How to ask for Help

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When you ask for help, you have a lot of context about your problem that the person you're asking doesn't know (and the answer depends on that context). By following these guidelines, others will be able to more quickly and effectively help you. Be sure to include:

  • Tell us what steps you've tried to fix the problem yourself, what you expected in each case, and what actually happened
  • Tell us you hypotheses about what might be going wrong, and your ideas about what approaches might be able to fix it
  • What computer you're running the analysis on: eg. AWS (p2 or t2?), your own computer (which OS?), OVH, ...
    • Be sure to mention if you're not using our standard AMIs/scripts, or if you've made some changes
    • Note that what computer you're actually typing at is generally not what we need to know, unless your problem is with awscli or some similar PC problem; since the actual analysis is generally running on a remote machine (e.g. AWS) it's the details of that which we need
  • What you've typed, particularly if you've done anything differently to the setup and notebooks we've given you
  • Exactly what error message you received
  • If relevant, screenshots of problems that occured
  • Whether the results of any earlier steps or configuration processes looked different in any way to what we did in class
  • What you've already tried to fix your problem (for instance, if you tried restarting the kernel on your notebook, or you read a related wiki page that didn't cover your use case)
  • If relevant, if there's something similar that did work for you (for example, you were able to get a command to work on t2, but not on p2).