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Asking Questions About Your Code

A guide for developers to ask questions about code.

Everybody runs into problems during development that can be frustrating and seem impossible to debug. The most important thing is: if you need help, ask for help.

We provide this guide for developers, particularly Virtual Coffee members, to ask for help effectively. One thing is for sure, even if you still need to figure out how to ask for help: ask anyway! We've all been there.

  • Go through your code line by line.
    You want to know what your code is doing so you can answer questions. Take some notes if necessary.
  • Do some research before asking questions.
    You want to avoid asking questions you can figure out by googling your problem. You can also improve your skill in finding solutions by googling yourself.
  • Check for some typos.
    Sometimes an error arises from a single typo.
  • Google the error that you encounter by copy-pasting the error message.
    Most of the time, you can find some answers from people who have faced the same problem as yours.
  • Debug your code.
    You can check out Nick Taylor's Lunch and Learn sessions below about debugging:

Getting Started

  • A simple "Can someone help me with {something}?" is enough to start a conversation.
  • Be specific about what you're looking for.
    "Does anyone know why my MongoDB authentication failed?" is better than "My app is crashing."
  • For a more general question or when trying to grasp a concept:
    "Does anyone have experience with {something}?" or "Can someone explain {something}? to me like I'm five?" is a good starting point.

Asking Questions

  • Specified details as much as possible, such as:
    • What language, framework, or library version are you using when encountering the error?
    • What operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux) and version are you experiencing the problem?
  • Provide relevant code along with your question, if possible.
  • Explain the command or steps that you run to reproduce the problem.
  • Describe what you have tried to fix the problem.
    It's okay if you need to figure out where to start but share whatever you have already tried/ruled out.
  • Read through your question.
    You want to ensure that your question makes sense and you've included all information needed for other members to help you.

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Look for the channels that are suitable for your questions. If you need more clarification, ask the moderators on which channel you can ask the questions. In Virtual Coffee, we have these channels for members to ask coding questions:


Ask questions about your code or ask other members' help for pairing in this channel.

You can also ask for opinions about your project, resources, help to fill out surveys, or any other support related to tech.

#dev-... (backend, code-challenges, devops-and-cloud, frontend, fullstack, ml-data-ai, vue-crew, wordpress)

These channels are here for you to ask questions if you need help with your codes or anything related to the topic of the channels.


This channel is all about questions, comments, tips, and answers around accessibility.


If you are still figuring out where to ask questions, you can ask them here. Some members will crosspost your question to the appropriate channel(s) for better exposure.

Check our complete channel list on the Virtual Coffee Slack Channels Guide page.

Discussion Board

Some communities utilize discussion boards on GitHub to ask questions or throw ideas, and so does Virtual Coffee! Do check out our discussion board on GitHub!

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How to Utilize Slack for Asking Coding Questions

Permalink to “How to Utilize Slack for Asking Coding Questions”

Inline Code

Use a single backtick (`) to share technical jargon or a one-line code in a sentence. For example:

If you use `npm`, run `npm list -g` to see all packages you've installed globally.

Code Block

Use triple backtick (```) to share a code block and keep a clean format. For example:

function greetings() {
  console.log("Hello there!");

Unless you are a moderator or granted permission by a moderator, you want to avoid using @here or @channel. Using these tags will notify everyone in the channel. It might be an afternoon at your time, but it is midnight in some parts of the world.
At Virtual Coffee, we highly respect our members. And we are a very active community. So, someone will answer you as soon as possible, even without the tags.

When you need to add more information to your message or want to answer a question, reply in the thread and not create a new message.
Keeping one topic in one thread can prevent confusion, making the conversation easy to follow and questions easy to answer.

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Thank you to our members for making this guide possible, especially to David Alpert, Jonathan Yeong, Dan Ott, Abbey Perini, Mark Noonan, Travis Martin, and Claire Martinez for throwing ideas, and Ayu Adiati for putting them together!

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