💻 Embracing the Power of Stack Overflow!

Tips to get started with StackOverflow and to improve the well know hostile StackOverflow problem.

I love StackOverflow and I think that, by far, is the best platform available for looking at solutions to solve daily bases problems. The community is huge (almost one million users) and is always ready to help you out, almost in real-time! How amazing is that? 😲

But some rules should be followed to maintain the good health of the community, allowing the best marriage between those who have questions and those who know to answer them. But, sometimes, these rules are misunderstood or forgotten by the “pros” and “noobs”.

And… well, the relationship between the “noobs” and the “pros” became unhealthy, making it hard for “noobs” to participate in the community. As Jay Hanlon says:

We ❤ and believe in Stack Overflow. But sometimes, loving something means caring enough to admit that it has a problem.


(…) Too many people experience Stack Overflow as a hostile or elitist place, especially newer coders (..)

I agree with him. But let’s face it: all communities have their problems and StackOverflow is not the exception. The community is aware of this problem and is trying to solve it by driving the members to have less hostile behaviors with others.

I had my bad time as a “noob” as well. Learning is hard, and sometimes your pairs in StackOverflow are hostile to you. So, I will give some tips to improve the relationship between the “noobs” and “pros” and hoping driving you to the ultimate goal of this community: sharing knowledge.

📙 Read First the StackOverflow Tour

It doesn’t matter if you are a “noob” or a “pro”, you should read this! It is a nice introduction to what are the main bullets that you should know about this community. If you are a “pro”, it is nice to remember; if you are a “noob”, it is nice to know it.

I found out that it is possible to resume it in 6 commandments that are pretty accurate about this community culture:

  • Ask questions, get answers, no distractions;

  • Get answers to practical, detailed questions;

  • Tags make it easy to find interesting questions;

  • You earn a reputation when people vote on your posts;

  • Improve posts by editing or commenting;

  • Unlock badges for special achievements;

Easy to understand right? 🤓

⭐️ Privileges (Milestones)

The most important thing about StackOverflow is sharing knowledge. However, this knowledge should be shared following some rules to make the StackOverflow content organized, readable, and available to everyone. You need to prove yourself to the community to get some privileges.

The privileges are given depending on your actual reputation. More reputation, more possibilities. And in here you have the full list of privileges and how much reputation you need to earn to access it. Also, for each privilege, there is a link that explains which new things you can do.

But, be aware! More possibilities, more responsibility! So, use your privileges wisely.

🙏🏼 For god sake, vote up! And Avoid voting down!

Please, vote. Seriously. And up! Don’t be passive and help others understand that their knowledge is helpful to you! If you do that, others will vole up as well and the community will be driven by a positive way of communication and feedback!

Also, avoid voting down! People will feel bad and ignorant each time you vote down, especially the “noobs”. And voting down is not self-explanatory! Use other methods such as flagging and commenting to highlight your opinion and advise others in order to improve the question/answer content quality. Is always better to give nice advice than downvoting. All community will clap to your gestor and the “noobs” will be thankful to you, instead of being angry with the StackOverflow community.

🏅 Fight for badges!

There are thousands of badges out there to get it. Use them to define goals and find new corners of the community. Also, the badges are an important and fun way of understanding the StackOverflow rules and culture. And, the more medals you get, the better you will fit and be recognized in the community.

You can find here all the badges and their information. Choose today a new one and go get it!

👴🏻 Be Kind

You will gain nothing from being hostile to others, but others will be thankful to you for your kindness and knowledge. Instead of imposing your wisdom, argue why your way of thinking may be the best solution and be happy when the community agrees with you. If not, at least you learn something new.

This particular advice is not just for the StackOverflow, it is for your life. Take it and see our world become a better place when knowledge always wins! 😊

🤘 Answer your own questions

If you have a good question and there isn’t any similar to it on the StackOverflow community, post it! Even if you already know the answer. This will allow you to share your knowledge with others and, at the same time, allow you to gain reputation and badges as well. Also, if some member has a different or even better answer to your question, you and all members of the community will benefit from that knowledge.

What a nice way of sharing knowledge don’t you think? 🙌

Finally thoughts

A lot of you read StackOverflow content and do not have an account. Why? Create your account now! And start posting your questions and answers, or at least, upvote others content! The community says thanks to you!

Also, you can check my network profile here.

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