Help Channels

At Python Discord we have two different kinds of help channels: topical help channels and general help channels.

Topical Help Channels

In topical channels, users can ask for help regarding specific domains or areas of Python. These channels also sometimes attract domain experts. For example, #async-and-concurrency has CPython contributors who helped write asyncio, and in #game-development you can find the creators and maintainers of several game frameworks. If your question fits into the domain of one of our topical help channels, and if you're not in a big hurry, then this is probably the best place to ask for help.

List of topical help channels

Some of the topical help channels have a broad scope, so they can cover many related topics. For example, #data-science-and-ai covers scientific Python, statistics, and machine learning, while #algos-and-data-structs covers everything from data structures and algorithms to maths.

Each channel on the server has a channel description which briefly describes the topics covered by that channel. If you're not sure where to post, feel free to ask us which channel is appropriate in #community-meta.

General Help Channels

General help channels can be used for all Python-related help, and have the advantage of attracting a more diverse spectrum of helpers. There is also the added benefit of receiving individual focus and attention on your question. These channels are a great choice for generic Python help, but can be used for domain-specific Python help as well.

How to Claim a Channel

There are always three help channels waiting to be claimed in the Available Help Channels category.

Available help channels The Available Help Channels category is always at the top of the server's channel list.

Available message This message indicates that a channel is available.

In order to claim one, simply ask your question in one of the available channels. Be sure to ask questions with enough information in order to give yourself the best chances of getting help!

Channel claimed embed This messages indicates that you've claimed the channel.

At this point you will have the Help Cooldown role which will remain on your profile until you close your help channel. This ensures that users can claim only one help channel at any given time, giving everyone a chance to have their question seen.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does my help channel stay active?

The channel remains open for 30 minutes after your last message, or 10 minutes after the last message sent by another user (whichever time comes later).

Channel dormant message You'll see this message in your channel once it goes dormant.

No one answered my question. How come?

The server has users active all over the world and all hours of the day, but some time periods are less active than others. It's also possible that the users that read your question didn't have the knowledge required to help you. If no one responded, feel free to claim another help channel a little later, or try an appropriate topical channel.

If you feel like your question is continuously being overlooked, read our guide on asking good questions to increase your chances of getting a response.

My question was answered. What do I do?

Go ahead use the !close command if you've satisfactorily solved your problem. You will only be able to run this command in your own help channel, and no one (outside of staff) will be able to close your channel for you.

Closing your help channel once you are finished leads to less occupied channels, which means more attention can be given to other users that still need help.

Can only Helpers answer help questions?

Definitely not! We encourage all members of the community to participate in giving help. If you'd like to help answer some questions, head over to the Occupied Help Channels or Topical Chat/Help categories.

Before jumping in, please read our guide on helping others which explains our expectations for the culture and quailty of help that we aim for on the server.

Tip: run the !helpdm on command in #bot-commands to get notified via DM with jumplinks to help channels you're participating in.

What are the available, occupied, and dormant categories?

The three help channels under Available Help Channels are free for anyone to claim. Claimed channels are then moved to Occupied Help Channels. Once they close, they are moved to the Python Help: Dormant category until they are needed again for Available Help Channels.

Can I save my help session for future reference?

Yes! Because the help channels are continuously cycled in and out without being deleted, this means you can always refer to a previous help session if you found one particularly helpful.

Tip: reply to a message and run the .bm command to get bookmarks sent to you via DM for future reference.

I lost my help channel!

No need to panic. Your channel was probably just closed due to inactivity. All the dormant help channels are still available at the bottom of the channel list, in the Python Help: Dormant category, and also through search. If you're not sure what the name of your help channel was, you can easily find it by using the Discord Search feature. Try searching for from:<your nickname> to find the last messages sent by yourself, and from there you will be able to jump directly into the channel by pressing the Jump button on your message.

Dormant help channels The dormant help channels can be found at the bottom of the channel list.