"This is not a free code service."

"Do your own research/coding!"

"Have you ever tried googling this?"

This are the response users might get for some questions, I'm a user of this sub for some time now and I know some users don't even bother (or don't know how to give a proper explanation because English is not their first language) to ask the question clearly and/or they just paste some code/error.

Three month ago I didn't know anything about Arduino and C++ in general, now I have a medium knowledge to do my own projects.(Thanks to Majenko, Chris, Michel, Juraj and everyone else in this sub.)

I was looking at my questions today and those questions which answered with a working example in it helped me more to understand the coding principle about that specific question in details, for example This question. (I can't appreciate enough the time and effort chris put on answering that question.)

So i can not disagree more with this:

If you give 'them' an straight answer they will never learn anything. they have to do their own research.

If I didn't have a piece of working code I could never be able to "play" with the code and learn how it works...

I mean no one is getting paid to answer questions here, therefore there is no pressure to answer any question.

Even though I know just a little about Arduino yet sometimes I do have an answer for some simple questions but since I don't like the feeling of getting a down vote I don't post the answer and just comment the answer. Example.

  • 1
    – Juraj Mod
    Oct 6, 2019 at 13:06
  • 1
    @Juraj what she (I'm sure she also disagrees with "open borders") describes in that "article" is not gonna happen here because like Majenko answer not everyone are willing to help the "vampires" they are individuals who just seeking help. they choose SE over other free services like reddit, google etc (isn't that what most companies want?). my point is please don't down-vote the person who is willing to help the "vampires" it's his choice... Oct 6, 2019 at 13:22

2 Answers 2


Personally I am strongly opposed to people answering in a comment under the question. This totally goes against the design of Stack Exchange. The comments under questions are supposed to be to clarify the question, to get more information, like what board they are using, and what the hardware being connected is, exactly.

See Help Center > Privileges > comment everywhere

When shouldn't I comment?

Comments are not recommended for any of the following:


Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);

As that post says, comments are temporary. So, your "comment answer" might go away, thus depriving future people of the benefit of your wisdom. Also, you lose the chance to get reputation when people vote your answer up.

And, comments tend to be sequenced in upvotes-for-the-comment order, which can make them look like nonsense when read later on.

The whole design is for people to make answers (not comments) so that the answers can be voted on, and then future people can choose, if they wish, the highest-voted answer.

You are losing the chance to gain rep if you are timid about posting answers. Say "to hell with it" and post your answer. Maybe some will be voted down, but in most cases the up-votes will compensate.

As for "do your own research" ... pffft! We are supposed to be answering questions here, not doing passive-aggressive "find out for yourself" answers.

When I see a question I answer it. If it looks like a homework question I would post a partial answer and say something like "I'll let you handle the other inputs yourself, based on my examples".

  • "Personally I am strongly opposed to people answering in a comment under the question." The unwritten policy of "Don't give them an straight answer" might prevent new users to provide an answer and if they do give an answer they'll do it in comment section to avoid getting down-votes. I'm glad one of the oldest member of this sub agrees with me about not having a "rule" like this. thank you. Oct 5, 2019 at 7:32

I see two kinds of question that fit into this category:

  • I want to do this. Give me the code and circuit.

No. I won't. I'm not going to spend my time and effort writing your software and designing your circuit for no reward. Zero effort has been shown by the OP, so zero effort will be given by me/us.

  • I am trying to do this, but I don't know how to begin.

By all means we'll help you begin. If you have examples that you need us to help you understand, that's fine. If you need help understanding the datasheet, that's fine. As long as you've taken that first step of at least looking at an example and trying to understand it, then we'll help you.

In short: "Give me code" - no. "Help me understand" - yes.

Fortunately for you your questions fit into the second category, not the first. So you generally get our help.

  • 1
    "I want to do this. Give me the code and circuit. 'No. I won't.' ". That's ok it's a free service and you choose to answer the questions you like. but what if someone wants to write the code for the guy? can we not hammer (down-vote) the person which is not seeking a "reward"? Oct 6, 2019 at 7:21
  • 1
    @newbie if we breed the expectation that this is a free code writing service then people will get upset when they don't get help when the one guy doing the code writing doesn't want to handle their question. Oct 7, 2019 at 8:29
  • 3
    @ratchetfreak they'll get "upset" anyway, I'm not saying we sit there and write free code for the people. what I'm saying is there's no need to down vote an answer which is from someone who willingly wrote a free code. Oct 7, 2019 at 12:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .