Before You Ask – Just another guide
in my blog here I collected just some facts how to ask. Of course, sometimes everybody of us do lose the sight of the wood for the trees and that is very ok. But please if you are new to the community and stumble over this blog take your time to read through it and also through the linked blogs. This will help you for sure.
The very first thing you have to do is to read trough the Rules of Engagement here:
Before asking a technical question do the following:
-Search the web / SCN.
-Search SAPOSS to find a note.
-Read through the content SAP provides you at their Helpportal SAP Help Portal – The central place for SAP documentation.
-Test different things you got in your mind.
-Ask a colleague around you. (Sometimes you really will be surprised, for sure 😉 )
-Try to find an answer by reading the source code (of course, just if you’re a developer 😛 ).
I do not see a specific row in there, please just make sure you did all the mentioned things before you post. It is really annoying to find the answer by just copy paste the title into the search.
By the way: This blog explain how to use the search
How to use SCN search
When you ask
-Make it easy to reply
-A good question contains more than one sentence. (Most of the times 🙂 )
-Finishing your query with “Answer will be provided with points…. ” makes it quite unlikely you will get an answer. (But this is a personal statement, so I’m not sure if everybody is with me)
Get the people involved and tell as much as you can about the issue you are fighting with. Also tell the people, what you have tried already. If possible, share some screens of the issue.
What to do during the time you wait for an answer
Check the answers regularly and update the status, which means, let the people know, that you are reading their response and you are trying to solve your problem by using it.
Update the issue, if you are getting closer to it, every flame in the dark might bring a solution to it.
After your question is solved or you have found your solution by your own
Share your solution, you also shared the question.
Mark your question as solved and mark the correct answer.
If you do not know how it works, please read trough this blog:
How to close a discussion and why
Ok, that’s it. Not a big thing but I really felt to share this basic instruction. Just did not found a summary.
Florian - there is a saying, "from your lips to..."
These are all great steps and I hope SCN members take time to read and follow.
Perfect. Never enough info on things like this. I created a blog in November of 2008 in a similar vein in the Crystal Reports SDK Developer forum. And your blog made me go back and do a bit of sorely needed updating. Anyhow, here is the link to that blog: What do I need to do to get the fastest issue resolution?
Sometimes, I think it would be cool to have an initial page where the poster must provide certain basic info before being allowed to ask a question. But then, I realize it would not stop anyone from providing any bogus info and ask anyhow. Doing as we do, probably is the best way; inform, teach, cajole, help 🙂
That's the point. As you said, it isn't possible to get everybody following such rules. But if all of us stumble over it and I can get one out of a hundred doing it a goal is reached.
Thanks for linkin yours in
Very useful stuff
Nicely presented and all these points are very important. Specially for newbies. I must say if every user follow these steps strictly we won't have 70% questions. If you know how to use google search and SCN search you are the best. Thank you for sharing,
There is another good old blog on this subject - How to ask good questions but, as Ludek noted, "never enough info on this". 🙂
Actually both not searching before posting and offering or soliciting points are considered a violation and usually trigger an alert to moderator. Same goes for asking and offering to send information directly by email.
I'd also add that starting a question with "dear gurus / experts / sirs" significantly decreases the chance for an intelligent response. 🙂
Did not quite understand
OP writers something...and that influences the people replying!?!
Well, when a discussion starts with "dear gurus" this sounds like "non-gurus don't need to reply". Do you consider yourself a "guru"? I'm definitely not. The real experts probably don't think of themlselves as such because the more we know the more we understand how little we actually know. (I'm sure you're familiar with the feeling. 🙂 ) "Dear Sirs" is just plain sexist.
Besides, such salutations are usually followed by a basic question or a "spec dump". If someone done all the research and is posting an intelligent question, they never need such cheap shot at "buttering up" the SCN population to get an answer. In fact, good question is 80% of the answer, as we all know. 🙂
On this occasion, I think you are judging and making assumptions. These might be wrong!
Please allow me to elaborate -
1. Starting with "dear gurus", then usually a basic question - Asking basic questions is like an epidemic which cuts across any type of salutation. You can find great, medium or basic questions with this starting. We can not predict.
2. Starting with "dear gurus", sounds like only meant for gurus (and not for non-gurus) - Personally for me, if I know something and want to share, I will irrespective of the salutation by the OP (even if no salutation). The point is to share and the focus is the issue.
Several other members feel the same, I think you too.
