Technical disagreements with my boss

This question specifically asks "How can I convince him [that his position about test results is incorrect]?"

Yet it was closed as off-topic because "Questions asking for advice on a specific choice..."

We seem to have lots of questions asking for advice on how to convince a boss.

Does this close reason make any sense? Maybe I'm missing something.

I voted to re-open. I invite others to do the same.

  • 1
    speaking as one of the voters, I voted to close that one because it is in essence a very specific coding problem. The convincing angle isn't really the dominant point here, from my read of it. Rather, the OP looks for arguments about floating point inaccuracies, not really specifically about the workplace problem. The reason is clumsy, I don't know why I didn't go for a custom one.
    – Magisch
    Nov 14, 2019 at 14:17
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    @mag - okay. But closing for a reason that isn't appropriate punishes the OP, but doesn't help anyone with fixing the question to make it better. Nov 14, 2019 at 14:35
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    I guess when I was looking at it the guidance I was looking for was "too specific and focusing on non-workplace content". Of course, I could have typed up a custom reason but didn't. Mea culpa. As Snow says, there's a salvageable workable element in that question, so if it can be edited to remove the fluff, I'd be happy to vote to reopen, albeit that should come from OP as it is a serious edit and might be percieved as changing their intent.
    – Magisch
    Nov 14, 2019 at 14:43
  • 1
    @mag if you feel a question is going to get closed regardless there's nothing wrong with writing an edit (even if it's a substantial one) and leaving a comment indicating that the OP can always rollback if they feel it's too far from their intent.
    – motosubatsu Mod
    Nov 14, 2019 at 14:53
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    After reading the excellent answers I agree, vtro
    – Kilisi Mod
    Nov 14, 2019 at 19:23
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    I voted too. And it's open.
    – dwizum
    Nov 15, 2019 at 15:29
  • I don't think edits to "remove fluff" should happen to questions like this. It's hard to do that without making the question super-generic and removing the context. Instead, I think we can just answer the on-topic workplace aspect of the question in context to the technical nature. Of course, the issue is that some people will always just address only the technical side, but I don't see a problem with having those answers mixed in with answers that address the people/workplace/"convince your boss" aspects.
    – dwizum
    Nov 15, 2019 at 15:31
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    Workplace issues are never without context - the workplace is a means to an end. We will never be able to have "pure" questions like some other SE sites have. You can have a pure question about physics, or cooking, or space exploration. But there really isn't such a thing as a workplace question that doesn't have at least some degree of off-topic context. It's a gray area but personally, I find questions have more applicable value when that context is left intact (even if it is potentially distracting). Making questions too generic makes them harder for non-regulars to recognize them.
    – dwizum
    Nov 15, 2019 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


People are getting distracted by the coding problem, because that's what the OP wants to concentrate on (sorry mag!).

There is an underlying human/interpersonal question here, but because the question is heavily technical in its wording, people are being distracted away from it.

I feel what needs to happen is for the example to be removed and the question reinforced with what the OP needs to acheive - i.e. resolving the conflict.

Right now, it seems as though the OP is seeking for confimation bias from technically minded people on TWP.

  • There is an underlying human/interpersonal question here, but because the question is heavily technical in its wording, people are being distracted away from it. Agreed. And that's a valuable question. When situations like this come up, regardless of the tone in the question (technically oriented vs people oriented) I think we always have an opportunity to answer the "people question" and add value. A question having two potential avenues for answers doesn't make it off topic just because one of the avenues is on topic and one isn't.
    – dwizum
    Nov 15, 2019 at 15:23
  • Here's another question (which is open, for now) with the same situation present. It's asking a question that is technical in nature, but the real underlying struggle is basically "I want to convince someone else that my viewpoint and proposed change are correct:" workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/148016/…
    – dwizum
    Nov 15, 2019 at 15:26

I voted to leave closed specifically because of the point that Snow described as a distraction.

In my opinion too many questions on this site get closed as duplicates, or for other reasons, because we don't consider the specific details of each situation, and we assume that an answer that will work for one set of circumstances will work for every set of circumstances regardless of how much they differ.

I vote to leave most questions open based on this opinion, but this particular question is specifically about a coding problem, and the interpretation of that coding problem (as currently written).

A question about "how to convince your boss" would be useful to both the asker and others, but this question is not that.

A question about how to write better tests would also be useful, but not appropriate on this site.

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