How to Ask for Help on

Hi all - this forum is definitely a great place to ask Meteor questions when you’re stuck. The amount of knowledge and expertise spread across this forum is awesome! That being said, I’ve noticed a lot of forum posts from people with issues that don’t get answered. The reason for this is quite simple - the poster hasn’t supplied enough details about their issue, to help make it easier for others to troubleshoot. A lot of the people on this forum are busy hacking away on Meteor projects, so when they swing by to get caught up, and possibly answer a question or two, requests for help that are missing extra debugging details often go unanswered. To help with this, here is a quick checklist of items to review when asking for help on this forum.

  1. Please, please, please share sample code showing your issue, ideally as a runnable Meteor app. You can do this via a temp (or real) project on GitHub, or by re-creating your issue on MeteorPad (if possible). Sharing your code makes it MUCH easier for experienced Meteor dev’s to help quickly pinpoint your issue. This will greatly improve your chances of getting help. As an added bonus - if you’re not proficient in English (the majority language of this forum), don’t worry; showing your code will break through all language barriers.

  2. Try to keep your requests for help to one subject/issue per post. I’ve seen many posts asking for help on several different/un-related issues within the same post. Doing this will greatly impact the likelihood of getting any responses, as the act of responding seems daunting to those who are short on time. Just like the Single Responsibility Principle in code, keep your questions focused.

  3. Respect the free time others are giving you. Everyone on this forum is busy at something, so anytime spent answering your questions is time they’re taking away from other things in their life. Because of this don’t expect someone who tries to help you out one day, to be able to continue to help you out day after day. Questions asked on this forum are in no way part of a support contract. Item 1 above is one of the best ways to help respect the free time others are giving you - make sure they have everything they need to help you as quickly as possible.

  4. If you’re not getting any answers to your questions, do not repost the same question worded differently. Not getting answers means you need to expand on your existing question with more helpful debugging details. See item 1 above.

  5. Read the Meteor Guide - seriously. Many questions asked on these forums can now be answered by reading the Meteor Guide. It’s an awesome resource and is only getting better every day.


To which I would add: if you get help and it helps, then please :heart: the post(s) which helped and say thank you!


Definitely, great point!

Sadly Discourse doesn’t allow to start a list with other number than 1…

  1. Do your research first. 90% of questions were already answered, either here or on Stack Overflow. (this one should be no. 0 in fact)

  2. Don’t be a leecher. Ask people for help, but do help others too. Even with small amount of knowledge you’ll always find somebody who you can help with his beginner problems.


Too true - I’ve seen a lot of questions asked that have already been answered in other posts, that come up as the first forum search result!

and use code formatting, or Markdown’s tripple ` etc


Use console.log on the client and server.

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What’s popular perspective on when to post a question here vs. when to post it on stackoverflow?

My position has generally been that questions that fit stackoverflow’s model should be posted there. Is it a specific programming question that should have a fairly specific answer? Post it to stackoverflow. Questions that don’t fit that model can be posted here.

This position though kind of negates point #1 as a more generic question might not have code examples.

Great question @funkyeah - unfortunately I don’t have a great answer. SO was used quite a bit more for Meteor questions before these forums existed (as well as IRC and the old Google Groups er group). Nothing against SO, but there are a couple of really great things about asking technical questions on these forums that SO can’t provide:

  1. You have a better chance of getting an answer from MDG themselves who watch and post via this forum way more than they do SO.
  2. It’s much easier to link, cross reference, embed, share, etc. answers from threads here with other threads here (helps when answering questions with previous answers).
  3. I personally find searching through the centralized Meteor knowledge in this forum to be much easier, and provide much more relevant results, than searching through SO.
  4. A lot of posts here start off as technical questions, but then branch out into really interesting technical discussions that help contribute to the overall health of our community. SO really feels a bit direct and cold when it comes to this area.

I’m sure I could go on, but I’m also sure others can list many reasons why SO is better for tech questions. So again - I don’t have a great answer :confused:.

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Just a tiny suggestion - IFF it is accepted that these forums, rather than SO, should be the first port of call, maybe the Other Meteor Resources list in the Meteor Guide should be reworded and rearranged, because currently it seems to suggest SO before the forum.