For professionals only?

Its not the first time I got (and saw) some (in my view) strict comments. Let me start by saying that its probably my way of asking. On the other hand, I'm just a newbie.

I love electronics as a hobby and I'm not skilled in any way. I do try to do a some R&D before I post a question. Yet, if I make a circuit drawing (to the best of my knowledge), and I'm getting sighs and exhausting comments, I question if I'm at the right place.

Moreover, its hard to sometimes name and draw things correctly. Is this something pro's sometimes don't realize?

I love Stack Exchange, but maybe this site is for professionals only and I have no business here?

On the positive note I also read many nice questions and answers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think no is the general concensus as long as the rules are respected and questions are clear enough etc. A similar question was asked a while back Is this site for beginners? that's worth reading over. \$\endgroup\$
    – PeterJ
    Apr 1, 2014 at 10:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks i will do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Roger
    Apr 1, 2014 at 10:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Show specific exmamples. Without that we can't judge whether you got inappropriate comments or you wrote bad questions. I quickly looked at your last few questions, but didn't see anything. Again, we need specifics. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2014 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop i removed my last question because of the tone of comments. I also don't want to attack the person, it just made me wonder. \$\endgroup\$
    – Roger
    Apr 1, 2014 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you deleted the question, then we'll never know and this discussion is pointless. If you tend to delete questions instead of fixing them in response to comments, then perhaps you don't belong here, although the few questions I looked at from you seemed good enough. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2014 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why pointless? Its not about a certain question, more about attitude. My question was about flyback (back EMF from a latched relay). I did my research, I was looking for a solution. I tried to explain my self as good as possible. Updated the question and circuit (without going overboard I think), posted a scope readout. But I got a "this is exhausting" comment, hardly encouraging. I'm trying to figure out how I can do this better. Its not the first time, I asked once a question and was send back to 8 grade… I try to be a good citizen… but apparently not everybody feels the same ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Roger
    Apr 1, 2014 at 18:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop The question i deleted, so i could repost a better version. Thank you for explaining. \$\endgroup\$
    – Roger
    Apr 1, 2014 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's pointless because we can't discuss what really happened since you deleted all the evidence. There is no way now to judge whether you have a point or are just a whiner. Doing a post-mortem on the particular question where someone got exasperated would be really useful. Perhaps someone went overboard, but more likely, you weren't listening to what was being said. Without real evidence to judge, this is sounding more and more like a whine. And no, deleting a question to post a better one is a bad idea. Fix the question you did post instead. Ask about it here if you don't understand. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2014 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Talking about "attitudes" in generalities is not useful since there is no metric for them. This is why examples are essential. You may say the problem was someone else's snippy attitude. Others may say it was yours for being stupid and not listening. There is nothing to be gained from such a pissing contest. This is why it's essential to have real occurences to dissect when talking about vague and subjective stuff like attitudes. Without real cases, it's easy to simply conclude that you are the problem, as I am left to conclude now since you have provided no evidence to make your case. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2014 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Point taken. I wanted to take the time to rethink the question. Leaving it open, apparently, irritated others. Lesson learned, thank you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Roger
    Apr 1, 2014 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


While this is a pretty good site for pros to ask other pros, I think beginners are actually pretty welcome. This has been rehashed over and over, with some serious debate on both sides.

While beginners are welcome, there is a certain due diligence that must be done to ask a good question. First, as with any board, take a good hard look at it before posting at all. Get a feel for what's going on. If this is done, it would be hard to believe that anyone asking a question would be surprised if they were asked for a circuit diagram, or more specific information. Also, if asked for such and no reply is forthcoming, one should not be surprised by downvotes (and there is a bit of a tendency to pile on the downvotes, but I think that's gotten a bit better). If an asker is not prepared to supply more information to help a question be answered, perhaps the question shouldn't have been asked.

Also consider that this is an electrical engineering site. An important mode of communication for discussing such matters is the circuit diagram, and to some extent, code. If you're having trouble with circuit diagrams to the extent that it interferes with asking your question, you lack an important skill that will certainly impact your ability to communicate here. Those really interested in EE should bring their basic skills up to a level to participate.

The request for more information should nver be considered a non-welcome reception of aquestion -- on the contrary, its a knowledgeable person saying "I'm interested and willing to take the time to help you, but you have to help me help you." For every "provide more information" comment a person sees, there's probably twenty other folks perfectly capable of answering, but fall into "I don't want to take the time required to get the asker to form the question in a way I can answer it". The person you might look at as nonwelcoming is actually the person most willing to help.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand and agree. But skills you needs to be learned, and you can do that here. That doesn't come without mistakes. Some things look simple from a beginners point of view, but as you learn, things gets more complicated. I really appreciate people reading my question(s) and spending time on it. I just don't understand the sigh's, it sets a certain tone of voice, but for what? \$\endgroup\$
    – Roger
    Apr 1, 2014 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Didn't see the comment, and I can't find it in your question list, so it's hard to address. If someone asked for a diagram, and the answer you gave was "that's hard so I can't do it", there are probably some who would have answered like that. Personally, I would have thought it, but not left a comment. I teach an instrumentation class, and I make my students in lab talk to me through circuit diagrams. If its a bad diagram, I'd rather spend quality time teaching them how to build a better one than waste time trying to help debug their circuit with no diagram. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1, 2014 at 20:43

This site is aimed at professionals, but no, it's not really for professionals only. Very basic questions, if well asked, actually get a lot of support and responses here. The key part is well asked. Very simple questions like What is Voltage and What is charge have gotten a lot of responses, and a lot of time spent by professionals here attempting to write accessible answers.

It's perfectly fine to be ignorant, but never to be stupid. If you don't really understand how voltage, current, and resistance relate, that's OK. However, then ask about that, after doing at least basic due diligence on your own. The question then should be specific points of confusion you have after the due diligence.

On the flip side, it's not OK to throw voltage and current and resistance around in a question about something else when you don't understand them. Trying to save face by pretending to know something will just make you look stupid and rightly get tarred and feathered..

This is also unapologetically an engineering site, and we expect people to understand the basic methodologies of engineering (having nothing specifically to do with electronics) and communicate properly within that context. Hand waving and being sloppy with units is not acceptable. Having to teach people how use units properly and specify real numbers instead of "low" or "many" is too far off this site's purpose to be tolerable. If you're going to ask about why the voltage stayed low for a long time when a resistor of 300 was connected "on" the output, then no, you don't belong here.

Sloppily written questions are also not welcome here. We don't tolerate text-speak and disregard for very basic rules of the language, like capitalizing the first letter of sentences and the word "I". If you wouldn't hand it in as homework, it doesn't belong here either.


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