Over here at Programmers, a lot of askers seems to misunderstand site-specific expectations of career related questions, which frequently results in questions closure and deletions.

Propose to help question askers and editors by establishing tag-specific popup (tag-tips) for particularly troublesome career related tags:
, , ,

(For the sake of completeness, implementation of above request also included career-transition and career-anyotherword tags.)

Suggestion for popup content is as follows:

Wait! Career advice is off-topic per the Help Center. Please note that most career advice questions end up being closed for being too broad or impractical; try to make yours a good subjective question.

  • Questions about developing one's career can be asked as long as they require the unique insights of a programmer and are specifically about developing one's career as a programmer.
  • Please make sure your question has the proper scope. It needs to apply to other programmers besides yourself.
  • If your question can also be applied to other job fields, then it does not uniquely apply to software development and is not on-topic here.
  • Before asking, review this meta guidance: Why was my question closed or down voted? -> Career or education advice. Make sure your question avoids the problems listed in the guidance.

I hope this measure could help question askers significantly. For detailed discussion of this proposal and some alternatives, refer prior question: Current state of the [job-market]


  • Cutting down on off topic posts

    We are getting pummeled with the same off topic questions over and over again... The point here is to put something directly on the posting page... something more prominent than what we have now might make a dent in the problem.

  • Clarification on what is career advice

    tag... seems to be causing more trouble than anything else

I think it is also worth mentioning that in the past, career related tags have been through community cleanups (1, 2) meaning that older content in these tags has already been through some extra scrutiny and generally deemed worth keeping.


2 Answers 2


Update - these questions are now considered wholly off-topic here, so I've simplified the guidance further:

Wait! Job / Career questions are off-topic here. Yes, there are still a few around; it's a long story.

You can try The Workplace for career development questions.

See also: Why was my career or education advice question closed or down voted?

...also these tags are blacklisted and can no longer be used on new questions.

  • I think it would be safer to use the help/on-topic Workplace link instead of tour
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 4:36
  • ...wrt blacklisting, besides resume and career-development are there other tags? I would want to update STCI Phase II about that. While we're at it, other tags to consider are books, learning, teaching, education, self-improvement. Hiring, recruitment and interview also look worth backlisting based on analysis in STCI Phase II
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 10:49
  • 1
    Blacklist is: ^(job-market|resume|career-\w+)$ @gnat
    – Shog9
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 17:01
  • got it, thanks. That means, of existing tags only resume and career development are blacklisted plus (and this is very very bold plus) all further attempts to add tags covered by this regex will be blocked too. Not too bad!
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 17:08

Nice idea, but that guidance was waaaay too long to fit in a pop-up. I trimmed it down a bit:

Wait! Personal advice is off-topic here. Please ensure that your question…

See also: Why was my career or education advice question closed or down voted?

Check it out:

FWIW, I find that meta answer fairly unhelpful in this context, given most folks aren't likely to click through in the first place. So I tried hard to pack some specific advice into the pop-up itself, leaving the meta link as sort of a veiled threat at the end.

  • looks good to me. I would only change link to TWP tour to one referring their help/on-topic page because many questions I see and vote close here would be off-topic there either (migration stats also suggest that there is a problem here). I also pinged TWP folks at Water Cooler to find out if they are comfortable with the reference here
    – gnat
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 8:02
  • Or maybe someone other than me & jmac could try their hand at editing the TWP short on/off-topic lists on the page I linked to...
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 17:03
  • agree, TWP tour page can somehow integrate / refer this. Can't tell if this would be prominent enough usability wise... but anyway, they are now aware of this and if they have concerns we will hear it
    – gnat
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 19:57
  • Shog, I would appreciate advice on how to proceed in order to have this tag tip added at career-transition tag. It seems that I didn't include it into original list here simply by mistake (we just spoke about this a bit at Whiteboard)
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 20:45
  • 2
    I anticipated this, @gnat - did you happen to try adding career-transition (or career-anyotherword) to a question?
    – Shog9
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 21:18
  • woo hoo it's there! (I simply didn't test this back then) thanks a lot, that was really very smart of you
    – gnat
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 21:20
  • 3
    Shog9 FTW! Saves the day again.
    – user53019
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 21:30
  • 1
    @Shog9 How did anyone think those colors were a good idea? It's so hard to read. Yet, we want to encourage people to read that box.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 17:29
  • 1
    @Shog9: This wording needs to be changed. Career development questions are categorically off-topic on Software Engineering, and we have folks who are confused by the wording. Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 19:58
  • 1
    See new answer, @Robert: meta.softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/6983/…
    – Shog9
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 3:00

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