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Bad Question vs. Good Question Example

Asking questions is one of the most important skills for an engineer: However, so many engineers struggle with this and ask questions that are bad at getting answers. This is all even more important in the age of AI with tools like ChatGPT.

This video covers an in-depth example of a bad questions vs. a good question:

Bad Question

"I'm trying to load an image in my Android app, and it shows up blank. Any ideas on what's going on here?"

Here's why this question falls short:

  • It feels lazy as the asker doesn't share what they have tried already - Did they even do a Google search?
  • There's no context on why they're trying to get an image to load - The impact of helping this person is unclear.
  • There is 0 relevant code attached: This question forces potential helpers to ask a lot of follow-up questions to give advice.

Good Question

The upgraded question is too long (check the video to see it), so here are the core points as to why it's better:

  • The user attached everything they have tried.
  • There's links to additional context if helpers reading the question want to dive deeper - Keep in mind that they're not embedded directly within the question as huge code blocks can be overwhelming.
  • In general, it's very obvious that the asker put a lot of effort into the question and is respectful of everyone's time.

Related resources: