In the comments on this question there is a discussion about whether questions about programming devices are on topic or not.

Let's take that discussion here on meta. Are questions like these on topic?

2 Answers 2


In this particular case, the question was about programming in Contiki. Contiki is an OS built specifically for small sensors - typical Things. Contiki is a peculiar beast in some senses, and it will generate questions that are quite specific, and might not be considered "general programming" questions.

I think questions about programming within IoT - with the specific restraints that we have in Things, and in the cloud of Things - should be considered on-topic.

  • 4
    I'd say specifically that IoT applications of OS that are specifically designed for IoT (and may be at an emerging stage in adoption) are on topic, as are questions about data processing where the application is constrained by IoT. Image processing might be an example of an edge-case where the generics are more on-topic than specifics about general-purpose libraries. Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 8:35

Some embedded programming questions are probably off-topic. We've already seen a few examples that don't seem to be a good fit to this site. There are probably other sites where this type of question will be more common, and more users are potentially able to help.

  • Questions about toolchains (compiler, IDE, etc.) unless the device is an endpoint, with a dedicated tool.
  • Questions about programming languages (C, Python, etc.) rather than drivers, stacks, routines specific to IoT.
  • Questions about generic device bringup (bootloaders, clocking, pin muxing) where we likely have limited experience.
  • Open-ended questions about projects.
  • Generic questions about established devices (such as power management on Raspberry-Pi) where the IoT angle is more of a coincidence.

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