Four years ago we asked for a name change, which was rejected by SE because there was no evidence to support the claim it was causing user confusion, and there were other things the site should focus on first.

Now four years later, users have done all that they can and things are not improving in relation to off-topic posts and user confusion. We still have a very high percentage of closed questions here, and repeatedly get negative feedback on meta about this. (As a lurker of P.SE Meta, I can tell you there are many more links too - these are just the ones found with a quick search of recent questions.)

Steps taken to improve site since four years ago:

  • The site scope and FAQ has been clarified so it is very clear what is on or off topic now
  • Users have worked hard to generate a set of meta posts to help guide new users with common misconceptions
  • There is an active group of users who are very aggressive about maintaining questions according to the current site scope and standards
  • More focus is placed on guiding and educating new users

The subject of the site's name still keeps coming up time and again from both new and veteran users.

  • maple_shaft (mod)

    The solution to the vast majority of bad content that I speak of is Our Domain Name. It is as simple as that. Change the domain name of the site from Programmers to Software Engineering and Architecture or something akin to this and I will personally step down as a moderator if spam on the site doesn't cut by half.

  • enderland

    I don't think anyone -- other than SE itself -- disagrees that the site is poorly named. However... that is well outside our ability to influence.

  • Carson2000

    Is this site poorly named? Are people coming to "programmers.stackexchange.com" and immediately thinking "aha, the place for my programming questions! they will help me debug my code!"

  • Mage xy

    I've never really understood why the site was called "Programmers.SE"... we're all programmers, aren't we? Pretty much the same over at SO... so from a newb's perspective, what's the difference?

  • AndresF

    For example, the name change was rejected in 2012! Sites, people and rules evolve. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate those decisions? I happen to think the name programmers.SE is part of the problem

  • Alexei Averchenko

    software architecture is a viable topic, but if it's the main one on this site, it's better to rename it. the name "Programmers" connotes that it's a site about people, not code


    .. turning away people who seek advice from seasoned programmers on a site called "Programmers" is downright criminal

I could keep going if you want, but those are just some comments from recent posts. There are many more of them if you keep looking further back.

So please Stack Exchange, can we get your permission to change the name of our site? It doesn't need to be a complete re-design, just a domain name change and a title.

  • 44
    I know popular suggestions I have heard are SoftwareDesign.SE and SoftwareEngineering.SE, however I would want to leave that discussion for a separate post for the community to vote on.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 16:46
  • 28
    If I had to choose, I think Software Engineering - but I don't think SO/SE even wants to hear about it.
    – Aaron Hall
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 17:23
  • 45
    SoftwareEngineering encapsulates pretty much the entire list of what is on-topic. SoftwareDesign does not.
    – user22815
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 19:10
  • 8
    @DocBrown interesting, given that in the M.S. program I just graduated I took a class in software engineering where we studied multiple approaches: classic and modern, including SCRUM and Agile. I actually wrote a research paper that compared the old and new approaches, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
    – user22815
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 18:25
  • 11
    @DocBrown I don't understand how my M.S. program is relevant. I used it as an anecdote that Software Engineering does not imply modern technologies or methodologies would be off-limits. One does not need to be involved with my alma mater to know this.
    – user22815
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 21:56
  • 19
    @DocBrown: In 1968, NATO organized a conference to address what was at that time known as the Software Crisis, namely the fact that projects were consistently delivered past deadlines, over budget, with missing features, ridden with bugs, and with useless workflows/features based on misunderstood/unclear requirements. (Hmm … sounds familiar?) The participants of that conference came up with suggestions how to solve that crisis, which to our modern eyes look very much like Agile, and they came up with a name: Software Engineering. Just one year later, in 1969, the second NATO Conference on … Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 15:57
  • 20
    … Software Engineering ended up with a conclusion that incorporates pretty much everything we now associate with the "bad side" of Software Engineering. Apparently, something went horribly wrong in those 12 months. One popular theory is that the difference between the two conferences was that in the first conference, NATO mainly invited practicioners, i.e. people who had actually successfully written working complex large software systems, whereas the second was dominated by theoreticians, i.e. people who had written about building large complex software systems. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 16:01
  • 11
    @JörgWMittag: great comment, thanks! In fact, it shows the term "Software Engineering" has a long history, with very different possible interpretations (and we do not have 1969 any more). It confirms to me that we are better off with a different name. "Programmer's Whiteboard" is still my favorite.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 17:22
  • 119
  • 18
    @PieterB So what do programmers do? Programming maybe? Unfortunately that is often off-topic here. Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 14:23
  • 16
    @AaronHall Ummm I specifically addressed that question in this one, and am asking for an updated answer now that we have 4+ years of data. I do not think it is a duplicate at all.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 20:38
  • 28
    Just a note - We're going to be meeting early next week to talk about this, and probably come back with some more questions. The change isn't off the table, but it's got to be comprehensive and pretty surgical. A more appropriate name would let you cut the giant list of stuff not to ask pretty significantly, it's not a horrible idea. We also need to make sure everyone's expectations of what this change might bring are aligned and realistic. Anyway, stay tuned.
    – user131
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 7:46
  • 17
    I'll have a response out (hopefully) tomorrow, possibly Wednesday. tl;dr - we support the idea, but we've got a bit to talk about first.
    – user131
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 14:23
  • 8
    @TimPost it is now sixteen days later, any update?
    – user22815
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 20:42
  • 11
    This type of (non) response is a perfect example of what motivates the site veterans who curated the content and were actively involved to vanish: either deleting their account, not participating - at all - or to scale back their activity. This site has problems, and there is a very strong perception that SE staff don't care to help us fix them.
    – user22815
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 20:45

