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I apologize in advance if this is a dumb question. How do I figure out if I belong in SU or not? This applies to both asking questions and providing answers.

I've been participating in SO for years, with moderate success. I've dabbled in the Database Administration and Software Engineering sites on occasion, and a few other sites as well.

When I created a filter for Powershell questions on all sites, I began to see a fair number of them here on SU. But I don't know if the kind of answer I'm likely to provide would be even remotely useful for the SU community.

Yes, I have been lurking and trying to understand the mind set of both the questions and the answers. And it is different from SO, DBA, or SWE. But it's also different from my mind set.

And I'm retired. This colors my thinking about technical issues. Actually, my thinking hasn't changed, and that's the problem. I don't want to withhold anything of value. But I don't want to just add extra noise either. And yes, I could just dive in and wait for the downvotes. But is there a better way?


Edit: Yes, the help section did give me some help with this site. In particular, the "what kind of questions can I ask in here" topic is very well written, and clearly defines the scope of SU and the center of interest that's being encouraged.

That still leaves me with some doubts about scripting. Scripting is right at the boundary between the way home users think and the way programmers think. As an old time programmer, I tend to come at scripting as if it's like programming only different. A super user might come at it quite differently.

But I do have a handle on learning about the SU community. I'll just read a lot of the Qs and the As under the Powershell tag here in SU. That'll give me enough of a clue so that my participation will be at least mildly helpful.

I'm also very ignorant about Powershell, but that's a separate problem.

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    "I could just dive in and wait for the downvotes. But is there a better way?" The Help section of the site has all kinds of guidance on how to ask and answer questions like a boss, why not start there? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 18 '16 at 21:08
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    Nice, my brain just summerised your question as 'I want to check myself before I wreck myself'. I'd look at already answered questions, and see if your answers are similar enough to be of use (they don't need to be the accepted answer, sometimes the unaccepted answers are more useful. – djsmiley2k - CoW Nov 19 '16 at 20:18
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If you can provide an answer that solves the problem in the question, that would be great! If you have additional relevant details (e.g. the inner workings of some system mentioned in the question), that certainly wouldn't hurt to include. We have a huge audience; different people prefer different approaches. You shouldn't be downvoted for adding an answer with an alternate format, provided that it answers the question. References to relevant outside resources are very nice, but make sure to always include the applicable information from each source so your answer can stand on its own.

If you're not sure whether you can adequately answer a given question, don't worry, there are plenty of others! We get more than 150 every day, and there are tons of unanswered ones from the past. I guarantee you'll stumble upon some you can assist with.

When it comes to asking questions, our standards are a lot like Stack Overflow's. Share your research so answerers know what you already have. For troubleshooting questions, mentioning what you've already tried and what happened is a must.

In short, we'd love to have you. Feel free to post on meta with specific questions on the behavior we expect on Super User.

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I don't see a better approach for you than the diving in. Be bold. Go for it! Don't worry.

I don't think you'd get downvoted for suboptimal style. Should there be something to optimize, you'll probably get comments (or edits).

(When in doubt whether your writing, say on scripting, is accessible to the asker, you could suggest to them to give you feedback whether your answer was clear to them or if they would like you to elaborate on something.)

So, since you've already covered the FAQ, do feel encouraged to go on learning by doing!
What do you have to lose.

Thanks in advance for your contributions!
Enjoy!


As a bonus, have some tacky (but arguably insightful) life lesson memes (which, ironically, do not reflect the typical tone here ;) (and neither do emoticons)): Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn Fail -> Fail -> Win

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