Asking the Real Questions: A study of programming Q&A in StackOverflow

Thesis Type Master
Thesis Status
Student Philipp Kratzer
Thesis Supervisor
Research Field

The popular Q&A website discusses 15 million questions, resulting in 23 million answers and 62 million comments. Users appreciate the knowledge of the community, who will endeavour to answer the asked questions. Despite the great overall success of the plattform, 13% of all questions do not receive an answer at all, 33% do receive answers but none of them is accepted by the question owner. This study examines how unanswered questions differ from answered ones in, amongst others, their structure, writing style and feature composition. The goal of this work is to formulate recommendations for composing better questions which could increase the chance to get useful answers. A prototype of a new editor for the website illustrates how such functionality could be implemented in future releases.