12 Answers 12


Oct. 20th, 2016 - This is done!

See: It's official! Programmers is now Software Engineering Stack Exchange

It took us a good while, but the Community Team has circled up and here's where we stand on your request to change Programmers.SE's name.

We agree that renaming this site is a good idea.

"Programmers" is an affinity group, whereas "Software Architecture" (for example) is an action and a discipline. It is entirely possible that changing the site's name will send clearer signals and prime new users to ask questions more consistently in line with what y'all would be proud to see and answer, particularly given where this site’s scope has solidified over the past few years.

So yes, we're open to proceeding with a name change. That said, we'll need to make sure the change makes the kind of difference you want it to, because we can't repeat this process again several years down the line. We gotta get it right this time. Last time the site was renamed, the scope was very much still in flux; by now, hopefully you can identify much more precisely what this site is about and commit to both a name and description and introductory materials that communicate this body of knowledge clearly and succinctly.

Here's what the Community Team needs before we can move forward:

  1. Tell us what you're proposing as the new site name.

    "Software Engineering" and "Software Architecture" both look like good options from where I stand. Let’s not turn this into a bikeshed discussion; we need well-considered options here, not a popularity contest - Coffee McWhiskeyface is right out. The ideal name will suggest at a glance what this site is about, without suggesting that it might be “fix my code” even a little bit.

  2. Lay out what the new site scope will be.

    Above all else, the scope needs to be simple. Seriously. No more than four bullets, no multi-line comma-separated lists, no gerrymandering - it needs to be easy for any new visitor who bothers to read and even mildly pays attention to what they're reading to know what they can and cannot ask about here. Eliminate ambiguity for a first time poster once and for all.

Let's talk again in a month.

