The tag seems intrinsically tied to a type of question relating to Career Advice that is deemed off-topic and inappropriate for the site.

Looking at the list of questions that use this tag, the vast majority are closed and/or voted down for this reason. It seems difficult to comprehend questions that could generally use this tag without being off-topic.

Should this tag be considered for removal, considered a red-flag in general, or be re-purposed?

2 Answers 2


Maybe we should copy some of the content of tag wiki into .

Questions about developing one's career can be asked as long as they invite the unique insights of a programmer and are specifically about developing one's career as a programmer.

Please note that most career advice questions run the risk of being closed for being too broad or impractical: try to make yours a good subjective question.

Please also make sure your question has the proper scope. If your question can also be applied to other jobs then it's not really something that uniquely applies to software development and isn't on-topic here.

There is a difference between questions about a career and questions about your career. Many career questions today would be closed as "too localized" of old, career or otherwise. The close reason helps make it clear what the issue with most career questions is:

They are only meaningful to the asker and do not generate lasting value for the broader programming community. Furthermore, in most cases, any answer is going to be a subjective opinion that may not take into account all the nuances of a (your) particular circumstance

This goes back to the classic P.SE question diagram:

If the question needs background information about the person asking it to create an answer, it likely falls into the "Just you" section.

Glance through the questions in and glance at the background and question:

I'm arun from india, 2010 passed MCA graduate. Before 2 years worked in C and C++ developer (Not Embedded Developer) for 6 months. Due to my health conditions, i shifted to my hometown so i left c and c++ job. .... Can i switch my career from Oracle to C and C++ ? Is it okay ? If it is, what should i do ?

I am having 2 years and 7 month experience in Java and Big data technologies.I started my career with nosql & XML technologies i.e Xquery as front end and Marklogic as backend.But I was so interested in Java and learn it during those 1 and half years and learn struts framework itself and make small application itself.After 1 and half years I moved to the project in Java in my company.I did work for 11 months until the final release and I did well on the project. ...... I do not want to go for production support? what should I do now?They are trying to convince me with soft as well as hard words.Is it right for my career?

I'm 18 and currently taking a 2 year game development program at a college, where I will graduate with a bachelor of applied sciences, and I'm focusing in programming. .... What are your guys thoughts on this? Is the bachelor of applied science that bad? Should I go for a CS degree at some point? Is the game industry shit? Are other fields shit?

I will point out that not all the closed questions are closed as off topic. Some are closed as too broad/not constructive "What should I read for switching from A to B", primarily opinion based, or requests for information.

And this goes to the heart of why most career questions are off topic. They are asking about the individual wanting advice for their particular situation (this includes time). Consider a question from a person asking if they should career transition from Java to C or C++ for writing Palm or Java Micro Edition for Blackberry... today the answer would get a very different "correct" one than 3 or 4 years ago (though arguably, the writing was on the wall then too).

The key to Stack Exchange is to provide good content that other people find useful. Its not just helping the person asking the question (thats the seed of the material), but helping all the rest of the people that have the same question and find it through Google.

Its not inappropriate though it should come with a warning.

All that said, within chat there is currently (I won't speak for years down the road) active group that would be happy to help a person work through career questions. These questions require a dense conversation of back and forth necessary to get the proper information from the person asking and can be extremely sensitive to current conditions (what the market is).


Well, as far as I'm aware, some career questions are still supposed to be on topic, according to this meta answer. I don't know when or how voters decided all career questions are off topic, but I don't think it was by consensus.

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