How do I ask a good database question?

How do I ask a good database question?

For most technical questions in the database space, there are several things you can do to get the best and quickest answers from the largest number of people. The most succinct advice I've seen is in the help center for Database Administrators Stack Exchange:

To get even more TL;DR: The easiest way I've found to quickly set up a question for SQL Server is to use db<>fiddle.

Don't post screenshots (or photographs of your screen). People need actual CREATE TABLE and INSERT statements to get right down to solving your problem. If they have to spend even 5 minutes creating a table and building sample data, they're more likely to just move on to the next question.

Don't reprimand people for providing feedback on parts of your design or code that may or not be related to the specific problem you have right now. All you're doing is discouraging them from participating further, and that only hurts you.

A complicated part of asking a good question is finding the right balance of providing enough information but not too much. Be careful not to over-simplify, because people will have to ask you prodding questions to get enough information to solve the problem (and in the meantime others may have already tried to solve a now different problem – we call these "chameleon questions"). On the other hand, the word "minimal" up there is first for a reason – in this example, the OP posted 80 lines of T-SQL when three lines probably would have been enough.

I have some further advice that gets into more of the nitty-gritty, though it is admittedly SQL Server-centric:

Erik Darling, the nicest former bouncer I know, has a worthwhile walk-through for you here:

The tall glass of Italian water Gianluca Sartori has this great post:

Stack Overflow has its own version, but it is less focused on database problems specifically:

And finally, Jon Skeet has multiple blog posts discussing the science of a Q & A community, and they are well worth a read, whether you ask questions, answer them, or both: