Please ask nicely

If you read this, it's because you asked me a question, and I can't help you. Here is how you can ask again.

What are you trying to do?

What problem are you trying to solve? What is your real goal?

Zoom out! Tell me what your goal is, not just where you got stuck. Maybe you took a wrong, dangerous approach. If I help you get unstuck, you will just continue in the wrong direction. I need to understand you really want to do.

If you tell me what your goal is, I might know a better way to get there, and we can avoid an XY problem.

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. Be precise. Give me all the information I need to help you. It's a lot faster that way.

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."
Not good: "Help my car won't start"

What have you tried so far?

What have you already done 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.

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?

Show me that you tried to solve your problem. If you make zero effort to help yourself - not even a Google search - I will not help you.

Not good: "How do I move to Germany"

Let's be kind to each other

When you ask for a stranger's help, be kind and respectful. Take the time to write full sentences. Say hello, please and thank you.

Don't be like Liam.

Other good practices