Question quality is a good signal to measure progress whenever learning something new. As we begin to understand something more - whether it’s a new language, skill or domain - the questions we ask about the unknowns in that domain become more specific and in most senses, better.

I’ve found this especially true when learning code. Initially, I start trying to solve problems by asking general questions like “why doesn’t this button do this thing that I want it to?”. It’s difficult to find answers to questions like that, and often leads to dead ends. When that’s happening enough, that’s a great signal that maybe I don’t understand the basics of a specific domain as well as I should. Often this happens because of an incomplete glossary or understanding of the larger system in which my code is operating. When I develop that, my questions become more precise, stack traces become more understandable, and answers become easier to find.

While this learning ability is relevant to code, it applies in almost very domain, and I often end up assessing my question quality as a measure of how well I understand something.