  • 32
    "Coffee McWhiskeyface is right out". Dammit. There goes my idea.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 21:31
  • 2
    what's the plan about domain name (assuming that site name will change)? Looking at other sites in the network (eg Arqade), it seems likely to stay programmers.stackexchange but it doesn't hurt to ask
    – gnat
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 21:59
  • 9
    Begun, the scope wars have!
    – enderland
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 0:06
  • 2
    I'm a little worried about getting the scope down to four bullet points. It's non-trivial. "Software Engineering" is probably the best name, but we need to exclude code and debugging questions. Given the amount of confusion that still exists (usually on SO), having a list of things that we don't take is helpful.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 14:45
  • @ThomasOwens my understanding is, we are asked to shorten only list in about section. What we list in not-about is up to us
    – gnat
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 14:59
  • 2
    Imagine you have an inch of space on the screen, @Thomas; something about the height of a thumb-print. How would you communicate what this site is about to someone who - if we're very, very lucky - will skim a thumb-sized paragraph before moving past to ask their question.
    – Shog9
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    @Shog9: It can't be done, unless we use 2-point type. We don't expect users to read all of it, but we do know that an interstitial is the only thing a new user is likely to read, and we're putting the most important stuff at the top. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 15:59
  • Is there any possibility of an A/B test to compare how two candidate names are perceived? Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 16:13
  • 3
    It is now one month later, and we have a meta post with what the community team requested. Does the team have an update for us?
    – user22815
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 13:59
  • @Snowman et al., sorry for the delay, but we may need another week or two. In addition to the "we're busy with multiple things at once" reason (which is both true and not at all unusual), it seems the fact that we're a distributed team has been no barrier to many of us recently getting sick all at once, which hasn't helped matters. We definitely haven't forgotten about the request, though!
    – Pops
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 20:38
  • hey Ana, what's up with that closure followed by an immediate reopen in this question? Without an explanation it looks as if you attempted to shake off votes of community members there. Please consider adding a comment when doing unusual things, to help readers see why you did it
    – gnat
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 7:55
  • @gnat My apologies, I fat fingered that.
    – Ana
    Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 15:50

I think it's a valid to request to find out if this option is even feasible.

There have been a number of conversations lately, including with SE Community Managers, that have revolved around the site's scope and focus. I think it's safely stated that the current site name does not give a correct first impression for the site's scope.

  • 20
    Yes, I specifically tagged this question with the [feature-request] tag because I want a response from SE, not the community (we've already spoken about this subject many times). They said once that they do try to monitor [feature-request] tagged posts across all SE sites, although if they miss this one we can always bring it to their attention.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 17:09
  • 13
    On the off-chance someone asks for proof the name is misleading people, we got an exceptionally clear piece of evidence today: programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/313233/…
    – Ixrec
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 15:13
  • 2
    That question could easily be "how do I learn how to design software?" - so is a site name change going to prevent it?
    – HorusKol
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 3:18

I've noticed a lot of discussion on this issue, and as a new user I feel I can shed some light as I have previously had difficulty when trying to decide whether a question I have, does in fact fit the sites scope.

Before a user joins programmers.se they are welcomed with what I feel is a fairly clear definition of the sites scope:


It is a well known fact that when most people 'Sign Up' for things on the internet, they don't feel like reading the basics until they're in.

When they're in, they are presented with this tidy, but empty header:


Would it be too much to add a reminder here?

Even more critically, when a user who hasn't read the blurb on the 'Sign Up' page, rushes to click the 'Ask Question' button. They are presented with this ridiculously broad definition of what a good question is:


Am I missing something, or do others share my view that if, to the right of my 'Ask Question' form is a message which asks, 'Is your question about software development?' then I can ask debugging questions, library recommendations, conceptual questions, database questions, and pretty much everything else which we as 'Software Developers' deal with on a day to day basis.

Why can't the more clear description of the sites scope on the 'Sign Up' page be repeated in at least the 'Ask Question' page?

IMO a name change is way overkill.

  • 51
    +1: nobody thinks "Tumblr" is for tumbling enthusiasts, or "Stack Overflow" is jus for stack overflow errors, because of their names, but that help box is egregiously bad. I noticed it too when I started only a few months ago.
    – Evan
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 15:56
  • 3
    "Why can't the more clear description of the sites scope on the 'Sign Up' page be repeated in at least the 'Ask Question' page?" It can. And I like these proposals. Just make a feature request for both. If you don't want to also I could do it. Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 16:33
  • Great suggestion, and I shall do on my return home! Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 16:40
  • 16
    @Evan We've seen multiple first time posters explicitly say "I'm asking for programming help on a site called programmers. How can this be off-topic?" under debugging questions or opinion polls. So whether or not other sites have a similar issue isn't really relevant; it's an empirical fact that we're seeing new users confused by the name.
    – Ixrec
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 1:32
  • @Ixrec not to be incredulous, but do you have any actual examples of widespread confusion? Even this question was started by someone who hasn't been active on this site in years, and only seems to come back periodically to insist on changing the site name.
    – Evan
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 1:38
  • 2
    @Evan Rachel's opinion is supported by some of us who do regularly use the site and whose participation isn't limited to this kind of meta threads. In any case, you can find one example from today (mentioned in another comment by Ixrec, I think).
    – Andres F.
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 18:51
  • 8
    I've been pointing this out for a couple years. The 'how to ask' section needs to be changed because, as it is now, it only re-enforces the idea that various off topic questions are on topic here. I'm not under the illusion that once changed there would no longer be off topic questions. But if it cut the number down by 20%, it'd be a big improvement. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 17:43
  • Here is the link to the feature request for this, by the way.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 21:10

