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Prashanth Chandrasekar Replacing Joel Spolsky as Stack Overflow CEO (stackoverflow.blog)
333 points by matrixunloaded on Sept 24, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 167 comments

> We were looking for that rare combination of someone who could foster the community while accelerating the growth of our businesses, especially Teams, where we are starting to close many huge deals and becoming a hyper-growth enterprise software company very quickly.

To bad they're on the hyper-growth train now as well, but I guess their investors want to get some money back. I'd preferred seeing them grow slow and stable, because I feel that focusing solely on growth often leads to decisions not in the interest of the users.

Yeah the pattern of:

- Find thing that gets traction and growth.

- Demand more growth than the thing you do well is providing.

- Focus not on the thing you do well....

Seems to happen time and again. I always think of the story on HN about the guy who bought back his startup from the VCs for $1 after it "failed" and he went and ran it without the same expectations, and it is doing just fine.

There are maybe just some good ideas out there that aren't meant to be unicorns, but are productive none the less but they get buried in other expectations.

Bringing in outside management away from the original company founders is a common way this happens. Especially if they come from another traditional public company that only cares about share prices as the key metric.

I can’t imagine someone messing up Stackoverflow, but Digg managed to do it so there’s always a way (although SO doesn’t have a high quality direct competitor like Reddit...yet.). The best time to take on a business is when they’ve peaked and get distracted, they forget about being the best in the market. I should note I don’t think SO is near that point yet.

Digg was so long ago now, I think it losing its relevance as an example. Has to be nearly a decade ago.

Digg was longer ago than that..

Joel has already killed Stack Overflow beyond repair.

Prashanth is a grave robber trying to find a few valuables to snatch for investors.

I don't really use Stackoverflow besides coming across answers in Google like everyone else. Not familiar with any internal community problems, so I can't comment. Can you share the story here?

Stack Overflow has a much smaller version of Wikipedia's God-complex moderator nerd problem, where some people with no life moderate and focus on their own vanity metrics rather than the quality of what they moderate.

But SO is still pretty damn useful, like Wikipedia.

Yeah, definitely. A bunch of thoroughly dickish moderation persuaded me to never contribute content again. And honestly, I'm done doing free labor for for-profit companies. I'll still edit Wikipedia despite all its issues, as it's all for the public good. But anybody after "hyper growth" can pay me for my labor.

Was this a moderator for a particular tag or one that oversees answers in general? How does it favour vanity metrics over value? Aren't the best answers chosen by the end users?

I'm genuinely curious, I'm not familiar with SO besides having answered a few top questions and getting some points long ago.

A good answer cannot be chosen by an end user if they do not get to see it because Mod-without-a-life deleted it 15 seconds after it was written.

Saying SO is “useful” is vastly understated. The developer world is filled with memes such as “coding is 99% looking up thing on SO”. World’s one of the highest paid profession is powered by SO. They have rigid community rules that everyone likes to complain but it is exactly what has kept quality standards up.

Not necessarily agreeing with the parent, but here's one recent issue: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/332974/is-se-allowi...

Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say “Prashanth is a grave robber trying to find valuables to snatch”?

I don't know if Joel has done anything, it seems to me that the users have killed SO more than anything. The quality of most accepted and upvoted answers is so low relative to even the worst documentation or IRC channel that I find it barely worth using.

The environment selects the users.

> Focus not on the thing you do well

Except SO for businesses could probably work quite well. I work for BIGTECHCO and the natural language query interface into institutional knowledge is very ad-hoc, being distributed amongst Slack histories, internal mailing list archives, etc. It would definitely be improved if consolidated with a decent UI.

We use it at work. It keeps me sane... search is very good, tons of people internally use it, and teams tend to do a decent job of monitoring for questions tagged with their component.

We have it running at work as well. It had some traction but now we have an enterprise chat software that everyone gravitates to and it has become a ghost town.

I always think of the story on HN about the guy who bought back his startup from the VCs for $1 after it "failed" and he went and ran it without the same expectations, and it is doing just fine.

