Curiousity question. How often do you go to write a forum post, get halfway through typing it out, and realize the answer to your own question?
It’s rare I write as the OP, asking a question. I usually try to exhaust every other resource first, trouble shooting myself, searching on-line for answers, etc…
Sometimes when something isn’t working and I absolutely can’t figure out why, after banging my head for some time, I just know it’s a really dumb and obvious error that I just can’t see because I’ve been looking at the code too long.
Most of the time, on the rare occasions that I do get as far a writing a question.
It’s not just me then?
I sometimes wonder if it is the actual process of writing the problem down in words, with enough detail for someone else to understand it, that forces you to view it another way, and therefore understand the problem a little more deeply, so the lightbulb finally flashes on.
It sure is!
That’s often what I experience when, after fruitless tries on their own, people working nearby wants some assistance and I ask them to describe what they’re doing and show what happens.
Been there done that. And when that happens, I often will reply saying : Ok nevermind…etc etc. when I know the answer is right on my nose
It has happened to me but I do not remember how much.
Something I know I have done is to spend time creating a simpler re-creation of the problem and thereby solved the problem myself. Sometimes when someone dumps a huge sample of code that might even have a bunch of irrelevant comments I suggest they create a small sample and I explain it is something I have done. I do not remember a case where they take the suggestion. The replies in this discussion indicate the value of investing time in writing a good question.
It has happened to me quite a few times. I write out the issue with as much detail as I can, then talk about what I did to fix it that did not work … and realized what else I had not done. That’s when I try a new direction mid-post that works.
If not before, then within a couple hours usually. I find that writing out exactly what my program does, line by line makes it obvious that there’s logical flaws.
Aka an SSCCE, a Short, Self Contained, Correct (Compilable), Example
I’d say that is a very important step for anyone looking to get help with a coding problem.
To answer the original question:
Like SamA, I find myself asking fewer and fewer questions nowadays. However when I do, the process of creating an SSCCE has lead to me abandoning the post more than once.