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април 14, 2014

My opinion on StackOverflow

StackOverflow is a strange place.

On one hand - it has lots of information you can directly access (via Google search) if you are just stepping into a technology (be it a language, a framework or what not).

On the other hand the moment you have a real problem (so not just being lazy to read the docs or test it yourself) so end up voice in the desert. No one even tries.

And then there is the 'reputation bullshit'.

Let me ask this: If I have a question (very clear one - can I trigger file download from custom made menu in Drive) and the only person who answers does not really answer but instead starts to explain to me how the other APIs work (Like the UI api and how to put a link on it and wait for my users to click on it, mind you, completely re-imagining the workflow - something I can do on my own) my reaction was a downvote. Which provoked several downvotes from him apparently and probably some of hif fan club. After a few more sharp messages the guy finally gave me an answer (at which point I no longer trusted his answers btw). But in the meantime I have lost 7 points and he has lost 3.

So to recap - voting someone DOES NOT directly correlate with his knowledge nor his helpfulness. It is simply an emotional response to user's desired to a) be noticed and b) be always correct.

I myself have answered lots of stupid questions in SO. Mainly related to TypeScript before I got bored of it. And NONE of my hard questions have been answered. They still sit there, more than a year after I have posted those.

If you are wondering: Question 1, Question 2.

Now, I am not saying SO is bad - it is a good place to fast-track on a new problem/technology, but once you get to a certain depth you get nowhere with SO. Which is sad. And makes SO less and less useful the more you gain competence on the area. Where should one go after that? I have no idea...
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