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When you're asking for help, make sure you explain what you're trying to accomplish

By  Jul 22, 2010

Topics: SQL Server, Data

At some time, all of us need technical help with something. Whenever you do, make sure you try and frame the question not necessarily in terms of what you want to know, but what you're trying to do. Spending time on thinking through your questions will help you get better answers, and people will appreciate that you're putting some effort into the process, and they are more willing to get help.

For instance - let's say yo're stuck on a particular SQL Server Replication issue. You're not sure whether moving the Distributor function away from the Publisher server is the right thing to do, given your budget. You could ask:

"Where should the Distrbutor go in a Replication scheme?"

That's too vague, and doesn't help others help you. Instead, this might be a better way to put the question:

"I'm setting up the design for my Replication scheme, and I have a limited budget. What are the best ways to save money in my design?"

This question goes more towards what you really want to know, and in fact, you may find out that the Distributor question isn't what you need to care about at all. Sure, sometimes you just want the phone number to a store, and you really don't need to tell everyone you're hungry, but if the question goes beyond simple facts, it's a good idea to include as much information as possible so folks can help you best.

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