It is a valid request, but I see some problems here:

  • to find a name which really describes the sites scope better, and not just different or equally bad (or worse).

  • once the name is changed, there is probably no easy way back for the next few years. A site name change is something I do not expect the SE team to make every two weeks. So if the change does not bring the benefits we expect from it, what then?

If we could just try out if a name like "SoftwareDesign.SE" (or "Programmer's Whiteboard", a older suggestion of Robert Harvey which would be my favorite) would increase the ratio of "good vs. bad posts", I think no one here would hesitate to do this. But such a change has a high risk of collateral damage - one has to be very sure about that it is worth the hassle.

For me, it looks your proposal for a name change is trying to solve a problem which might be better addressed differently. This post two days ago and its topmost answer reveals where the real problem is - not the site's name has to change, but the way how some people (and I don't exclude myself from this) behave in the process of closing, replying to bad questions and commenting.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against a name change, but whoever will do this, please do it with care. And do not be too astonished if the number of low quality question does not drop significantly after the change.

  • 3
    I quite agree as to the potential problems. However, there is one suggested site-name that seems quite suitable; namely, SoftwareDesign.SE. Every other suggested name that I've seen has fallen victim to the faults you identify.
    – user174739
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 9:28
  • 7
    We've had talks about changing the site name before, but they are pointless unless SE reconsiders letting us change it. I am looking to get an answer from SE on if we would be allowed to change the name (that's why the [feature-request] tag). And maybe regulars wouldn't be so quick to close everything borderline if they didn't receive quite the volume of close-worthy questions.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 13:22
  • 2
    @Rachel: Of course, I understand well what you are after. My gut tells me, however, that with a site name like "SoftwareDesign", if we are lucky, we get a few percent fewer implementation specific questions. But those are only a small part of those "low quality" questions which arrive here every day. Is that really worth the hassle? Moreover, I do not agree the problem is that too many borderline questions are closed too quickly - but I agree that this often perceived from newbies as hostility. So we should work on that.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 14:26
  • 14
    Bullet number 1 is important. The first reaction I have to "change the name to Software Design" is "Okay, but then you're going to get questions like 'What color should this cancel button be?'"
    – jscs
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 5:37
  • 11
    @JoshCaswell Personally my favorite suggestion I've seen is "Programmer's Whiteboard", but as I said in the question I'd rather leave naming specifics up to a community vote. This question is to ask SE if we can change our name first of all, since otherwise such a discussion is pointless.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:26
  • 3
    @JoshCaswell I'd rather those questions than "plz fix my codez" any day of the week. Far fewer people will mistakenly ask those questions than codez questions and they almost assuredly will have to be higher quality.
    – enderland
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 11:50
  • 2
    @JoshCaswell don't we have a UX-site for that? Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 0:49
  • 2
    Yes, @Seldom, my point was that a name change might not necessarily reduce the number of off-topic posts. It might just change their topics. (People regularly post programming questions to a site called "Meta Stack Exchange", though granted, not all that many.) On the other hand, if they're more acceptable (as they are to enderland) then they won't be as big a problem anyways.
    – jscs
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 2:54
  • 8
    I disagree that it would be infeasible to test the probable effects of a name change without committing to it. What about changing the "Programmers" logo in the top left for some subset of users to a new proposed name, as a temporary A-B test? Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 9:30
  • 1
    @perfectionist: good idea. Lets hope SE management will read your comment.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 9:46
  • 1
    I agree we should be careful about which name to change to. We already know backpedalling on this kind of changes is very difficult here. So it's two separate things: 1- should we change the name? (my vote: yes), and 2- what should we change it to? (this requires further analysis and should not be done carelessly).
    – Andres F.
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 18:53
  • 1
    "So if the change does not bring the benefits we expect from it, what then?" Trying out something else. I don't think this is a good argument against a name change. If it contributes positively it should be done, if not then not. And since the situation currently with a very high percentage of closed questions is not really good, I would say that chances are high it gets better. However, I agree that the future name (if a change is possible) should be discussed in detail with a large number of participation. Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 8:20
  • I like Programmer's Whiteboard. Many new programmers (I would've a few months ago) would see software design and think software development and ask SO style questions on here (I actually did when I was new, luckily it got migrated not closed). Commented May 14, 2016 at 3:40

