This is a pretty straightforward meta question (I hope).

Why are there so many database questions in StackOverflow and when should they be posted here instead? What is the criteria for when it goes on SO vs DBA?

  • 8
    Several reasons. Many, many are way too simple for this site. Others are to do with ORMs/frameworks/interacting with databases. That, and people don't know that we exist :-)
    – Philᵀᴹ
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 14:51
  • 5
    Some might specifically choose SO for the bigger audience, although I'm not sure if the proportion of those people is big enough to matter.
    – Andriy M
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 14:54
  • 5
    History - DBA has not been around as long as SO
    – billinkc
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 15:34

3 Answers 3


From my answer to a related question on meta.SO: Stack Overflow vs Database Administrators:

Many database-related questions can be on-topic at both Stack Overflow and Database Administrators. For me, the distinction is about who you want to answer your question.

If you want your question addressed from the point of view of a software developer, ask it on SO. Many developers work with databases a fair bit, so a database question can get a good answer within that context.

If you want the question responded to from the particular perspective of a database professional, ask it on DBA. By 'database professional' there, I mean someone whose work and experience is specialized to one or more database or database-related products.

In addition, the more advanced the question is, the more likely it is to be better asked on DBA. As our on-topic help page says (emphasis added):

dba.se is for those needing expert answers to advanced database-related questions...

  • Thanks for your answer Paul! Yours and Walter's answers combined give me a clearer picture. The link you provided also supplies a lot of insight and on that basis I've selected your answer as correct. I solve problems for people and this issue can be somewhat alleviated by StackExchange developers putting a module "Which SE Community is Right For my Database Question?" with a 3-question questionnaire that will tell them "You Should Probably Post Your Question On: <<CommunityName>>. .... Just a thought Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 17:22

I want to expand a bit on the subject of the perspective of a database professional. Twenty five years ago, a person building their first database in Oracle, or DB2, or SQL Server was generally already a database professional, or at least had a serious intent to become a database professional. The learning curve was very steep.

Nowadays, many software developers are choosing to implement the persistent data piece on an application by building a database instead of using files. It looks like six of one, half a dozen of the other. They may have little or no interest in data sharing, strategic data planning, or ongoing database administration, and they may not be seeking the advice of those who do have such an interest.

And, as had already been said, some users of SO don't even know about this area.

We might also ask what is the job description of a DBA, but that's another whole can of worms.

  • Thanks for your comment Walter! The insight into the changing implication of "database professional" over time was enlightening. Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 17:14

One StackOverflow does not down vote and close as much.

For sure SO is more friendly on Answers. I get down voted here a lot and hardly ever get down voted SO. I still drop by.

An answer today from new user today was vote to close an hour after a request for some more information. You have some very intolerant people on this site.

  • 1
    Do you have a link to that closed question? Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 15:24
  • @JamesAnderson I don't see the value in going there and even after a day user did not provide proper clarification.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 23:26
  • 3
    @Paparazzi Thanks for your answer, however please make answers useful next time. Your answer here was about being downvoted too much. In order to avoid getting your responses downvoted you should 1) include relevant example cases, 2) include working links to relevant topics, 3) avoid complaining about being downvoted and try contacting a moderator for help, 4) Do your due diligence and research your facts and figures to ensure accuracy before responding. Good luck and I look forward to seeing better quality answers from you next time. DOWNVOTING as 'doesn't add anything useful'. Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 17:12

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