How to Ask Questions

First, it should be stated that there are no bad questions, only gaps in knowledge you're looking to fill.


  • If you're stuck, don't bang your head against the desk for too long. Reach out for help.
  • Make sure you are using the resources around you. Your peers, the Internet, the community are all available in addition to your instructor / mentor.

The Buddy System

One tool our instructors may enact as a policy is "the buddy system" for students asking questions. It works like this:

  1. Spend a reasonable amount of time trying to solve the issue yourself, but no more than that. What is reasonable? It depends on your task, it could be a few minutes (You've forgotten how to create a branch with git), or it could half an hour (You're stuck trying to get a click event working in a React component). You've looked on the Internet, but no luck in solving your problem.
  2. Ask a peer. Work together for a reasonable amount of time on it. If they've helped you solved it: great! You learned something new, and they've reinforced there own experience. It's a win-win.
  3. If you and your peer are not able to solve it together, now is the time you should both approach the instructor for help.

Talking to the Duck