How to choose, motivate & develop a newbie programmer?

Recently, the above question was asked by a community member. A few people have indicated that the question belongs on Programmers SE.

If we leave this question open on this site, are we setting the precedence that future programming questions are welcome here? If we close this question, are we being too restrictive, considering the question is about training programmers, not managing projects?

Some may argue that project managers manage people, but it's also very clear that SE sites should focus on a very specific area of expertise.

Does this question cross the line into Programmers SE? How do we determine what types of programming questions are off-topic here?

2 Answers 2


If this is a one-time thing based on a single data point, I would not sweat it.

In my opinion it is off-topic, but it is only one question.

Perhaps defer making an authoritative decision until there are more potentially problematic questions to cite and decide upon?

  • 1
    I'm ok with not deciding now, but I do feel like documenting these potential issues now in meta and asking these questions will help keep the community aware that we should continue to think about where the boundaries should be. At this point, I think we all agree that there are yet no clear boundaries, and most people agree that we don't need to decide today.
    – jmort253
    May 6, 2011 at 2:13

My concern with our new PM site here is that it's mostly populated with programmers and people who manage programmers. That's fine for a starting point, but we really need to draw in the general Project Management crowd. If those folks log on and just see a bunch of questions about programming and training programmers, they won't stick around. With just one such question, I'm not very concerned. It is something to keep an eye on for the future.

  • I'm sharing questions on leadership blogs and management blogs based on searches I do in Google using the less than 24 hours and less than 1 week search constraints. Do you think there is anything else we can do to help draw the general PM body of users? I think you make a great point that PM is a huge field if you consider the non-programming fields.
    – jmort253
    May 7, 2011 at 1:53
  • On the other hand, after it draws in the general PM crowd we will see more posts like pm.stackexchange.com/questions/2029/… asking about software usage. May 7, 2011 at 7:09
  • @bartosz - I see that as a good thing. The more project managers, the more we can learn from each other.
    – jmort253
    May 8, 2011 at 2:20

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