This guide goes through the telltale signs of terrible questions asked on stackoverflow. You’ll learn how not to ask questions.

If instead you like to learn how to ask good questions you came to the wrong guide. You may also want to learn to tell people what the Matt you’ve tried so far. Jon Skeet has an excellent checklist for the perfect question that you should go through before submitting your question.

Okay, admittedly I make some poignant observations and suggestions that can be seen as helpful.

If you have been given this link as a response to your question on, please don’t take the following personally. I do not intend to offend or insult you, it’s just that I’ve become a little too annoyed to not point out the flaws directly and admittedly without sugarcoating them. Nevertheless there’s good advice in here and I’m sure you’ll know how to apply that to your question and you will get (better) answers because of it. I’m just trying to vent .. help. :)

Any Ideas? Suggestions?

So tell me, what you you really want to know?

You can’t expect stackoverflow users to give random suggestions and guidance. This is not what stackoverflow is about. It is about concrete problems that are likely to have a specific answer (or two).

If you don’t know what specific question you should ask then it’s the same as not asking anything at all. It tells everyone you did not understand your problem well enough to ask a specific question about the problem. Which means any suggestions are very unlikely to point out the flaw in your thinking, or even nudge you in the right direction.

Worse, in some cases it’s obviously just poor laziness. You don’t even want to invest time in properly asking a question? Fine, but please don’t do that on stackoverflow.

… is not working (properly).

“Not working” is not a problem description. You can say “my car is not working” if you need an excuse for your boss why you’ll be late to work. But even a mechanic won’t be able to diagnose your car’s problem if you can’t describe what you were doing and what the car did.

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