Arduino Stack Exchange is scheduled for an election next week, August 14th.In connection with that, we will be holding a Q&A with the candidates. This will be an opportunity for members of the community to pose questions to the candidates on the topic of moderation. Participation is completely voluntary.

The purpose of this thread was to collect questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire is now live, and you may find it here.

Here's how it'll work:

  • Until the nomination phase, (so, until Monday, August 14th at 20:00:00Z UTC, or 4:00 pm EDT on the same day, give or take time to arrive for closure), this question will be open to collect potential questions from the users of the site. Post answers to this question containing any questions you would like to ask the candidates. Please only post one question per answer.

  • We, the Community Team, will be providing a small selection of generic questions. The first two will be guaranteed to be included, the latter ones are if the community doesn't supply enough questions. This will be done in a single post, unlike the prior instruction.

  • If your question contains a link, please use the syntax of [text](link), as that will make it easier for transcribing for the finished questionnaire.

  • This is a perfect opportunity to voice questions that are specific to your community and issues that you are running into at currently.

  • At the start of the nomination phase, the Community Team will select up to 8 of the top voted questions submitted by the community provided in this thread, to use in addition to the aforementioned 2 guaranteed questions.

  • Once questions have been selected, a new question will be opened to host the actual questionnaire for the candidates, typically containing 10 questions in total.

  • This is not the only option that users have for gathering information on candidates. As a community, you are still free to, for example, hold a live chat session with your candidates to ask further questions, or perhaps clarifications from what is provided in the Q&A.

If you have any questions or feedback about this process, feel free to post as a comment here.

7 Answers 7


A question is flagged as "off-topic" because it only peripherally involves an Arduino. For example "How do I get my Arduino to turn on a motor using a transistor?". Should it be closed altogether, migrated to Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange (where they are used to questions about transistors), or left here as a good beginner's Arduino question? Alternatively would you dismiss the flag and let the community handle the question via down-votes or vote-to-close?


A question is flagged as "not an answer" because it basically only has a link in it. The question is "Where can I find the datasheet for the Atmega328P" and the answer is a link to the datasheet. There is a school of thought that link only answers are not good answers. However in this case there isn't really any other way of answering the question. Copying and pasting a huge datasheet into the answer isn't really an option. Also see Should I flag answers which contain only a link as “not an answer”?. As a moderator, would you delete the answer, or let it stand?


A question has a lengthy number of comments under it suggesting various possible solutions to the asked problem. Once the number of comments reaches 20 the system (Community) automatically flags it suggesting that the comments be moved to chat. You move the comments to chat as suggested, and then get a complaint from a user that "valuable information is now hidden away in chat rather than under the question where it should be". How do you respond?


Here is a set of general questions, gathered as very common questions asked every election. As mentioned in the instructions, the first two questions are guaranteed to show up in the Q&A, while the others are if there aren't enough questions (or, if you like one enough, you may split it off as a separate answer for review within the community's 8).

  • How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?
  • How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

  • In your opinion, what do moderators do?
  • A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?
  • In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

What would you do if two users start insulting each other about not having sufficient knowledge to post on this site? Assume that both users have flagged each other's comments as rude or abusive.


What level of knowledge do you demand from users asking questions? What's the minimum standard required?

I think the minimun for programing is: You must able to download and install a IDE, write, compile and correctly run the Fizz Buzz test (with output thru Serial Monitor). This test doesn't require any electric skill.

For electrical: You must know Ohm's Law and Kirchhoff's Law (KCL, KVL). You must be able to calculate voltage and current in simple circuits with resistors, leds and buttons. You must understand serial and parallel connections.

[EDIT: irrelevant disgression deleted]

  • This is really a general Meta question - not one for moderators. Moderators resolve issues like spam or abuse, where things happen that fall outside the normal voting tools available to all trusted users. I would not expect a moderator to close a question because the user doesn't have enough knowledge. I would expect the general community to possibly do that by down-voting or voting-to-close.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 8, 2017 at 22:22
  • Hmmm - (referring to the thread in question) a question isn't really off-topic because it is full of logic errors. It's off-topic if it asks about (say) a Raspberry Pi. Can you reword this question to concentrate on the moderator aspect? For example: What would you do if two users start insulting each other about not having sufficient knowledge to post on this site?
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:43
  • I will keep my question as it is. I'm really interested in the candidates' opinion on the subject, even if it's not a direct part of their duties.
    – user31481
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:58
  • Fair enough! I'll post my suggested question as another one then, since I think the concept of two users flaming each other is a good one to ask about.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 9, 2017 at 22:21

Regarding why something has to be flagged/closed, do you believe that the actual system (a fix list of reasons) can be improved or changed for a better one? Can we, for example, add tags from a list, like we do posting a question? Such alternative adds flexibility without compromising the current classification.

  • This thread is for questions to be asked of prospective moderators at the forthcoming moderator election. Asking if we can add tags from a list is not something that a prospective moderator could usefully answer. This is, quite simply, a question that can be posted here on Meta as a question in its own right. Questions for moderator candidates are things like "if (x) happened what would you do?" or "would you be available to moderate on weekends?" - that sort of thing.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 11, 2017 at 5:20
  • @Nick There are moderators, elected, and "moderation tools", gained after 2K. That's confusing. You are right, I'm wrong. Anyway, I have never seen any of the candidates here, and I can't vote for people unknow to me. Where you, Majenko, CodeGorilla running for the post, I will happily cast a vote. I think I have nothing to do in this process.
    – user31481
    Aug 11, 2017 at 8:46
  • Going to adapt this into something more inquisitive towards candidates as opposed to suggesting a change to the system directly.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Aug 14, 2017 at 18:24

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