For the question, Best way to deal with non-developers in a scrum team, I voted to close the question as it's nothing to do with software engineering and belongs (if it belongs anywhere) on the Workplace SE.

But when I checked back on the question, my vote comment, and that of another person who said much the same thing had been removed and my close vote no longer shows (though it claims I already voted to close).

Is this a case of a mod interfering in the close-vote process? Or has something gone wrong with SE itself?

  • For those of you who are wondering, I voted to migrate to The Workplace because the post is entirely about non-developer people problems. I didn't look at the prior history of the post before migrating it. Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 19:47
  • Just curious on that question: Isn't the question really about, how should Software engineers handle non-technically oriented people in a scrum team? It seems rather centric to the paradigm of software engineers.
    – Anon
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 17:05
  • 1
    @Akiva: Having the word "scrum" in a post doesn't make it automatically on-topic. Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 20:47

1 Answer 1


The question was flagged for moderator review, suggesting migration. I reviewed the flag and the question and determined that the question was indeed on-topic for this community. I dismissed the flag as being invalid, removed the comments suggesting migration or cross-posting (no comments should suggest cross-posting across the network anyway), and also voted to close and then immediately reopened the question so it would remain in an open state (the question is neither off-topic nor unclear, which were the two reasons votes were cast on it).

The system is working as intended - moderators are handling exceptions. Sometimes, that means jumping on things fast without the need to involve 5 members of the community (or more for deletion). Othertimes, that means undoing clear mistakes made by the community, to the extent possible. This was the latter - the community made a mistake by voting to close and suggesting that a question does not belong here, so that mistake was corrected as much as possible.

  • So what triggered the moderator review? Was it my close vote of suggesting another site?
    – David Arno
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 14:56
  • @DavidArno It was a flag on the question.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 15:01
  • In the meanwhile, the post has been migrated by Robert? See post history. For the record, that question is very clearly not about software engineering, not even about development processes. Closure or migration was correct.
    – amon
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 15:38
  • @amon I'm not sure why Robert migrated it, you'd have to ask him. But Scrum, when used in a software development context, most certainly falls into "software development methods and practices", which is the first bullet point for on-topic questions in our Help Center.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 15:40
  • 1
    @ThomasOwens OK it’s useful to know that the “other” close reason doesn’t trigger anything. For the record, I think you wrong. It was off topic in my view and overriding that because your view is different is not a good use of mod tools. Given how often folk like gnat blatantly misuse their votes and yet nothing happens, it’s annoying to have mine obliterated because you have a different view to me. But it’s all down to chance and whether the question gets flagged
    – David Arno
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 15:43
  • 1
    @ThomasOwens I agree that questions about development processes incl Scrum are on topic. But the question at hand was about an aspect of Scrum that's completely unrelated to software development. Actually, the issue seems to have been more on an interpersonal than on a process level. I understand your argument that it could be on topic, but this is so borderline that using your mod powers to override a community decision looks odd.
    – amon
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 15:50
  • @amon Now you're into a discussion of the scope of the site. The question is about a software development team interacting with Scrum. I'd like to point out that one of the values of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development is "Individuals and interactions over processes and tools". If we say that questions about Agile and related frameworks are on-topic, then we must include questions about how individuals working within those frameworks interact, as long as those frameworks are being used to build software-intensive systems. Anything else is a fundamental change in scope to this site.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 15:53
  • 2
    IMHO this question could fit to both sites, SE.SE and Workplace. Unfortunately, a part of the community here seems to search first and foremost for reasons for migrating everything away which may be on topic elsewhere, instead of trying to find reasons why a question could stay on SE.SE (even if it maybe on-topic somewhere else as well). So yes Thomas, I agree 100%, the question fits well to the scope of this site - unfortunately that's not enough to keep the community here satisfied and stop from downvoting/close voting.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 16:05
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    That is a very valid point, @DocBrown. It's perfectly acceptable for questions to be on-topic on multiple sites. However, I don't feel that it's appropriate to ever close or migrate questions that are on-topic here, even if there are other places where it fits.
    – Thomas Owens Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 16:08

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