It would be a good idea but if I remember correctly the primary reason against this happening is that this would significantly hurt SEO.

Search Engine Optimization

This however can be a PITA, but it is not the insurmountable challenge that the StackExchange folks make it seem.

How to Change Domain Names and not Lose SEO


  • Acquire new domain names and certificates
  • Create 301 redirects from old to new
  • Update titles, themes
  • Notify Google, Bing et al.
  • Request a new crawl
  • evaluate site scans for broken links
  • monitor for page rank changes
  • 34
    I don't think that I would care even if the name on the site was something different, even if the domain was the same.
    – enderland
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 15:52
  • 31
    @enderland case in point: gaming.stackexchange.com -- stats.stackexchange.com -- cooking.stackexchange.com -- and there are others
    – user22815
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 19:07
  • 38
    Honestly, I see "hurting" SEO as a benefit of the proposed name change. We do not want google searches like "programmers help fix code" to take anyone to this site.
    – Ixrec
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 22:50
  • 8
    @enderland A good point. Even changing the logo to something that evoked the idea of architecture, concepts et al. (a whiteboard, perhaps?) instead of the completely generic multi-monitor display & coffee
    – user174739
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 21:37
  • 2
    @PeterTòmasScott and then people will think I can ask whiteboard coding interview questions here!
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 21:39
  • 1
    @maple_shaft I'm sure there is a more descriptive graphic out there. Some abstract representation of application architecture would be appropriate.
    – user174739
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 21:40
  • 9
    The domain name doesn't have to change at all to make this work. Does anyone even type domain names into a browser address bar anymore? Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 15:19
  • 8
    @RobertHarvey I still type domain names in the address bar. I can tab into the address bar and type out most domain names quicker than I can click on my bookmarks and search for the link
    – maple_shaft Mod
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 16:15
  • 3
    @maple_shaft: Yes, but not new users, which is who we primarily care about; the user group that disproportionately asks off-topic questions. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 16:17
  • 10
    "Acquire new domain names and certificates" isn't a relevant concern; SE already controls the DNS for stackexchange.com (adding a subdomain requires minimal effort) and the certificate is applicable to *.stackexchange.com (no change necessary). The bulk 301 is also in the neighborhood of an hour's work. The others I'll grant, but they're still far from insurmountable hurdles.
    – hobbs
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 7:56
  • 1
    It's not clear to me why we as regular site users should care about SEO. It could be argued that it's for the good of the general searching public, but I'd want to see actual numbers from referrer logs before I was convinced. As it is, I don't recall ever having an answer from this site come up without deliberately scoping the search to site:programmers.stackexchange.com. Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 22:06
  • 1
    I'm not all that worried about SEO, to be honest. We've done this enough times that we know how to get it right. There will be a short-term hit, that's unavoidable, but most search engines that see any significant use catch up pretty quickly.
    – user131
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 6:25

In the How To Ask it says, "Is your question about software development?" That seems like a pretty good name.

The Tour, has a list of questions not to ask. New posters are not reading this list. Many items are straight-forward.

Don't ask about...

  • general workplace issues, career advice, job hunting, salary, or compensation -- The name Programmers contributes to this problem.
  • implementation issues and coding tools -- A name change, at least the ones suggested, isn't going to fix this one especially coding tools.
  • what you should learn next -- The name Programmers contributes to this one.
  • what projects to do or books to read -- Name change won't fix this either.
  • where to find libraries, tools, resources, or other product/service recommendations -- Read the Instructions, name change won't help.
  • personal lifestyle or non-programming activities -- Changing the name could help this one.

The last two are problems many Stackexchange sites have and are probably the most subjective:

  • questions that are primarily opinion-based
  • questions with too many possible answers or that would require an extremely long answer

Maybe we should change the name to "Read the Instructions"

  • 3
    at Stack Exchange they purposedly design sites like Programmers so that askers aren't bothered to read instructions, "...the idea is that, since they get less traffic than Stack Overflow, there's not as much of a disincentive to prevent people from posting, since the community can help users fix problems with their posts, or close, flag, and delete"
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 12:01
  • 2
    @gnat - thanks for pointing that out. I'd like to see this site flourish, but I'm losing my will to close questions. I'll continue to do it if that's what the community wants.
    – JeffO
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 18:18
  • 3
    that's understandable. At Server Fault they seem to had similar problem (regulars overwhelmed and distracted by flood of blatantly off-topic questions). And (of course) just like us here they were getting no help in that from SE management. If I understand correctly they made kind of convention that moderators quickly and unilaterally close and delete blatant stuff as soon as they find it at front page
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 18:29
  • (pessimistically) recent "test" at MSE has shown that even prominent warning to read instructions doesn't really help
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 6:25
  • SoftwareEngineering.SE : hmm, probably we'd end up with more implementation questions, and get confused with some official Engineering qualification or certification stuff, and chances are we'd still get "fix my codez" questions anyway!

  • SoftwareDesign.SE : more likely to start getting a load of graphic design issues. And still, even if its pointed out to be software design, then implementation questions along the lines of "what's wrong with this design" rather than "what's wrong with this code".

  • SoftwareArchitecture.SE : This is more obvious its about figuring out how software should be structured. My concern is that this would be too constrictive, getting overly broad architectural questions that could still be better answers on SO. It might also discourage questions about software development practices or algorithms (which I'd say fall into this 'Programmers' bucket).

  • DevOps.SE : maybe too focussed on tools and not design, but getting away from the word "software" or "programmers" might be what we need to start thinking of.

So I feel the choice of name makes a huge difference. Until we have a good name that has a wide consensus, any talk of changing it is pointless. (and chances are, once we have a great name, changing the site name will be a no-brainer)

  • 5
    The point of this [feature-request] is to ask SE if they will allow us to change our name. It was asked 4 years ago and denied, so now any further attempts to find a new name are pointless because we know SE won't accept. IF we get a confirmation from them, then I would expect a new thread to be created and promoted asking for ideas for a new name that better describes the site's scope.
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:30
  • 1
    I've reviewed lists of questions multiple times (here and here for example), and strongly think that a name change will help reduce the number of off-topic that get ask by a lot. Sure it won't be perfect, but it will be far better than if we keep the extremely broad name of "Programmers"
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:30
  • 5
    I've always found that if I ask "we're thinking of doing this, will you let us?" the answer is always "come back when you know what you want". If we knew the name we want it changing to, it'd be much easier to persuade them to let it happen. Sometimes things are denied because its easier to not bother, something that is harder to deny if we had something to rally round and demand change.
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:33
  • After all - we can ask all over again, and they'll deny it again. (cue Einstein quote about repeating the same task). If we want to get somewhere this time, there's no point in going over old ground without something new to persuade them to take a different view this time. Good luck though.
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:36
  • 3
    I definitely agree with the thought that suggesting a detailed solution is far more efficient than asking to fix a problem, but I think the difference here is we've already been denied once in the past. The subject of a name change has been around for 5+ years, and suggested frequently on meta, but it's always shot down because "SE has denied the request". The most common suggestions over the years are SoftwareEngineering.SE, SoftwareDesign.SE, or The Whiteboard, and I think any of the 3 would be fine and would narrow the number of bad questions we get by a significant percentage
    – Rachel
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 13:37
  • I don't agree with this answer. I think the first question is the point of this thread-- to acknowledge that there is a problem and that the site name should be changed. Upon approval to change, a new thread should be started to discuss all the possible new names. Maybe a massive democratic process can be held, not sure. But you can't re-elect a new president without first agreeing you need to impeach the old president. You don't first find a new president and say "this is better, we should impeach the old one!". Also, I'd like to throw in the possibility of "SoftwareConcepts".
    – Tommy
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 11:49
  • In response to the choices, how about Programmer's Whiteboard? Commented May 14, 2016 at 3:43

