator review - if it's a good edit, we'll reopen the question.

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    -1: No way. This question isn't salvageable. You should encourage him to try again with an entirely new question.
    – Jim G.
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 3:31
  • @JimG. You can't say that a question isn't salvageable until someone tries. Worst case scenario is that the edits are rejected and the question stays closed.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jun 26, 2012 at 10:24

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