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In connection with the moderator elections, we are holding a Q&A thread for the candidates. Questions collected from an earlier thread have been compiled into this one, which shall now serve as the space for the candidates to provide their answers.

Due to the submission count, we have selected all provided questions as well as our back up questions for a total of 9 questions.

As a candidate, your job is simple - post an answer to this question, citing each of the questions and then post your answer to each question given in that same answer. For your convenience, I will include all of the questions in quote format with a break in between each, suitable for you to insert your answers. Just copy the whole thing after the first set of three dashes.Please consider putting your name at the top of your post so that readers will know who you are before they finish reading everything you have written, and also including a link to your answer on your nomination post.

Once all the answers have been compiled, this will serve as a transcript for voters to view the thoughts of their candidates, and will be appropriately linked in the Election page.

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Oh, and when you've completed your answer, please provide a link to it after this blurb here, before that set of three dashes. Please leave the list of links in the order of submission.

To save scrolling here are links to the submissions from each candidate (in order of submission):

Ghanima

VE7JRO


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?

How will you handle questions that doesn't require knowledge about the Arduino platform to answer (general coding questions, general electronics questions)?

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?

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?

How would you prefer to handle a Question, if the source of the problem is only a typo in the OP's source code?

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?

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Ghanima

Preface

From my nomination to become moderator on RaspberryPi.SE in 2015 (see here):

I believe in the power of the crowd and cooperation. Therefore it is my firm hope that a mod only has to step in in the rare cases where self-regulation fails. I see the work of moderators as part of the work the community does as a whole - after all Stack Exchange is community moderated and moderators are also just users.

It is my understanding that the community members should define the goals and policies of the site together (e.g. in meta), with the mods aiding to focus this process and helping to implement the agreed upon procedures. As a moderator I would like to act as part of a team on behalf of and to the benefit of the community.

Over the past four years my hopes in community moderation were confirmed to a very large extend. The main exception being that on small stacks collecting five close votes takes forever so I tended to visit that particular review queue quite often to cast a binding vote if I felt that there would be a community consensus for closure.

Arduino's and RaspberryPi's stacks are roughly of a similar size and according to this and that are rather peaceful at that (considering the use of the heavy moderation tools, contacting users and casting suspensions).

  1. 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?

I would try to convince that user how comments are supposed to work - backing that up with positions outlined at numerous posts on Meta.Stackexchange. Furthermore I would suggest that "valuable information" should be either incorporated into the body of the question by editing it or posted as an answer instead.

In short: "under the question" is in fact not "where it should be". All relevant information concerning the question should be part of the question, everything that is an answer should be posted as such, not as a comment.

  1. How will you handle questions that doesn't require knowledge about the Arduino platform to answer (general coding questions, general electronics questions)?

According to this stack's helpcenter those questions are considered off-topic. If they are reasonably phrased and of sufficient quality I would migrate them to the appropriate stack, i.e. Stackoverflow or Electrical Engineering. If in doubt I would try to reach out to a moderator of those stacks before migrating. Sometimes it is more appropriate to rephrase a question and put emphasis on other aspects when posting on another stack, in which case I would use comments to guide the user to do that instead of migrating.

  1. 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?

Clear and open communication with the user is key here. The tools to do so are available - private chats and/or "contacting the user". I have come to understand that the teamwork of the moderators can help to alleviate any interpersonal sensitivities. If talking the issue through is not helping to resolve the problem, even suspensions should be considered, assuming serious infractions.

The be nice policy of Stackexchange applies to all contributors regardless of seniority or amassed reputation (see here).

  1. How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

Talk it through in the moderator's chat room. Usually there is no need to rush things and single-handedly reverse another moderators decision. Hear them out the understand their point of view and motivation first before acting.

  1. 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?

I would not cast a moderator's binding vote but leave it to community. Personally I believe in a more inclusive approach as long as this community has the expertise to provide quality answers, i.e. has members that could answer the question. Considering that a large part of the community are hobbyists and/or beginners the listed example is likely to pop up again on this stack so it'd be best to have good answer for it.

  1. How would you prefer to handle a Question, if the source of the problem is only a typo in the OP's source code?

Ha, good one.

As I was saying before, I think that the community as a whole should be making policy not just the moderators. For lack of a solid answer on the topic I have posted a meta question to have the community make up its mind. As a moderator I would then go along with the way the community deems fit.

  1. In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I like the phrase Moderators are human exception handlers very much. As pointed out above I have come to understand that community moderation works quite well on Stackexchange and I have little doubt that it will be different on Arduino. Moderators should therefore only step in in the rare cases where self-regulation fails, those exceptional conditions that could otherwise disrupt the community.

Most of the light moderation required is actually done by using comments to guide (new) users and point out how things work or could be improved... but then again most of that can be done by any avid user (think community moderation). Communication is 80% of the moderators work.

