Do we want to encourage a bunch of questions like this one?


I don't care either way.
But if this question is good, expect a flood of others just like it.


There are two general rules I try to apply. The problem is they have direct conflict with each other at times.

  1. Each question should be spawned by something encountered at the work place. For example, "I used the term _ in a meeting and a number of my peers disagree with me on the definition. What does it really mean?"
  2. Each question should be posted after performing some self research into the problem, and that research should be posted with the question. To follow the example above, it would make sense to say "I found it to mean at , while my colleague found it to mean at . Are these definitions reconcilable? Is one of them simply wrong?"

You can find many things by typing "theTermImLookingFor wikipedia" into your favorite search engine, and the definition will probably be in the preview, and certainly the first paragraph. However, what is provided can sometimes be out of context, unreliable or applicable, and in some cases flat out wrong. At that point I would consider posting a question about it.

  • 1
    I'm not sure I agree about it needing to be encountered at the workplace. I think it is entirely valid for someone to say, "I was reading and ran across this term, which is key to understanding what the author is saying," for example. But I do think having some explained motivation is key, and I think that's what you are getting at in #1: No posting Q's for definitions just to get question votes. With that modification, I think you get at the core issues: Must be needed info, must not be easily found w/ a web search. Jun 23 '11 at 23:34
  • I would say (I could be wrong) it is safe to assume any material we're reading is directly related to professional development, presumably for potential use in the workplace. Sure, you might be reading it at home or on the train or something, but ~generally~ I feel the best questions are "I'm trying to solve problem X. Here's the details." This is only a general guideline I go by, and is by no means definitive, as each question is a unique situation that needs to be evaluated accordingly.
    – corsiKa Mod
    Jun 24 '11 at 2:11

Or rather, do we want to discourage questions like that one? We deleted that question. If we want to discourage its ilk, we should delete What is shakeout testing? too.

  • 1
    Why did you delete it? Jun 22 '11 at 19:50
  • I deleted it because the immediate reaction was that it was inappropriate for this forum.
    – user246
    Jun 24 '11 at 13:00

We could have a terminology index, something like the one on the Bicycles site.

Users put one term per answer, link to sources where appropriate and the question is a Community Wiki.


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