Agree with the general point, but the guy burned 8 million dollars in investor money to get to the point where the business is "just fine". It's not really a good example IMO.

Anyone have a link for that?

thats an interesting story..could you share the link for the 1$ startup


Also here is where the project started on Show HN:


Really to cool to see a Show HN and know the story years later.

FYI, The medium link 404s.

I suspect (based on nothing so take it for what that's worth) that the FogCreek Illuminati feel burned by the Trello experience: there they carefully tended, had high organic growth, spun it out to its own company after three years, and ended up selling for less than half a billion dollars in 2017. This is bad because 2017 was quite probably the highest valuations for privately held technology companies in this cycle, and they weren't a unicorn, unlike plenty of other companies at the time- Quora raised 85m at a 1.7g valuation in April 2017, to pick a business that FogCreek would know well.

SO, like Trello, took a long time to find a business model (honestly Trello never really did); it seems clear that SO Jobs didn't work, but enterprise sales is the key, just based on what they emphasized in the announcement. Using the SaaS website as a loss leader advertisement for the shrinkwrap software is an interesting model: I see it as somewhat similar to the old 'give away Unix and C free to universities, sell System V to the companies those students work at' model, modernized for the internet age.

I dunno. Quora had a 1.7B valuation but Trello had an actual exit. If I were an investor or employee I might prefer the latter. $425M exit after a mere 3 years of operation as an independent company is nothing to sniff at. Trello is merely a shared todo list, when you boil it down. Was a unicorn exit necessarily expected of them?

I agree with that premise. Quora will be lucky to bail out with a $425 million exit on the downside of this expansion. They're a decade old, the VCs are going to want their money soon and the clock is ticking on this long up-cycle (as the desperate IPO rush blatantly indicates). Who is paying $1+ billion for Quora? There are no overpaying buyers for that type of entity - Yahoo is dead, AOL is dead, and InteractiveCorp is far too shrewd to pay that extreme valuation. Quora is worth $100-$200m tops right now.

Genius is in the same boat. A decade old, failed premise (turns out people don't actually want to annotate everything), failed expansion plans (so... back to lyrics then), no business model. At the mercy of the VCs, they'll eventually be passed around for $10m or $20m like MySpace or Tumblr.

These companies are this start-up generation's About.com (or the latest eHow).

Simple rule for anyone doing a knowledge service: if you put the profit motive over the knowledge motive (which is the only choice if you take a lot of VC), your service will end up in the dustbin of history, no exceptions.

What exactly is the value of Quora? It's Yahoo Answers with better CSS and the idiots filtered out. I assume it's ad-supported - they have started supposedly sharing revenue with users.

It could disappear tomorrow and leave barely a memory.

Don't know about the idiots. My quora feed keeps coming up with pairs of "What is the square root of nnnn?" for seemingly random integer nnnn. Don't know how to stop it. When I feel like it, I answer "2".

Quora pays people who ask questions, based on how many views their question gets. Now it's full of people spamming as many questions as they can, trying to game it.

Ah. When they started, they were seeding it with high quality questions and famous answerers. I guess the floodgates have now opened.

Whoever said "there is no such thing as a dumb question" never visited Quora.

Worse yet, the site is full of dumb answers as well.

I prefer the idiots of yahoo answers. At least some of them have a sense of humor.

Maybe there's an idiot filter but the CSS spam filter isn't working at all. Look up anything related to SaaS/PaaS.

A contemporary (to the exit) account certainly thought Trello underperformed, business model wise (was very complimentary of the tech stack, though)[1]. I've never worked in the B2C space so I can't comment on whether freemium was a better option, but I did spend a few years in B2B/SMB SaaS space and the business I worked for looked very different from Trello and was more successful, financially (our tech stack was almost certainly worse).

[1]: https://usefyi.com/trello-history/

Thanks that's an interesting take and I learned quite a bit.

Crazy world were a beloved product sell for half a billion of dollars and isn't considered a great achievement.

I mean...sort of.

The problem IMO is the scale of the opportunity relative to how much money is consumed.

There are great businesses at every increment of enterprise value from $5 million up to $5 billion. We just need to realize this, and stop judging greatness by the pure size of the exit.

I think Silicon Valley could learn a lot from Hollywood in so many ways. One is how we think about "greatness". Is there the equivalent of a "great indie flick" for software companies? Or will we continue to use "exit value" as the only yardstick?

I probably was developed by half a dozen people. Was sold for half a billion!


That’s mental. Trello is nice, I use it, but in the end it’s essentially a to-do list app. Do we really feel hard done by when a to-do list app is ‘only’ worth $500,000,000?

It's not a to-do list app worth 500M, it's the to-do list app 's user base worth 500M

Maybe Stack Overflow Jobs would work better if they'd publicly state what their job ad pricing is and if they'd improve the user experience (e.g. there is no way to get a nice looking printable version of the developer story). From my perspective Stack Overflow Jobs is a fantastic product, but lacks some tweaks here and there to make it working.

I would definitely pay a small, reasonable sum for a nicer PDF output from developer story.

stackprinter.com ?

Why do you think SO Jobs hasn't worked? It's the first place I look for jobs.

As I said in my comment, because he makes two references to the private SO offering known as Teams, and none to the Jobs monetization. [1] Therefore, it isn't something that the current CEO thinks the next CEO should focus on, therefore, it can't be what is paying the bills. Whether it works for a developer or not I can't say, I have no personal experience using any job board. Just I don't think it can matter much to the bottom line of the company based on what Joel wrote here.

[1]: "especially Teams, where we are starting to close many huge deals and becoming a hyper-growth enterprise software company very quickly" "And we want to make it possible for knowledge workers everywhere to use Stack Overflow to get answers to the proprietary questions that are specific to their organizations and teams."

starting to close is very different from have recently closed ... while Joel and Co. have traditionally come across as forthright in their communications that quote reads like something that is focused on generating sales, so is potentially BS

Agreed - some of the best communication, interviews, and offers I've got came from SO jobs. It's the first place I look as well.

Trello didn't have a business model? I thought the model was easy to use, well-designed kanban for businesses.

It's not easy to balance between the needs of your stakeholders (investors/owners etc) and the needs of your actual users.

I imagine that many companies experience a sort of death spiral once they start focusing too much on profit/growth/monetization at the expense of actually catering to their users' needs.

On the other extreme, focusing too much on users and not enough on profit probably isn't a good way to remain in business for long...

They have def given up their regular users in this point. Ads thing shared here is one item recently. Also think they can re license my content without asking (below): https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/333089/stack-exchan...

Plenty of other stuff in past year or two...

(below): I shared it but no comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21053475

Agreed. This “hyper growth” mindset is killing a lot of good things. Why can’t SO stay small, lean and mean? Last I knew it’s already generating descent revenues and good returns for investment. Injecting steroids to force if “grow” can really destroy its value and make look hideous.

Prasanth was an I-banker. Looks like SO is being set up for a sale, most likely to private equity or as someone else said perhaps Microsoft.

Not in his recent roles. His focus was on execution at Rackspace, plain and simple.

I love Stack Overflow but there's a lot about this announcement that doesn't make sense.

One: is Rackspace really such a great company? Hard to say. Maybe this CEO was able to achieve great results there. From where I'm sitting, Rackspace is a third-tier cloud infrastructure provider at best, falling farther and farther behind competent "supermarkets" like Azure/GCE/AWS, as well as niche providers like Digital Ocean, Hetzner, or Softlayer.

As for the announcement itself, this feels _incredibly_ "photoshopped". I give Joel a lot of credit for stepping back from something he wasn't excited about, but this press release reads as just this -- a press release. This is the guy who wrote "Hitting the High Notes", "The Guerilla Guide to Interviewing", and many other fantastic essays. The entire tone of this release just screamed "PR".

