I read the article a while back by the chap who got headhunted based solely on his Stack rep. It made me think "heck. I'd best get started on that".
So I made a conscious effort to answer questions. I loaded up the questions list and ... nothing. Not an effing thing. All these questions from such a broad base of so many topics. I didn't know the answer to anything.
F I thought. Then a little later I asked a question that I needed an answer to... and I got points. Lots of them. And "badges". And I voted on an answer - more points and badges.
So I thought WOW I can ask my way up to 100k reputation! Fells a little like cheating doesn't it?
Then I reconsidered. Actually the 100,000 questions would be just as valuable as proof of skill, since it's all contributing to your 10,000 hours of practise (See Malcom Gladwell) - furthermore - as you contribute questions, you help build the encyclopedia of knowledge and someone else might find your answer in their "first go".
I think it's really neat that Stack is this odd sort of community where it's virtually impossible to give more than you get from it but simply by participating, even as a supplicant, you contribute to the greater good.
Yes but anyone can look at your profile and see your rep was earned via asking instead of answering. Whether SO rep is relevant or not is debatable, but if it is, rep earned by answering is almost certainly more valuable.
I understand where you're coming from - but - I'm of a mixed opinion of whether that's actually true. Asking a lot of questions might be equally valuable if they're questions of increasing complexity, that show growth and development over time.
Back to Malcom Gladwell's "Outliers" (in which he states that the requirement to master anything seems to be 10,000 hours of practise).
With 10,000 'hours of questions', assuming progression and growth, would you not find yourself at the same or similar level of mastery as someone who'd provided 10,000 hours of answers?
Quite frequently nowadays, I find myself at work seeing a question about something not functioning quite right - (height and width of a graph, cross browser/OS page performance & display) and I find that I've got an immediate answer, because I asked the question on stack over the weekend (when I'm doing my fun projects).
Another interesting point - that I've just noticed this morning, is that I think there may be an Algorithm in Stack that "bubbles up" questions about things that you've asked questions about in the past.
My initial attempt to "give back to stack" were met with nowt because I couldn't find any questions on topics that I have relative expertise on - but - now that I've asked a number of questions on the things that apply to me (DOM, jQuery, Ajax, Selenium, PHPUnit etc...) Questions with those tags seem to be closer to the top of my list.
Maybe you've got to ask enough questions for stack to know what questions to ask of you.
It's really neat. I actually quite like it there :)
Depends on what your employer asks for. Some might rather employ somebody who knows how to harvest free labour off the internet, rather than `waste' their time solving other people's problems for free.