I know this is really late, but congratulations on graduation! I've been meaning to poke in and ask this since that happened.

On Programmers, we have a pretty comprehensive "what topics can I ask about" page in our Help Center. Where possible, and we like to link to the /help/on-topic page of other SE sites that may be helpful to people. Where not, we like to link to an appropriate Meta.SE or Meta.Programmers post explaining why a particular topic isn't appropriate for Programmers. You do something similar on your /help/on-topic page.

Does Computer Science want a link to your site's /help/on-topic page, similar to how we link to Stack Overflow and The Workplace? If you do, what should the text say (it should be short and simple, with more info available in your /help/on-topic page)?

A sample of what this text may look like:

questions about computer science such as models of computation, programming languages, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, computer vision (visit Computer Science)

If you don't want a link, we'd probably think about include a link to this Meta.SE post.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi, thanks for asking! One question: do you want to link only for things that are offtopic on Software Engineering, or also things that we may have more expertise for? (Thinking of that Meta discussion on "Big-Oh" you have been having.) $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Nov 27, 2015 at 14:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Raphael That's a good question. There are some questions that are going to be on-topic for both sites, just with a different level of expertise or insight. I do think that Programmers should have its own Meta post addressing what site I should post on, similar to that Meta.SE post, to help people choose the best site for them. For now, it should be focused on things that you guys do here on CS that we don't do on Programmers, though, to avoid confusion. We can always edit if/when things change. $\endgroup$ Nov 27, 2015 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ In that case, what specifically are you thinking of? You know best which kind of traffic you want to redirect. Chances are that our "pitch" depends on what you have in mind, and/or that we have to update our own faq for the purpose. (I think is has not been getting as much love as it should have.) $\endgroup$
    – Raphael
    Nov 27, 2015 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ thx for noticing Computer Science graduation. the chat room is intermittently used and useful for inter-coordination between mods etc. mod gilles has occasionally/ recently cited question(s) here. hope to see more cooperation/ bridges between the two sites/ "communities" $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Nov 27, 2015 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


I don't expect anything bad to happen if CS.SE is made more visible from Prog.SE. Our bad questions mostly fall into two categories: homework dumps, and fix-my-computer. People who take the time to read the description of the site, or a referral from another site, won't ask such problematic questions.

Conversely, as a professional programmer, I encourage programmers to pay attention to the science behind their craft. Understanding algorithms, formal specifications, programming language design, etc. rather than operating by rote definitely makes one a better programmer. When you have a computer science question, don't be shy: ask it on the computer science site.

I'm sure we can quibble endlessly as to which topics need mentioning. I see two that programmers encounter daily which I really think should be in that list:

questions about computer science such as algorithms, models of computation, formal methods, programming languages, computer architecture, artificial intelligence, computer vision, etc. (visit Computer Science)

I'm omitting security and cryptography because while they are on-topic here, these topics are better covered by specialized sites: Information Security for application security (but do come here for formal security models though), Cryptography for cryptographic protocol design and choosing the right crypto algorithm.


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