Getting Started on the Community

by: Community Manager
Community Manager

How to ask an A+ question in the Developer Forums

As the Developer Community continues to grow, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips on how to ask excellent questions in the Developer Community. Not every question has an answer, but we can increase our odds of receiving a quality answer by learning and practicing how to ask great questions. 


First Things First — Have you searched for it?

In-app search

Searching is a quick and easy step to take before you invest time drafting up a post. Even if you don’t find your answer, you’ll have a list of posts to include that didn’t answer your question. 




Expand Your Search

Something I learned from my time in technical support — Searching Google for “HubSpot + “your search term”” is a great way to find relevant Developer docs, knowledge base articles and developer community posts


Here’s our guide:

If you’ve searched and haven’t found your next step or solution, now it’s time to post. A great question contains the following details:

  • Goal or desired outcome
  • The issue or roadblock — where you are stuck
  • Context — screenshots, code blocks, the full text of the error message
  • Your subscription level. The solution may vary depending on what tools you have access to:
    Hubs – Marketing, Sales, Service, CMS, Operations
    Subscriptions — Free, Starter, Professional, Enterprise.

What not to include: 

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Passwords
  • HAPI key
  • Personal information 
  • Please ensure screenshots do not include any personal information for yourself or your customers

Goal — what you are trying to accomplish

I’m trying to:

  • Build an app
  • Use a specific endpoint to do XYZ
  • Customize CMS Hub to do A or B

Issue/roadblock — where you are stuck

  • Link to any developer documentation or knowledge base articles you’ve used — here’s what I’ve already referenced
  • Share the steps you’ve already taken — here’s what I’ve tried
  • Tell us more about your goal — I was expecting X, but ended up with Y

This helps the community give you better and more targeted advice. It also prevents you from getting redundant solutions.


Context — aka “Proof”

  • Code blocks and snippets are super helpful
  • The full error message
  • Screenshots
  • The tools you are using

What to do if no one replies

Try to assume good intent. Not getting a reply sometimes happens, but it’s never personal. It could be that you simply didn’t include enough information. And know you’re never alone, there are Developer Community Managers to help with clarifying questions and finding Community resources.


Here’s some great follow-up steps to take:

  • reply to your post and update your progress
  • add what you’ve researched 
  • add what additional steps you’ve taken
  • try tagging other community members who’ve asked or answered similar questions 

Do most of the heavy lifting before you post. The less work someone has to do to understand what you are asking, the higher the odds you’ll get a reply.


Close the loop

What to do if you get a great answer:

  • Mark it as a solution
  • Give the reply an upvote
  • Say thank you

Taking these steps helps the community, it lets the responder know they helped, and it feels good to be recognized. This pays-it-forward for the next community member with the same question to know this solution worked.

Have fun coding!