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How do you get help for Bluemix, anyway?

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dwanswers_stackoverflow_twittercardBluemix is a fantastic cloud platform as a service, as we all know, with zillions of useful software services for creating mobile apps, Watson cognitive applications, big data analytics, and plenty more state-of-the-art software. But getting up to speed on a platform with so many opportunities can be daunting. If you are just beginning to dig in, where do you turn for help?

Stack Overflow

Many experienced developers consider Stack Overflow the bible of the profession. If you have not yet experienced the informative answers and clear organization of this forum, you are in for a treat. But be careful: Stack Overflow is for technical questions about serious programming efforts. If you are looking for a quick and easy fix, or want somebody to recommend software, it’s not the place for you. You need to provide code to indicate what you’ve tried so far.

With more than 3,200 Bluemix Q&As, out of 12 million Q&As overall, it’s a veritable encyclopedia of solutions. A Google search of your problem will frequently take you there, or simply go to stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/ibm-bluemix and ask away.

The Bluemix Support team monitors Stack Overflow closely and maintains a network of subject matter experts across the Bluemix ecosystem to answer your questions. If your question is non-technical or not quite right for Stack Overflow, we will redirect you to developerWorks Answers.

dW Answers

IBM developerWorks Answers is IBM’s own homegrown forum, and boasts over 8,000 Bluemix Q&As. It’s the place to kick back and talk about what Bluemix provides and what it can do for you. If your question is non-technical, this is the place to come. It’s also great if you are just getting started with Bluemix. We recognize how important your early experiences are, and we can help untangle the complexity for you. We also recommend other helpful resources across the ecosystem.

Bluemix Support monitors dW Answers as well as Stack Overflow, and we will get you the answers on either forum. Your questions are likely to be helpful for the next person who comes along looking for answers; just remember that the two forums have different purposes and expectations.

Get your status

Bluemix provides an up-to-date status page for questions about performance or availability of your services. To find it, click the Support link in the upper right corner of your Bluemix console. You can also get status for your Bluemix public instance from http://ibm.biz/bluemixstatus.

The left side of the status page shows which services are available in your region, and whether any of them are experiencing issues. The right side shows real-time announcements, maintenance, and other issues that affect the system.
system-status

Click on any update to see the details, or filter for the services or regions you are interested in. Each regional console provides its own status page, but the updates are the same across the system.

Bluemix status updates are also available via email. Click this link for details about signing up.

Read the docs

Why do they always tell you to read the docs? Because it’s true. The Bluemix docs make it easy, with high-level introductions to all the services, constantly-evolving API docs, and the ability to drill down to the level of detail you need.

doc-page

Going further afield, you can find dozens of Bluemix tutorials on IBM developerWorks. Or you can comb through GitHub with over 2,000 Bluemix repositories that you can view, copy, and adapt.

Ask Bluemix Support

Sure, you are probably saying, all that is fine if I am building an app and just need a nudge in the right direction. But what if my account is hosed? What if things don’t work and I can’t even begin to explain?

There are several ways to ask a question from Bluemix Support. Getting Bluemix Support, an earlier blog post, tells you how. With a paid account, you are eligible for premium levels of support, but even trial accounts can ask questions that Bluemix Support will do its best to address as quickly as possible.

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