Well if you are going to change the stack name to reflect a conceptual or theoretical basis for questions that would surely invite questions which are conceptual or theoretical. Conceptual or theoretical questions are half a step away from open-ended or opinion based answers, which are unpalatable to any stack.

software design would be a more accurate stack description (as opposed to "programmers" which is a poor choice of title in multiple ways). But software design would tend towards answers that are best guesses, predictions, and hypotheses. Sure, these things can be backed up by evidence, but they are not definitive answers, surely, and must be frowned upon?

Besides which, insofar that software development can be answered here, it can equally be answered in StackOverflow, which has a far greater volume of users (can't guess why).

  • 3
    There's a nifty little blog post called Good Subjective, Bad Subjective that you really need to read. Commented May 12, 2016 at 22:59
  • @NathanTuggy It's saying that Programmers is for subjective based questions? That would be great, if true. It ain't. I may ask a programming question here, but if I want to ask a best practice best question, I'll head to SO. From personal experience I know that here it would likely be downvoted and closed. Oh I should post a question of "What is the best IDE for (some particular use)" question for shits and giggles, and to prove the point, but can't be arsed.
    – Stumbler
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 13:49
  • 2
    Conceptual and theoretical do not appear to imply open-ended, opinion based to me.
    – user82096
    Commented May 13, 2016 at 15:24

The site asks about software development in many places. It's one of the first thing one sees when signing up as a new member:

Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

It's the right there in the title box when someone asks a question:

What's your software development question? Be specific.

And it's over to the side in bold print:

Is your question about software development?

So what's wrong with Software Development Stack Exchange?


Create a new site (softwareengineering.se), let on topic migrate, losen restrictions on programmers.se to be open for programmer/programming questions. SE could be moderated to fit software engineering while programming could be moderated to fit programming programming topics.


Looks pretty valid to me. Knowing the history of NPR-to-Programmers, programmers is quite a candidate-for-worst-name at the moment.

Maybe a NotProgrammingButConceptRelated name could be fine. Of course, it should not be switched back to NotProgrammingRelated.

  • 3
    the question asked of SE management is, "can we get your permission to change the name of our site?" Unless the past answer to this question changes from no to yes, it's a little bit pointless to drill into details on what and how to change
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 19:47

There is already CodeReview.SE for questions about already written code so perhaps there could be CodeGuide.SE for questions about how to write a piece of good one.

  • 1
    the question asked of SE management is, "can we get your permission to change the name of our site?" Unless the past answer to this question changes from no to yes, it's a little bit pointless to drill into details on what and how to change
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 19:47
  • 1
    So are you saying that proposal of change without an idea of how to make the change is a good and constructive (read: not pointless) approach? If this is the case, cool, then my life is going to be much easier now! ...Or are you saying that answering this question is reserved only for SE managers? Probably not...so what's your point exactly?
    – clime
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 21:56
  • I am merely trying to figure why readers appear so active in voting this answer down. Name you propose sounds interesting and the reasoning in favor of it ain't bad either. The only reason to vote down seem to be that name suggestions looks way too tangential to this discussion
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 12:57
  • Wow, that was truly an unexpected answer....thank you. It is tangential, I know. I was happy about this name so I decided to write it down. I always had problems selling my ideas.
    – clime
    Commented Apr 9, 2016 at 17:32
  • I don't think my post was pointless but it was impolite for sure. I am sorry.
    – clime
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 8:11

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