Few people are better qualified than Tom Kyte to instruct developers on how to form questions asking for help.
Kyte is the man behind Oracle's long-running Ask Tom help desk — starting out as a magazine column and now an online forum.
In this video interview with ZDNet.com.au, Kyte explains how many questions he receives equate to "my car won't start".
"I'm going to do it to you — my car won't start, why? Give me the solution. I'm not going to tell you what errors I see on the dashboard; I'm not going to tell you if I filled the car up with gas recently; I'm not going to tell you if it's making a noise or not making a noise; but my car won't start, why not? There's insufficient data to even begin to answer a question like that."
Kyte also explains how the internet has changed how questions are asked, and how he doesn't reply with RTFM.