The Power of the Post

Posting questions on forums online can be a very powerful tool for developers.  Not only will it allow you to learn from experienced developers who have accomplished your goal(s) before, but it will save you loads of time.

What Do You Mean by The Power of the Post?

“The Power of the Post” is general phrase I coined which refers to the benefits one gets from posting questions on forum sites like StackOverflow, Experts Exchange, and many others.

Learning from Others

Knowledge is a numbers game.  The more people you have in your circle the more information can be contained within that circle.  One person may specialize in a specific field while another is an expert at something else.  Together they hold the answers to questions in both areas.  Online communities are fantastic because they are filled with extremely knowledgeable people who are eager to help others.

Whatever the issue is that you are running into, somebody else has probably already reached that barrier and broken it down.  Why tear your own hair out over the same issue?  Let it be known that you are struggling and you are sure to find somebody who has resolved something similar already.  These people can help you move past your road blocks and get back to having fun while coding.

Save Time (Lots of It!)

Troubleshooting problems can take a lot of time and can be very frustrating.  Not only are you not moving forward with your project, but you are spending an hour, maybe two, or maybe even more trying to fix one small thing.

If a quick Google of your problem doesn’t return immediate results, I would recommend posting a question on a forum as a very next step towards finding a solution to your problem.

Consider this.  If it takes you two hours to figure it out on your own, that’s two hours that the question could have been sitting on a forum somewhere with other eyeballs on it.  Odds are that somebody that sees your question can steer you in the right direction much more quickly than you can figure it out on your own.

When this happens, not only do you get the issue resolved more quickly, but you also get to move on to other tasks and get those completed during time that you could have been troubleshooting had you not requested help from others.

Forced Problem Review Leads to Solution Discovery

One of the biggest benefits I have found that happens when posting questions on forums is that more often than not, the process of posting the question leads me to my answer.

When posting a question online it’s best to include as much detail as possible.

  • Error Code / Message Details.
  • API Request / Response Logs
  • Screenshot Image(s)
  • Video Demo
  • General Issue Information

Providing the information above can greatly accelerate the time it takes to get an answer to your question.  The act of compiling all of this information for your post actually forces you to focus on all of the details about what you are doing and the result that you are getting.  More often than not, this procedure will result in the discovery of potential solutions to your problem, and you may find that you have the problem solved prior to completing your post details.

Conclusion

While it feels good to “figure it out on your own”, that’s not always the best option.  The time involved in doing so can easily chew up your project hours and eat into your project budget.

Instead, submit your questions to online forum communities and let the power of the post work its magic!

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