3. Starting with "dear gurus", can be written sincerely by the OP - It might not be "buttering up". In SD forum, many many members address G Lakshmipathi as Sir, Great, Respected etc. Are these members buttering up? No.
They feel that way. Phanikumar Valiveti is one of the members who voices his appreciation. Is he buttering up? No
Similarly, an OP could feel that way, as he would be rewarded with a solution / knowledge.
Side note: "Dear Sirs" etc. could be sexist or could be a matter of not thinking too much before drafting or a matter of "English" not their native language or something else.
How about using Dear All. No Gurus no Sirs No Madams nothing else. Dear all means everyone who is seeing the thread no matter how much knowledge he or she has.
I personally believe that we should call every one by his or her name. If we want to show your respect we can ad Mr. or Ms with name.
In my previous company we used to call by Sir to everyone who was senior to us but in my current company we call everyone by his name even to our CEO. It varies from company to company but in multinational culture we call by real names.
How about no salutations whatsoever? Whom else could we address on SCN - CIA agents who are bored to death spying on the internet? (Hi, officers! 😀 )
It's OK when a particular SCN member is addressed individually in a respectful manner - I wasn't suggesting to ban those words altogether on SCN. But I feel addressing the whole discussion from the start only to the specific group ("gurus", "experts", etc.) is a choice that could limit the number or replies. Some people might jump in with a response regardless, some might hesitate. So why not just get straight to the business and avoid the confusion altogether?
I also think if you want a salutation "Hi all" does match everyone.
As I mentioned in my blog with providing points it doesn't lift the question. There are questions basic questions I answered and will answer. But for real, if a post starts with "Hi guru's, how to switch on my computer" (you know what sort of questions I got in my mind) I sometimes don't feel to work through the rest and post a reply.
I'm with you Jelena 🙂
Well, I think there is always time for a "Hi" or "Hello" to start of the whole thing. When I see questions that start right away with the description of the problem, it kind of feels rushed, somewhat pushy and also a bit rude to me. Like when someone calls me, I pick up the phone and the other person is promptly starting with their issue. It sets another tone, but maybe that's just my feeling. 🙂
I do agree with the above points.When the OP is mentioning that Gurus/Experts usually many people like me will hesitate to give the answer when He/She is not confident enough and also people might be thinking that this is only for Experts/Guru's question and only those group only to answer.
Even i have seen in some treads people mentioning that let us wait the Legends give the reply so in this case many people hesitate to answer.
This is my personal opinion.
Addressed to someone (group) specifically
In my day job, I battle with this point. If a PM has addressed someone specifically, then even if I can add value (comments) I generally refrain from doing that. But this is not right on my part and now-a-days, I do comment because the project (task) is the most important and not these "procedural protocols".
Coming to posts in SCN, if you know the answer, you should not hesitate. If you are unsure (technically), you can always test or else just make a comment e.g. "Not too sure but probably you can configure xyz using ABC functionality"
As you know, "Guru" comes from teacher...we all are teachers and we all are students 🙂 (at the same time even).
Thank you TW for your reply. Yes i usually first test it then try to post it maximum times. But some times when there is no system available to test it when it is required. Usually i mention that i did not test it 🙂
Still i have not reached to the above statement unlike many of you 🙂 ,still am a student only.
You are being modest and generous to other 🙂
I have read your posts and have learnt from those too.
In retrospect, SAP is so vast...each module is so vast...we are eternally students.
What do I tell me kid...son you go to school and I too am going to school 🙂 ...not the same school though 😉
Really thank you for your positive opinion on me 🙂 .Yes as you rightly said SAP so vast. In that many of you are senior most students with multiple skills 🙂 . And You are one among the most knowledgeable Senior student 🙂 .
Have been reading your posts for many years and even learnt many things from your posts as well along with many other senior students 🙂 .
Being this as a global forum, definitely, the culture being followed varies. In certain countries, we normally address senior people (either in terms of age or position) as Sir / Madam to show that we respect them by heart. In certain countries, irrespective of their age or position, we call them by name. It is not that we respect them in one case and disrespect them in another case. We are all accustomed with this culture where we born. As long as the individual dont take it in a negative manner if you call by name, it is okay as far as I am concerned. Respect should be in heart and not in mouth.
Coming to the topic discussed here on salutation, I normally see any thread as a normal one; be it the OP has addressed with "Gurus", "Sir" etc., as long as they dont address to any individual. It is also a known fact that many SCN members dont know how to start and ask questions. Only with experience, they will learn.