Note: This document is a work in progress. You can help improve it.

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

Talking to the Duck