I'm asking because of the specific question below, but I'm hoping to get an answer for the general case:

Good or bad company?

The relevant part:

I can't tell if this is normal stuff to have to deal with since it's my first software developer job after finishing university. I am also worried if I get a new job would it be worse than this one.

Basically, the OP wants to know if the issues they're experiencing are common. Is that part of the question on topic? Is, "Is this practice/problem/benefit/etc. normal in this job/industry/region?" OK to ask here?

  • 2
    The problem with questions like these is that what's acceptable in my country, might not be acceptable in yours...
    – JustSaying
    Apr 24, 2019 at 18:42
  • 9
    @JustSaying - and that problem can be easily cured by specifying a country. Apr 25, 2019 at 0:32
  • 1
    The issue of "is this normal" aside, that specific question is way too long, unfocused, too broad (due to mentioning multiple issues) and unclear (due to not specifying the country or industry, which would be very relevant for long hours, at least). It would require some rather significant editing before it would be a good "is this normal" question. Apr 29, 2019 at 21:10
  • Generally speaking, no. There are only a very narrow range of questions that will get past everyone looking to downvote, close, mark-as-dupe, or declare as off-topic. The best thing you can do is to ask your question, be mindful of the rules, and hope you get one or two thoughtful answers or comments before the question gets closed. Don't worry too much about down-votes and persnickety criticisms.
    – teego1967
    May 7, 2019 at 11:24

2 Answers 2


Is, "Is this practice/problem/benefit/etc. normal in this job/industry/region?" OK to ask here?

That sort of "is this common" question gets asked quite often. So apparently it is okay to ask.

Searching for "is this common" currently yields 3,401 results. Not all of those results are open questions.

Basically, the OP wants to know if the issues they're experiencing are common.

Of course, the linked question doesn't actually ask "is this common?" Instead, it's more of a "what should I do" question which attracts the quick-close-voter crowd. And within 2 hours of the question being posted, they did just that.

It could have been edited to change from "what should I do?" to "is this common?". But some folks would rather just vote to close than edit anything.

I made a quick edit and voted to reopen. You or the OP can edit it to be more concise if you like. Maybe others will vote to reopen as well.


Questions like is this common? are kind of X-Y problem. The OP probably doesn't want to know whether some situation is statistically significant, but rather want to know how to deal with being bothered by the situation.

Is this common to my taste equals

Z happened at work today. Is this common, should i suck it up and carry on? I feel uneasy because of A, B, and C concerns.

I'd suggest comment of those questions, asking OP to edit question and add "What exactly bothers you about Z? what do you want to happen?"

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    I agree that they're almost always going to want to know what to do about it but I disagree that they don't want know whether a situation is common. Many of the people asking this question are new to the workforce or new to white collar work/the industry/a specific job. They aren't familiar with the norms (whether it's normal is the other implicit question) so they do want to know whether they're likely to deal with this again when they change jobs.
    – BSMP
    Apr 26, 2019 at 16:49
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    Since "what should I do" questions are considered off-topic, "is this common" questions have become common. Apr 26, 2019 at 17:44

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