  1. 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?

I am pretty confident that my previous posts here, on the Stackexchange network and my history of moderation on RaspberryPi reflect well on me. If you ever find me cross the line, just give me a hint. I am not above reconsidering and apologizing. I take responsibility for what I have posted in the past and what I will post in the future, so in fact, the potential diamond does not make me feel dizzy.

  1. In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Reaching 10k rep would be a matter of years. Gaining mod powers now will allow me to support the current team of moderators and contribute to the main site, meta, and chat more actively.

1

VE7JRO Q + A

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?

If the complainant has enough reputation, I would ask them to add the "valuable information" to the question. If they don't have the rep, I would do it for them.

How will you handle questions that doesn't require knowledge about the Arduino platform to answer (general coding questions, general electronics questions)?

Some of these questions can be migrated to other places within Stack Exchange, if an appropriate place exists.

I've noticed some experienced users will answer these types of questions in the comments. Perhaps it's because they know the question is off topic and will be migrated or closed. This may not be what comments are for, but I am OK with it, providing the question is sure to be closed. IMHO, the most important thing we do is help people solve their problems. If a quick comment like "HINT: URL TO THE ANSWER", solves the OP's problem, mission accomplished.

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?

If the user's comments are inappropriate, a moderator should delete them. If any person feels that a comment is not relevant to the question/answer, flag it for moderator attention. Users who raise 80 helpful flags are awarded a silver badge, and 500 helpful flags is a gold badge.

Arguments are rare on Ard.SE, but are a normal part of human interaction. A long time ago, people believed the world was flat. Then, people argued about it. Sometime after that, I was born, went to school, and was taught the world was round. Differences in opinion occur throughout one's lifetime.

How would you handle a situation where another mod closed/deleted/etc a question that you feel shouldn't have been?

I would discuss it with them first. If two moderators can not reach a consensus, the third moderator should decide the final outcome.

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?

It should be migrated. Sure, it's nice to have a few of these Q+As on Ard.SE to "guide" the OP in the right direction, BUT, what if the answer gives bad advise? A question just like this was asked 10 days ago. Four people plus myself voted to close. The question is now closed, but not deleted from the system yet. I have a problem with one of the answers. It recommends using a IRF540 MOSFET. A quick look at the data sheet shows testing was done with a VGS of 10V. That's a big red flag for me. I would have recommended a Logic Level MOSFET such as the RFP30N06LE.

I've been "lurking" on the Electrical Engineering network for 241 days, and see this same type of question asked over and over again. On EE, they can get into great detail about which MOSFET is the best to use with a micro controller, and how to use it properly.

How would you prefer to handle a Question, if the source of the problem is only a typo in the OP's source code?

If the typo is a missing curly bracket or semi-colon, someone will point that out to the OP. If they answer in the comments, I up-vote the comment. If they make a proper answer, I up-vote it. Once the OP acknowledges the problem is solved, I would put the question on hold, which means the system will eventually delete it.

According to this page https://arduino.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic, off topic is: "If the solution would be the same with or without Arduino, then it's usually a general coding question."

So I guess that means a for or while loop with incorrect syntax is off topic too.

Whats on topic? The same webpage says: "Specific questions about Arduino boards, code…". If the OP includes a sketch with their question, and it compiles in the IDE, then isn't it Arduino code? When I try to compile an Arduino sketch using XCode, it fails. The same thing happens when I use Visual Studio.

Right now, I am one of the few people who is voting to NOT-close most of these types of questions. They are still being closed because 5 people voted to close. What happens if I'm elected as a moderator? Do I step on 5 peoples toes and over-ride their decision? Of course not. A moderator works for the community and aligns themselves the the communities goals, keeping the community within the rules set by Stack Exchange. I don't agree with the people closing these questions, but I respect their decision.

In your opinion, what do moderators do?

I've read on meta.stackexchange.com that they are "unicorn yodelers": https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/166628

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?

That's cool with me.

In what way do you feel that being a moderator will make you more effective as opposed to simply reaching 10k or 20k rep?

Right now, it takes my vote plus 4 more to put a "unclear what you are asking", "too broad" or "off topic" question on hold. As a moderator, I will be quick to click the "Put question on hold" button, if such a button exists. Keep in mind, it will still take time before the system deletes it. The OP can still edit the question which will automatically add it to the "Re-open" queue. If the OP improves the question so it can be answered, I would be just as quick to click a "re-open" button. Sometimes people just need a "nudge" in the right direction in order for them to do the right thing.

  • Re: the code typo: Help the person, then put the question on hold. Doesn't that prohibit other users from providing answers, some of which may be more explanatory or cover the background of why (if that's helpful to the Q)? – jose can u c May 20 at 14:45
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    @jose can u c - Thank you for the question. I've updated my answer. – VE7JRO May 20 at 20:04

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