SQA seems repetitively full of "here is my code, why does it error" style questions.

I think to improve the quality of SQA as a resource we need to move the focus away from these specific questions.

How can we look to better enforce guidelines as to what "constitutes a useful question"

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    I think the better question to ask is "How can we best tune these pleas for help in ways that help future visitors?"
    – corsiKa Mod
    Aug 31, 2017 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


Just thoughts, too long for comments.

You are right, this is absolutely a pressing issue for SQA - and, we only get a part of it - there is a substantially larger number of "cannot find element" like questions on SO (I've been following selenium tag there for quite a while).

On one hand, having these questions help with "Questions per day" stat which is crucial for SQA being in beta. On the other, this kind of questions are too specific and narrow - helping this particular person with his "locator" problem has a very low probability of being helpful to anyone else.

Plus, for some reason, this kind of questions are usually low-quality - they usually have markup issues, not enough data to help - e.g. missing link to the actual page they are working with or absence of the HTML representation of the element an OP is trying to locate.

And, commonly these questions are getting abandoned by their OPs, leaving an unaccepted question as a result which does not help SQA with the "Answered" stat.

But, yes, I am up for the changes and improvements in this area.

(Our Public Beta stats for the reference)

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    I used to answer many more of these questions, now I don't feel its worth my time to do so, as they are so specific you already know it will never help another user. The lack of accepting answers can be annoying, as that is how we reward users for helping.
    – ECiurleo
    Aug 30, 2017 at 13:41
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    @ECiurleo absolutely the same here. On one hand, if there was enough information to help, I was eager to answer and help, but the more I answered questions like that the more I started to realize that the impact, even though quick, was pretty negligible - basically, time taken to the amount of impact measurement. I still have mixed feelings about that but I stopped looking into this kind of questions at this point. Thanks!
    – alecxe
    Aug 30, 2017 at 13:44
  • I understand the desire to get SQA out of beta, but the I think the real goal is to create a site with valuable, QA/Testing-oriented content. If SQA were to exit beta with a large proportion of "single-use" questions, we will have failed at that goal.
    – user246
    Sep 11, 2017 at 23:16
  • Of course it's also possible that despite our best efforts, there isn't enough interesting material to support a promoted-from-beta SQA site.
    – user246
    Sep 11, 2017 at 23:21

This has been bothering me for a while: most of these questions are from people who are trying to automate with (to judge by their code) little to no experience with code.

I don't want to scare off beginners, but at the same time, these are the people who are unlikely to recognize that they should be using the techniques promoted in the several very good reference questions about finding elements and handling automation code errors that are already on the site.

At the moment I lean towards directing the posters towards the reference questions where possible and closing the questions as duplicates.

I'm also wondering if we moderators shouldn't include a "basic coding" annotation to use to point the posters to more appropriate practices.

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