How to ask for help?

What is the best way to ask for help with some problem in this forum?


There are few facts, you have to consider.

1. CodeChef is not willing to share test data.

Why? It was asked like a billion times (for example here). They do not want to. FULL STOP.

2. No-one answered my question…

Well, no-one is paid for that. Similar guys as you are answering the questions in their free time, so be patient and ask smartly.

So, what is the bast way to ask for help?

Shortly, show some respect. This website in not called - This is knowledge sharing web site, where whoever can ask for help, but it’s polite to show some effort you made before asking for help.

There are several categories of wrong questions, like

“Here is my code”: example1, example2, example3, example4

“Here is my problem statement”: example1, example2, example3, example4

“Problem desciption in question title”: example1, example2

The good question should have this structure:

1. Problem description

It’s not a problem to help with a problem from other contest pages like uwa, usaco, CodeForces, TopCoder, Project Euler, SPOJ and others.
If the problems are freely available link is all you need to add. Be aware that this CodeChef forum, so most people are familiar with CodeChef’s problems, but many of them are competing in other competitions.

2. Description of your approach

Sometimes is enough to say: “I’m trying to do exactly the same what is described in editorial”. Still it should be beneficial for you to describe in first part I’m doing this, in second part I’m doing that,
even better is it is clear from your code. You know in contest it doesn’t matter whether you format your code or split the logic in methods, but it helps a lot in practice especially when you are asking for help.

Have you ever heart about Rubber duck debugging? No? We are your rubber duck. To learn to ask a good question is as important as solving a problems.

Only after you are done with that description add a link to your solution (can be ideone, here), link is preferred over the code.

3. Describe your testing approach

“I tested all possible test cases and still getting WA” appears in question too often. Frankly, if you tried ALL possible test cases, there is only a small chance getting WA.

4. Describe some specialities

For example whether you assumed something for example about the input data. Or you think there is a rule that holds, mention it - very often those two are root cause of the wrong approach.

I believe, that good question can be this one (it has all the parts I described above, even if those are not structured as described here).




emphasized textKeep on asking your question till u get ur satisfied answer…or use google

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Thank you Betlista for the answer!
I am new here and the answer is really helpful.
(I would have upvoted it if I had enough reputation points…)


try increasing ur karma points by helping unanswered questions…once u get 3 points…u can start asking questions!! :smiley:

Its never too late, we here help each other and make this world a better place for programmers by contributing whatever we know. :slight_smile:

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