Why you should join Stackoverflow

Why you should join Stackoverflow

Back in May 2008 when I first heard about stackoverflow idea I was really skeptical about it. You can read my rants about the whole idea here. Since then, I have used stackoverflow more and more and I have to say that for the last couple of months I actually love it.This was a long process for me but I can assure you, that this post is going to be completely different the the one written in the middle of 2008.
Once I started contributing and become a part of stackoverflow community I have discovered quite a few things about me and about the website itself.

I think many developers agree, that if you are into programming you are willing to learn all the time, learning is fun and if you have a source of learning repeatedly every day something new, you will be a happy developer. Of course many of us read books, blogs, community sites like reddit, dzone or digg, looking for something cool to read every day. Many of us do certifications just for fun, just to get some feeling of knowledge gaining. For me Stackoverflow is becoming one of the major sources of self development which I can do at my own peace.

Possibly, every person will find something different for himself at stackoverflow, and it all depends on our personal preferences and goals. If you are reading this and you still don’t use stackoverflow much, I urge you to try at least for a month.

1. You can learn by teaching


Everyone who has ever thought about improving his own learning efficiency knows this. When you try to teach what you have just learned, everything auto-magically get nicely organized in your head. All you have to do is to find a way to share your knowledge – now you can, use a stackoverflow of course.

You can read more about effective learning here.

2. You can collect stuff



Turbo bubble gum pictures by KnightRiderDDR


The first and last thing in my life I was actually collecting, was a chewing gum stickers in the middle eighties, they were called ‘Turbo’ and most of the people reading this won’t probably know them, as they were sold in eastern europe only(I can be wrong), it was fun though, but now I have stackoverflow :).
For all the people collecting all kind of stuff, well, by using a stackoverflow you can fullfill your desire and collect something new – stackoverflow points and different kinds of badges

3. You can compete

People like competition of many kinds and they do it for whatever reason. Whatever reason you have, you can now compete on stackoverflow when providing better answers than others, collecting more points etc.
Remember, competition is a driving force of progress.

4. You can revise your knowledge

This is for me actually the most important point. Remember “forgetting curve”? No? Well, its because you have probably not revised that information and you have forgotten 🙂
This is simple, if you don’t repeat what you have learned you will finally forget it. By using a stackoverflow you can highly minimize or prevent totally your memory loss.

Forgetting Curve - Wikipedia

5. You can expand your knowledge

If you’ll jump into a stackoverflow mania you will spend there a bit more time than just the time answering/asking questions. You will probably be browsing the web app, reading notification of posted comments to your questions/answers, at the same time you notice other people answers, you’ll often find out a better approach of doing something than your own answer gave, links to an on-line articles, documentation, other interesting questions in your field of expertise etc, you’ll just find the best of the web posted by other people in one place, all related to whats the most interesting for you.

6. You can ask questions yourself

I almost forgot about this one. You can of course ask questions there and if they are not too difficult someone will probably answer them pretty fast 🙂

7. You can join Careers 2.0

I’ve just joined Careers 2.0 and I can say that it’s well done web app, unfortunately there is not a single company from Poland :). Anyway I guess it can be useful for others (especially in the US + UK state)

8. You can meet people at Stackoverflow meet-up days



Haven’t tried that yet but It’s always good to have a good excuse to go for a beer, or isn’t it?

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