Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just posted this on StackOverflow...
When I heard that StackOverflow was for "programming questions only," I thought it was to give it a "niche" so that it doesn't fall into the Yahoo! Answers fate, in which every knuck-knuck out there answers your question, and the experts rarely chime in. But certain non-programming (NP) questions are patrolled heavily on SO, like hardware questions. Other NP questions, like, "Hey what's a good developer joke?" are usually let be. So what gives?

I think it's about The Community. We are software developers. We help each other out (for several of my questions, answerers have said, "just send me an email and I can help you more.") We're not hardware dudes, and not systems guys (and gals!). So NP questions that are about being a developer -- even if they are "what's on your cubicle wall, developer?" -- are cool. Systems questions, on the other hand, are in fact more relevant for obvious reasons but are closed within seconds (community wiki not withstanding).

Is there any hardware expert's exchange out there that only allows for systems questions? Are software developers particularly clic-ish? Are we snobs? And more importantly, if you're a snob developer, why?
Edit: The question isn't really whether we're snobs. The question is easier: Why do some non-programming topics get closed so fast on SO, and others are widely applauded and also the highest scoring questions of all time?

 Hope this sparks some debate but.. well, I don't know. People do love a good debate, and since it's not a classic -- Democrat/Republican -- I guess something pretty interesting could arise. On the other hand, it could be the LOWEST scoring question every put out on StackOverflow, which would be amazing.

Actually, it not only didn't spark, debate, it got closed quickly... sad but true.

But yeah, I'm feeling very much like a software developer recently, but it's just interesting to me to see what the community is like. Lots of companionship out there (lot of people have offered to help me directly, "just contact me by email")... it's interesting.

Anyway, working on Ruby now (well, just started reading about it, but in a week I'd like to be working in it) and doing a lot of AS3 work. Ruby looks interesting, and if I figure out why, I'll comment here again.

Later development (2008-12-21)... the question has taken off in StackOverflow. It's amazing. Check out the snapshot!


Eduardo said...

I wanted to post essentially the same question, but I was too afraid of getting a bad reputation (I mean, real reputation, not just the number) in the community.

What happened to you proved your point. We programmers are snobs.

Daniel Rosenstark said...

Yeah, I try to have fun with this stuff and see what happens. But I do use my real name, so it's a bit risky. Check out my new answer to the question on SO, where I say what I think about the thing.

THANKS for your comment, Eduardo!