Guidelines for asking a technical question in our Community

We want to help our learners make progress towards their goals as fast as possible. That is why we are introducing 5 guidelines for all technical questions asked in our Community.

This might seem counterintuitive to some.

“I need to ask my question, now! Following some guidelines will only slow me down.”

Trust me, it won’t. These guidelines will ensure that you get your answers faster. Here’s how:

  • Guidelines will allow volunteers and Learning Assistants to understand your questions more easily. Thus they will be able to answer them instead of asking you for clarifications or, in the worst case, ignoring your question.
  • They will also help your peers in discovering similar questions over search more easily. Similarly, if you hold your peers accountable to these guidelines, it may just help you when you’ve got the same question some day!

Technical Question Guidelines:

Whenever you ask a technical question in the Q&A category of our Community, please follow the following guidelines:

GUIDELINE #1: Format all code using Markdown - no screenshots

It is almost impossible to read code that does not use Markdown. So do enclose any code inside a pair of ``` like this:


GUIDELINE #2: Accept and mark answer as Solution

If you find a reply that answers your question satisfactorily, please mark it as Solution. Doing so will help -

  • Others learners, who are searching for the same problem, find the solution faster
  • With the Learning Assistant program - by marking the answer as solution, you can directly help the person who helped you.

Here’s how you can do that:


GUIDELINE #3: Use topic titles that are unique to your problem

Title is the only part of your topic that everyone will see. Using good topic titles is one of best ways to get a faster response from the Community.

A good rule of thumb is to think whether your title is unique to the problem that you are facing. Unique topic titles will contain the name of the function or method that is causing the error or even the kind of manipulation you are trying to do.

Do not use titles like “Code not working” or “Solution not being accepted” or “need help in the 1st course”.

GUIDELINE #4: Add tags to mention the technology used

At a minimum, specify - Python , SQL or R . Awesome if you add tags for Pandas , matplotlib, ggplot or other specific technology that you’re working with.

GUIDELINE #5: Include a link to mission URL if available

If you ask a question that is specific to one of Dataquest’s course screens, please mention the URL of that screen in your question. There are 2 ways this is helpful:

  1. It gives some much needed context to the community members who may volunteer to help you. You want to make it easy for people to help you, right? As easy as you can.
  2. It invokes our auto-tagging system that tags your question with appropriate tags (based on the course and mission) to make it easier for future learners to find it.

Enforcing the guidelines

These guidelines are not meant to prevent/discourage learners from asking questions in the Community. We realize that learning data skills can be overwhelming, especially when you get stuck.

That is why we are not making the question-asker accountable for following the guidelines. As a question-asker, you are eligible to get your question answered whether or not you follow them. (Of course, if you do follow them, you might get your answer faster).

Instead, we will make it the responsibility of our passionate Community Moderators to enforce these guidelines.

This will ensure that we create a welcoming community where all learners can get help fast! :rocket:

I am grateful to our amazing Learning Assistants who enthusiastically helped me in framing these guidelines. :heart:

You can read more in our Guide on How to Ask a Good Question.

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These are all very important points to consider when creating a topic in the Q&A section! Good job!