Nicolas Bouliane

Please ask again Posted on

I link people to this page when their questions are too vague to answer. Read this post, then ask me again.

What are you trying to do?

What problem do you want to solve?

Tell me what you’re actually trying to do, not just where you got stuck. Sometimes, there is a better way to do things. We can avoid an XY problem.

Bad: “Help I urgently need a tax ID!”

Good: “My new employer asks for a tax ID, but I don’t have one yet. Can I start my new job anyway?”

What is the problem?

Where are you stuck? What is blocking you? What errors did you get? What are the exact symptoms of the problem?

Tell me exactly what’s wrong. It’s a lot faster if you give me the information I need to help you.

Bad: “Help my car doesn’t work”

Good: “My 2009 Ford Focus won’t start. When I turn the key, the dash lights come on, and the radio starts, but the engine does not turn at all.”

What is your situation?

Zoom out, and help me understand the whole situation. Give me enough information to help you.

Bad: “Help how do I move to Germany?”

Good: “I am a Nigerian citizen and I currently live in Hungary. I have a university degree in software engineering. Can I get a German work visa?”

What have you tried so far?

Tell me how you have tried to solve your problem. Have you searched for existing solutions? Have you tried any of the solutions? What happened?

If you tell me what did not work, we save a lot of time. I can understand the problem better, and offer more specific help.

Bad: “What should I see and do in Berlin”

Good: “What residence permit options do I have? I can’t get a work visa or a Blue Card because I don’t have vocational training. Can I move to Germany as a student, or do an internship there instead?”

Remember the human

I will help you for free, but I ask for 3 things in return: