Reflecting user experience and the difficulty level of threads

As the forum grows, and we get a greater number of newcomers joining, it would be helpful if we could get some background info on posters when evaluating the advice they might be giving. Additionally, sometimes knowing a bit more about their background also helps provide some context about their thoughts or opinions on specific topics.

We’ll be doing this in part by expanding our user titles (see that announcement here) however, since the user title expansion will still be limited (although we’ll continue to evaluate/increase the number as and when it makes sense to do so) we think another useful way would be to add some extra profile fields :slight_smile:

We’ve come up with these so far:

  • How long have you been programming?
  • How long have you been using Elixir?
  • How would you describe your Elixir skill-level? Beginner, intermediate, or advanced?
  • Number of Elixir projects worked on
  • Number of Elixir projects in production
  • Number of Elixir libraries created or maintained
  • Number of non-Elixir libraries created or maintained
  • How familiar are you with OOP
  • How familiar are you with Functional Programming
  • How familiar are you with Dynamic programming
  • How familiar are you with Statically typed programming

But these are just our initial thoughts! Since all of these will be optional, we can add as many or as few as we think would be useful. We could even ask about front end or mobile development for instance.

Can you think of anything else to add that might help shed some light on someone’s background? Do the above sound ok?

Thread tags - reflecting difficulty level

We also had some feedback and thoughts about reflecting difficulty levels of threads. Perhaps we could do this by the following tags?

  • beginner-level
  • intermediate-level
  • advanced-level

These could either be added by the user when posting a thread, or by a team who reviews threads and categorises them accordingly. However, is this something you would find useful? Or do you think it is not needed? Is it something you’d like to help out with if we decide to give it a go?

Please let us know what you think about both ideas :slight_smile:


Not sure this is a good idea because it hands you off a ton of complexity to deal with – the leading issue would be “how do you determine if person X is an authority on topic Y?”

IMO giving a fair background story should be enough for the person asking for help to ascertain if the commenter has credence on a topic – and even that is very far from a bulletproof criteria. For example, how much people around here have 5+ years of Elixir experience? I know I don’t – yet I am regularly complimented on succint, to-the-point and self-documenting code on the Elixir coding interviews I attend.

Most of us here are refugees from other languages and technologies and that’s a very important contextual fact to keep in mind. I have refined my thinking and skills with time and using different technologies and I have a way of thinking about – and making – software. Those methodologies are not exclusive to Elixir.

Still, extra background section in people’s profile can help others form an opinion of the commenter. Whether the opinion is right or wrong though, all bets are off.