This is an interesting question.

It's interesting and accessible. But it's also:

  • Subjective: Where would I start? I'd start with caffeine.
  • Localized: It's unlikely that whatever solution the OP chooses will be correct for another person's problem.
  • Unanswerable: Every answer is equally valid.

Does this question, the way that it written now, belong?

3 Answers 3


As author of the post, I'm obviously biased into thinking it is acceptable. However, I feel I should lay out my case for the points that are raised, because I think they are indeed valid ones.

  • Subjective: Where would I start? I'd start with caffeine.

I actually did not have "Where do you start" in the title. It was edited in by a SO employee. My original title ended with "Worst case scenario." :-) It was then edited by ANOTHER SO employee.

  • Localized: It's unlikely that whatever solution the OP chooses will be correct for another person's problem.

I feel this is incorrect as well. There are millions of developers forced to work with untested legacy code. Even if the exact solution might not work, pieces of it will hopefully be insightful for those to come. In fact, the answer I'm "looking for" so to speak would be someone who has been down this road before (large scale legacy application that needs testing) and can give me insight on how they got the ball rolling on test.

  • Unanswerable: Every answer is equally valid.

I disagree with this as well. Every answer will have equal potential to be of use, and in that case it would be worthy of an upvote, but not a check mark. While it's entirely possible an answer that addresses the issue at hand to my (as the OP) satisfaction will not appear, I would not consider the question unanswerable.

I certainly am not expecting some sqa.SE user to fly to my work, analyze our system, and come up with a solution to our testing problem. If I were, that would make it unanswerable. In its present form, I feel it is able to receive input from a number of different angles (which is good) and in that sense be useful, and is still open to get some feedback from an experienced developer or tester who has beaten this path before.

However, I should note that the SE community is open to collaboration. Your last sentence states "Does this question, the way that it written now, belong?" If you have suggestions for how to make this question less subjective and more answerable, I am most willing to hear them out as it will increase the chances of me getting actionable information I can take to my team.

And, no hard feelings whatsoever :-)


It is all 3 of the above points. However, in the context of sqa, I believe that it's absolutely in the right place.

Subjective - There will always be multiple places to start from.

Localized - In software development there is never only 1 answer for anything with the exception of variable values at any given time. Even if the answer only applies to 2 people, the fact that it worked for those 2 people will give others pause to see how they can modify the answer for their own individual needs. (I was in nearly the same situation as the OP a number of years ago).

Unanswerable - I believe that this was covered with the above.

Although the question will undoubtedly become a discussion, in some rare fringe cases, is the discussion not the answer?


I think yes it is appropriate for the site, but maybe not as one of the inital questions.

  • If the question isn't appropriate now, when we're in the stage where we should be determining which questions are appropriate, why should it be appropriate later? =)
    – Rob
    May 5, 2011 at 6:51
  • Principly for the initial seeding of questions as part of the private beta...after that it is probably more wide open.
    – Dan Snell
    May 5, 2011 at 15:39
  • Well with a little luck, it will still be around. The private beta is only a couple days long. :)
    – corsiKa Mod
    May 5, 2011 at 20:38

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