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Thomas Owens
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This is the original Help Center page, with some minor changes. It turns out that most of the Off-Topic subjects are already covered here, so I just added a couple of new ones to cover the missing cases:

  • where to find a software library, tool or other resource
  • a product or service recommendation

UPDATE: Removed "Freelancing and Business Concerns" from the on-topic list.

UPDATE 2 Removed "software engineering" in favor of more specific topics, many of which were already included.

What topics can I ask about here?

Programmers Stack Exchange is a site for professional programmers who are interested in getting expert answers on conceptual questions about software development.

###If you have a question about...

  • software requirements
  • software architecture and design
  • algorithm and data structure concepts
  • development methodologies, processes, and methods
  • software engineering management
  • quality assurance and testing
  • software licensing

and it is not about...

  • general workplace issues, office politics, résumé help (check out The Workplace instead),
  • implementation issues or programming tools (ask on Stack Overflow instead),
  • what language/technology you should learn next, including which technology is better,
  • what project you should do next,
  • what book you should read next,
  • where to find a software library, tool or other resource
  • a product or service recommendation
  • career advice, salary or compensation,
  • personal lifestyle, including relationships, and non-programming activities

...then you're in the right place to ask your question!

Please make sure your question uniquely applies to programmers in general:

proper scope for

What about subjective questions?

Subjective questions are allowed, but subjective does not mean “anything goes”. Please keep it professional at all times. If this is a question you'd be uncomfortable discussing with your colleagues in a work environment, it's probably not appropriate here, either.

All subjective questions are expected to be constructive. How do we define that? Constructive subjective questions …

  • inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”.
  • tend to have long, not short, answers.
  • have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.
  • invite sharing experiences over opinions.
  • insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.
  • are more than just mindless social fun.

Questions that do not meet enough of these six guidelines will be closed as "Not Constructive". Please see the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and Real Questions Have Answers blog posts for more details and examples.

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Programmers Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

Thomas Owens
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