This comes from the question what jobs are out there for NIX nerds?. I personally think this is probably off-topic, and it has two close votes already, but it also has three upvotes so I wanted to ask here

I think this falls under Is it On or Off Topic When Unix/Linux is Only Ancillary to the Question?; the base question is "What jobs are out there", and then "*nix" is inserted into the question to make it on-topic. SO handles this by having a bullet in their FAQ that says questions are on-topic if they discuss "matters that are unique to the programming profession". We don't currently cover this sort of thing in the FAQ, but it can be added after we decide



3 Answers 3


I would say that they are off-topic/not precise:

  1. The full answer is too specific (what relevant education have the person, what experience)
  2. The generic answer is useless as much depends on time, location, education or experience

A 16-year-old with no formal experience and 30-year-old from a good university with relevant diploma + brilliant resume of 7 years of continuous experience both may be "nix geeks" but the career options are somehow different. The 7 years can be done hacking kernel, writing servers, administrating them etc. - each having different career choices.

Besides - there is Careers site.

  • Agrred... what else is Carreers for, if not this?
    – gabe.
    Mar 17, 2011 at 22:26
  • 2
    @gabe.: Careers is for people who want a job now, and these questions are for people who want a job later (i.e. what skillz do me need).
    – tshepang
    Mar 18, 2011 at 7:05
  • As for the 1st point, that is simply a matter of question quality, and such requirement for specifics isn't limited to just Careers. As for the 2nd point, the answer could be useful for someone else.
    – tshepang
    Mar 18, 2011 at 7:07

You can ask questions about a unix programming career on Programmers Stack Exchange. (As you can tell from the name, this site doesn't discuss sysadmin careers.) Be sure to first read their FAQ, in particular the section on career advice. In particular, make sure you have the right balance between a too-general question (“How can I get a unix-related job?”) and a too-personal question (“What should I do with my career now?”).


I think the question wouldn't have any answer at all "if you take Unix/Linux out of it". Personally I still want to know the answer, and it may be good in case somebody comes to our site wondering "Should I learn Linux?"

It is not stated in the FAQ whether unix.stackexchange.com is technical, but I think it can be taken for granted that most questions will be. A few non-technical questions won't have much impact on the site, while they can bring viewers who may become new users. They are not entirely off-topic (you can even say they are on-topic), and there won't be many of them anyway.

So, I'd like to keep this question open :)

  • I'm fine with saying they're on-topic, but I hate the argument that "they're ok because they're rare" -- either they're on-topic or they're not, it should never be "they're off-topic but we'll let it go this time" Oct 24, 2010 at 8:38
  • 1
    how about "they are on-topic and they are rare"?
    – phunehehe
    Oct 25, 2010 at 6:58

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