In a traditional software development education process you’ll learn about PC architecture, algorithm design, language constructs, mathematics and more programming specific skills. What you don’t learn, is how to ask great questions and creating a resource for future developers. Being able to articulate and explain a problem in its simplest form is a crucial skill in not only getting a resolution to your problem, but also assisting the current community to be even better.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a “forum guy”. I don’t trawl user forums and developer community sites to see where my expertise can be used to solve someones query. I choose to spend my time in other places, such as online courses, user groups, presentations, webinars and many other things. However, like almost any other developer I use the knowledge of Stack Overflow all the time. I am very appreciative of that resource and the system it provides to filter out the best (and worst) questions and answers. And when it comes to Stack Overflow royalty it doesn’t get much higher than Jon skeet. Jon has the highest ranked profile on the site BY A MILE! So it made complete sense to me to team up with Jon to create a course with Pluralsight on how to ask questions in a developer world.
This is an unusual course that focuses on a very technical issue in a very non-technical context. I get to pick Jon’s brain on how to create a great question, right from the worst incarnation of one. We go through the process of doing as much as possible to find the best way to ask a question, including how to word it, how to do your own diagnostics and different ways to ask the same question depending on context. Jon’s enthusiasm and passion for this topic comes through as a flood of positive energy.
This course is a must watch for all software developers. If we could all aim to be at Jon’s level when it comes to creating and answering great questions for the greater good of the community, we would all win.
Check out the Play by Play: Problem Solving in a Developer World today.