How to get help at wMUsers!

Thought that this page was interesting:
http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

It’s a bit in-your-face but the basics seem helpful. While wMUsers has always had a wide range of posts, from very specific questions to broad pleas for help, it seems there have been more posts than usual that are too vague. Perhaps its just my perception though.

Anyway I thought this page might help us all be better posters and responders. My favorite parts:

  • The “Before You Ask” section – this section seems particularly applicable to wMUsers where some of the same basic questions reappear occassionally.

  • “The more you do to demonstrate that you have put thought and effort into solving your problem before asking for help, the more likely you are to actually get help.”

  • "the subject header is your golden opportunity to attract qualified experts’ attention in around 50 characters or fewer. Don’t waste it on babble like “Please help me” (let alone “PLEASE HELP ME!!!”)

  • The “Be precise and informative about your problem” section can help us all.

  • The “Describe the problem’s symptoms, not your guesses” section is nice to keep in mind.

  • “Don’t flag your question as “Urgent”, even if it is for you”. Along the same lines, it seems rude to post a follow up to a request asking “Any takers?” just a couple hours after the original post.

  • The “How To Answer Questions in a Helpful Way” section is awesome.

Please chime in with your thoughts on how to make the wMUsers community stronger!

Last point: webMethods is not a product, it’s a company. :slight_smile:

Hello,

Yemi Bedu

The main thing I like to see in a post is some evidence that the poster has put at least some effort into solving their own problem. If you can’t put any effort into solving it, why should I? Don’t just post a stack trace or log file without at least indicating what you’ve tried to do to interpret it. Most people do like to help somebody who’s putting forth some effort but is just stuck and needs a hand because we’ve all been there.

Also, Rob’s point about using the subject line intelligently deserves special emphasis. It not only makes the poster more likely to get an answer but also makes the answer more easily available to future users who search the forum and get a list of subject headings back. That, in turn, helps reduce multiple threads on the same topics. Thanks,

Tim