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Using Stack Overflow effectively

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Last month we archived our old Q&A’s and embraced Stack Overflow for community support. We’ve seen a significant increase of #appcelerator questions and answers as both users and our own engineers compete to be in the top answerers and improve their reputation.

To make the most of Stack Overflow I’d like to give some tips on how to use Stack Overflow effectively.

1. We are your guests

Stack Overflow a great place for and run by the developer community. As Appcelerator we are your humble guests. Our engineers and support staff are there to help it thrive, but not drive.

Stack Overflow has a good article on the role product teams can and cannot play in Product Support.

2. Use the right channel

So, when you raise a question in Stack Overflow you address the community, not Appcelerator. Thus, if you have a feature request or you are sure you are dealing with a bug, then report it on our JIRA. If you look for a place to discuss rather than to ask a concrete question, then join the community initiative TiSlack.org. We hang out there as well, so if you have questions about why (not), how or when we do things this is a great channel for that as well.

3. Ask the right question

Stack Overflow is not a forum, but a Q&A. The difference lies in that every question created should indeed be just that – a single question. Formalise your question title as an actual question and provide details and any research you’ve already performed in the body. Use proper formatting to improve the readability of your question.

Stack Overflow has good articles on how to ask a good question as well as using the markdown format.

4. Use the right tags

In order for other developers as well as our staff to find your question, always include the #appcelerator tag. In addition, add relevant product tags.

5. Help others

Even if you just started out with our products, you can already help others. If you find an answer to question you had as well, up vote the answer. If you find an answer does not work, add a comment or down vote it. Found a unanswered question you also have, up vote the question. You can also flag or comment on inappropriate activity.

Thank you for being part of the Appcelerator Community!

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2 Comments

  1. anonymous

    Its a bit disingenuous imo to try to push this angle that moving to StackOverflow means Appcelerator has little to do in the way of customer support on titanium tagged questions. Before the move it was taken for granted that asking a question (on the Q&A) is as good as asking directly to AppC, any other community responses was just icing on the cake. Usually we had better luck getting a response through the public Q&A over the paid support plan!!

    Granted this may be a little harsh, I’ve seen Fokke actively try to answer most the questions on SO. Still do us a favor and don’t pretend the move was purely for our own benefit.

    • Hi anonymous. Frankly, embracing Stack Overflow has not effected the way we engage in community support in any other way than that we can now use SO’s excellent features, just like you can. And just like we did on the old Q&A’s, we try to focus on questions that address potential bugs or otherwise might be hard to answer by the community. Although of course we do put in some extra effort in these first weeks to provide an extra boost. Stil, paid support is the only way to get 1:1 help with questions of all sorts, including those that we’d leave up to the community on Stack Overflow.

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