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I recently posted my first puzzle and was received with mixed responses. I know that the puzzle itself may look trivial, and in a way it is, but I think it's presented correctly, the objective is clear and the participation was actually not bad with 8 answers so far.

My question is, why do people directly downvote a puzzle that is valid, and that people are participating on, this really does not encourage me to propose more puzzles.

Since I'm new in codegolf, I can't see the downvote/upvote ratio but I was at -4 at some point and now I'm at 1, so I'm actually very confused.

CodeGolf - Heads or Tails

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that downvotes should not be taken personally - they do not indicate "hatred;" rather, they are simply an indicator that a user or users thought your question could be improved. Please do not take imaginary internet points from complete strangers as a personal thing. Nobody is expressing any kind of "hatred" here. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob May 16 '15 at 18:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps I phrased it wrong, I've been active in so for years and I know how it works. They downvote because they think the question is not up to par, or whatever, but in this case, no feedback and multiple downvotes... I get confused as to what is wrong with it. It's too simple? It is, it's meant to be a quick puzzle, not a day long struggle \$\endgroup\$ – Juan Cortés May 16 '15 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ At the end of the day, people can use their votes however they wish. Ideally, every single user who sees your post would provide helpful feedback, but that can never be the case. Posting on meta when you'd like a bit of extra advice is always a good thing, but again, "hatred" is a pretty strong word for a few numbers on a screen. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob May 16 '15 at 18:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Edited title to remove hatred \$\endgroup\$ – Juan Cortés May 16 '15 at 18:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Personally I think the question was perfectly fine. Perhaps the only reason people think trivial = bad is once somebody gets it in your favourite language, you can't post it any more... \$\endgroup\$ – Sp3000 May 16 '15 at 18:38
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Why the mixed response?

Because people have differing opinions on what constitutes a great challenge. What you presented was an exceptionally clear, well laid out challenge. However, the objective was just much simpler than is typical on this site. It's not a bad objective, it's just very simple. Many people equate simplicity in objective with poor quality, hence down votes.

Note that in my comment I said it's too simple to be an interesting challenge, I never said it was a bad challenge. My recommendation to post to the Sandbox was not saying, "This is crap, don't post here anymore," it was just a friendly recommendation to help you get a started with posting challenges.

Why the hatred?

No hatred whatsoever. I like to think that PPCG is a very welcoming community overall. While down votes certainly do not seem welcoming, it's a user's way of saying, "This can be improved"; there's nothing personal about a down vote. And though you currently have 4 down votes, you also have 7 up votes, which is good! That means more people like your challenge than didn't like it. Even some of the greatest challenge makers here get down votes.

Nobody here wants you to feel antagonized or unwelcome, and we certainly don't want you to give up on PPCG.


I recommend three things:

  • The Sandbox, where you can post your challenge ideas and get feedback. It can turn a good challenge into a great one.

  • Join us on in chat on The Nineteenth Byte. The folks in there are always happy to help with any questions you might have.

  • Don't let your first experience posting a challenge here shape your view of PPCG or your outlook on posting challenges.


Welcome to PPCG. We hope you'll stick around.

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