Even as a professional developer, you'll often ask for help - be it from mentors, colleagues, or people on Stack Overflow. Asking good questions will get you to answers the quickest, it will deepen your programming skill and sharpen your overall analytical thinking, so refining your ability to ask questions is easily one of the best investments of your professional development. I recommend going through Gordon Zhu's guide on how to be great at asking coding questions and this article on how to get answers to your questions. And if you're looking for additional tips on getting help, here are my three supplementary pieces of advice.
- Avoid asking yes/no questions - e.g. "Can I...?" - and instead ask open-ended questions. In almost all cases you can answer yes/no questions yourself by trying it out.
- One of the biggest challenges in asking good coding questions is isolating the piece of code that's causing the issue. Because locating the source of the bug is boring, people have a tendency to ask others to do it for them. But why should someone else invest time and effort answering your question if you haven't tried your best to make it easy for them to help you? By pinpointing the issue and formulating the question you'll often solve the issue yourself. And not only is this the fastest way to get your questions answered but it's also the most rewarding. It comes as no surprise that mere articulation of the problem - known as rubber duck programming - is so effective.
- When searching for help with frameworks and libraries, my advice is to search the official project documentation. But beware, the project source code can have bugs and the documentation can have typing errors so you should always confirm that the code actually behaves the way it's described in the documentation. Trust no one other that the code itself.