Asking Questions On StackOverflow

You’re just using the wrong strategy. When I was a new developer someone taught me the secret. You can’t just post the question you want the answer to. That gets you nowhere. Instead, post the code you want fixed with some stupid question. Brag about how awesome your code is and even question why dumb developers don’t use the techniques you are employing. The more condescending the better. The way you should phrase your question must incorporate blaming other developers for your problem like, “How do I make my awesome code work with this idiot’s shitty excuse for an API that I’m required to use because my boss is a dumb ass.”

Then post your code. Your code will be tuned to perfection by angry devs everywhere. They will explain every piece of it to you likely in the most easy to understand (think condescending) way they can because you’re an idiot noob who thinks their code is actually good. This will not be a nice explanation, but will be super clear to make sure you understand what an idiot you are. Plus, you will get every finely tuned code snippet possible to fix your solution. You just have to ignore all the mean shit the devs say to take you down a peg.

Ask an honest question as a new developer, expect one of two things to happen: crickets or an insult about how you didn’t bother to search for the answer.

This technique was, and may still be, well employed by new Linux users. If you asked “How do I do xyz in Linux?” you wouldn’t get nearly the number of “helpful” replies as the person who said “Linux sucks, you can’t even do xyz. It’s dead simple in Windows!”

Cunningham’s law is literally used as an interrogation technique. One person who was a master at using it was Hanns Scharff, often cited as Germany’s most effective interrogator during the war:

His methods were so effective that prisoners didn’t realize they were giving away valuable information. He once suggested to a prisoner that chemical shortage caused American tracer bullets to produce white smoke instead of red. The prisoner shook his head and said it was meant to be a signal of low ammo – valuable intel to the Wehrmacht.

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