How to Receive Optimal Support for your Question RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Asking a good technical question is a skill and an art and it’s a valuable skill to acquire. Your question and the information you supply will hopefully help you receive a rapid response and what is often unseen is that it can help others. There are things you can do that will maximize the help you will receive and maximize  the value to others.


    Often, when you have to ask a question, you’re frustrated and things aren’t working as you think they should work. We’ve all been there. So it’s time to take a deep breath, step back and formulate a description of your problem that people will understand.


    • One of the most important things you can do is to formulate a clear descriptive title of your problem. What many people don’t know is that there is a thread database. A question with the name of “HELP” isn’t going to be a good discriminator for the database or the people who will help you.


    • Supplying the code that is failing will be helpful along with the exact error message you are receiving.


    • Information on your approach and the conditions that encouraged you to choose that approach


    • Background information such as the version of the Windows operating system may be helpful.


    • Application context is very helpful for your supporting resources to understand. A clear statement of what you’re trying to do, what you are seeing and what you expect to happen is very helpful. A description of your “inputs”, “outputs” and datatypes can make all the difference in the world.


    • If you have a performance problem, supplying information on your hardware configuration is most helpful. A statement like, “I am using a 1.7 Ghz Pentium IV with 500 megs of memory will be most helpful.


    • Above all, selection of the optimal forum where your problem is most likely to be solved will be benefit everyone. Is your question really a VB problem or is it SQL Server or is it a System.Net question? Is your question a VBA question? There’s a VBA forum for that. Is your question an SQL server question? There’s a great SQL server for beginners forum and these are the places where you are most likely to receive the fastest response.




    Know that people are here to help you out of your corner. They may or may not provide that full solution to your question. Often the investment is in your learning and growth.


    Happy coding and may your response be a fast and helpful one.

    Monday, June 26, 2006 9:33 PM

All replies

  • Shouldn't it be 'nor a byte'?  And shouldn't we consider the cost/benefit ratio of cycle time and/or storage cost vs. man hour cost?
    Thursday, November 16, 2006 1:37 AM

    It's funny but I took a project management course once and instead of Man hour I used "person hour".

    A heckler asked me, "what's a person hour?" My response was, "about two man hours".

    He shut up.

    As to your question, I believe that emphasing labor costs over performance leads to software that is bloated and it's not the best we can do. Yes, I'm an engineer and I'm also an artist. Over the years, I think your design philosophy leads to software that dimishes hardware performance gains. I used to write drivers in VMS engineering. Never once did I see management worry on a local level worry about the cost to write a piece of code. I remember my last project. in the early nineties. My one year, one woman project returned 105 million dollars in revenue. That's quite an ROI.

    The emphasis was always on performance and elegance.

    Please excuse the poetic license.

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006 6:38 PM