24

This is not a new problem, as evidenced in this post back in 2012

The question Does an assistant cook on a cruise generally require 20/20 vision? was initially closed for being "company specific". If you note the answer given by Motosubatsu, you can see that it plainly was not. It had a very clear answer but the industry was unrelated to IT, and I believe the close votes were due to the fact that this was not IT, and the question was misinterpreted as being a question about a specific company.

How can we address this so that we don't end up erroneously closing questions that are not IT industry based ?

| |
  • 8
    Agreed, and on the flip side we have questions like this one which are being received surprisingly well. If it weren't about the software industry, it would have been closed almost immediately. – David K Jun 14 '18 at 17:14
  • To be fair, I'd probably also vote to close a question like "Does a Senior Software Engineer role require a graduate degree?" or "Does a Senior Software Engineer need to mentor juniors?" for the same reason (because it's role-specific) (with or without the fact that there are no, or very few, industry-wide definitions or requirements for any given role in the software industry). Can't say I have any clue whether or not such questions are strictly allowed on the site though, which is why I retracted my vote. – Bernhard Barker Jun 14 '18 at 20:12
  • I think the reason why it may have been closed as “Company specific” is probably due to the fact that the company’s name was mentioned in the question. It also looks like a company requirement of a 20/20 vision. Just an observation, but I could be wrong. – AnBisw Jun 14 '18 at 21:53
  • 1
    @Annjawn It's a maritime standard and applies to most seafarers, as does hearing. I first learned about this when I tried to enlist in the USCG when I was 18, and my brother served in the US Navy had to go through screenings as well, but this does not just apply to the military, but to any seafarer. Again, someone outside of an IT background would know this. This the point of my question. – Old_Lamplighter Jun 15 '18 at 13:01
  • @Crossedtheriverstyx “someone outside of an IT background would know this” - Only in the US perhaps and for the rest of the populous it would need some googling. A “country specific” tag or a bit more clarity in the question would’ve helped. – AnBisw Jun 15 '18 at 14:05
  • @Annjawn the maritime code is international. The Jones act is specific to the USA, and has different standards, but anyone in shipping or maritime operations knows this, so no, a country specific flag would not know this, because shipping is international, as are cruises. – Old_Lamplighter Jun 15 '18 at 14:06
  • @Annjawn and that is proving my point. If we are unfamiliar with a particular industry, we shouldn't flag, or answer, or even comment except for clarification. – Old_Lamplighter Jun 15 '18 at 14:08
  • I said “tag” not “flag”. A proper tag clarifies and categorizes the question so that it doesn’t get closed like this one. Moreover, the question mentions an Organization by name. I am not arguing, I am just pointing out what might have caused the closure. – AnBisw Jun 15 '18 at 20:35
  • @Annjawn I'm pretty sure that the word "flag" is above, but I'm dyslexic so the possibility remains that I'm misreading it. – Old_Lamplighter Jun 15 '18 at 20:36
10

How can we address this so that we don't end up erroneously closing questions that are not IT industry based ?

As an IT folk, but also a bit of a Generalist, I have developed a simple flow chart that I try to follow when navigating TWP:

  1. See a new Question asked
  2. Read it thoroughly, perhaps even twice.
  3. Is it IT-related or about a topic I know/could answer?
    1. Yes -> Proceed to edit, answer, comment or VTC -> Go to 1
    2. No -> Stick to just edits and clarifications -> Go to 1

Of course, if a post is really unclear regardless of the topic one should be VTC, but personally I like to ask for clarifications first before casting my vote (if the user is not engaged or does not clarify then I cast the vote).

It is something of a fact that on TWP there are more IT users, and perhaps we are sometimes biased to think that anything else might be unclear, company-specific, or similar, and cast our votes without much consideration or without actually being prepared or having the knowledge to do such properly.

If you don't know well what is being discussed it is better if one steps back and lets other more knowledgeable users on the subject to take care.

| |
4

I think an approach we should take is to take a step back if you have no direct knowledge in the industry.

From the back and forth in the comments above:

I think the reason why it may have been closed as “Company specific” is probably due to the fact that the company’s name was mentioned in the question. It also looks like a company requirement of a 20/20 vision. Just an observation, but I could be wrong. – Annjawn 19 hours ago

@Annjawn It's a maritime standard and applies to most seafarers, as does hearing. I first learned about this when I tried to enlist in the USCG when I was 18, and my brother served in the US Navy had to go through screenings as well, but this does not just apply to the military, but to any seafarer. Again, someone outside of an IT background would know this. This the point of my question. – Crossed the river styx 4 hours ago

@Crossedtheriverstyx “someone outside of an IT background would know this” - Only in the US perhaps and for the rest of the populous it would need some googling. A “country specific” tag or a bit more clarity in the question would’ve helped. – Annjawn 3 hours ago

@Annjawn the maritime code is international. The Jones act is specific to the USA, and has different standards, but anyone in shipping or maritime operations knows this, so no, a country specific flag would not know this, because shipping is international, as are cruises. – Crossed the river styx 3 hours ago

@Annjawn and that is proving my point. If we are unfamiliar with a particular industry, we shouldn't flag, or answer, or even comment except for clarification. – Crossed the river styx 3 hours ago


Not to pick on the user, but the exchange did demonstrate how a lack of knowledge of an industry can cause misunderstandings.

As the original post was specific to the maritime industry, someone with an even cursory knowledge of the industry knows that many maritime standards are international, and that the US standards are further modified by the Jones act.

Now, I know that most of us are IT, but this applies to everyone

If you're not familiar with the industry, err on the side of caution. Do not make assumptions, and ask questions in the comments section for clarity. Raise concerns in chat or in Meta, and be slower to cast a close vote in industries you are unfamiliar with. Do a web search if you think you may know, but are unsure, and be lenient with new users.

| |

You must log in to answer this question.

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