I predict Microsoft will acquire SO in the next 5 years.

It would be interesting to see it integrate with GitHub. Not sure if that's a good thing, but it would definitely be interesting.

And VS Code time and time again showing suggestions from SO Answers and Github - Coding made easy for any!

If VSCode would grep my stack-traces for exceptions it could find in StackOverflow automatically, I would be so there for that.

And after people provide them with enough suggestions-samples-picks, they will train AI to do the coding for you.

Then we'll just need some sort of a language to explain to the model what we want the software to do....

"Cortana, make the bike shed pink instead ..." ;)

Stacksort, the least known sorting algorithm: https://m.xkcd.com/1185/

(See the image alt text)

Someone actually implemented that, I believe there was a Show HN a few months back.

Edit - there it is: http://gkoberger.github.io/stacksort/

* the horror

I am always linking and quoting between the two. Quoting source code and automatic back links would be awesome.

MS could offer a scanner that could flag your private code in Github from showing verbatim in SO.

Stack Overflow was built because the forums and mailing lists were inadequate and no one else was addressing the need for something more. Historically speaking, SO is the third iteration of a commons for knowledge share. It had a great run. However, the time is coming for a new wave. Among the next wave will be Microsoft, who is well positioned with its portfolio of products and companies. I predict that Microsoft will introduce a collaboration and knowledge management platform that will compete with Stack Overflow. GitHub will play a significant role as will Microsoft AI products.

StackOverflow was built as a free alternative to Experts Exchange.

Good old expertsexchange.com, the worst unintentional domain name "oops" since budget.co.ck (Budget Rentals in the Cook Islands).

I always hated EE. They were an early adopter of dark UI patterns, and it obviously made them vulnerable to less user-hostile competition like SO.

Agreed. There is certainly an overlap between SO jobs and Linkedin, and then also the SO teams product and existing MS knowledge bases. Not to mention MS already has "Microsoft Teams", so that might be confusing.

Microsoft doesn't care about confusing overlap in its product offerings at all.

You mean like the over lap between what is now Azure Devops and Github? They both offer free git hosting but former offers private free repos, hosted builds, and deployments.

I can't believe they haven't already. Is there any bigger .NET app running in the world today?

I'm not sure that the technology running in the backend is really relevant here. If anything having "objective" third parties using your technology seems like a better selling argument for .Net than having it in-house.

They would lose a paying customer ;)

Looking at Microsoft's strategy I doubt they would care whether it runs on .Net or something else. They would look into integrating with Azure (lots of Linux) and GitHub (R-o-R) as well as SO Jobs with LinkedIn (Java(?))

Well, that customer is paying those licenses from their own income. By acquiring $customer you can get all of their revenue and not just the part they currently spend on licenses.

True and I wasn't fully serious. But: Having SO as an external showcase has benefits for attracting other customers over "we use it on our site" A testimony from an internal customer is less valuable as I see more company politics over technical reasoning.

It depends how you measure. But my company runs .NET at a much bigger scale (in terms of http requests and infrastructure footprint) than SO and I doubt that we are the only ones.

Makes a lot of sense given developer-centric strategy.

or maybe someone would create an SO alternative as a distributed service where you share and sync Q&A of all the topics relevant to you. Imagine all the answers you looking for are available offline!

SO will still be there but maybe it will start the journey of it's eventual slow death.

It could be a really good thing. Until it's not.

SO is a social media site. So I think it makes more sense for a company like LinkedIn, Facebook or Condé Nast.

LinkedIn is making bank with its subscription tiers. So they’d do a good job, financially speaking, of doing the same thing with SO. Large companies and recruitment services will be able to buy premium subscriptions to see who is doing what on the platform. Professionals will pay $50/month to have better access and limit access to non-paying members.

EDIT: Oops. Now I know that Microsoft owns LinkedIn.

(In case you weren't aware, Microsoft owns LinkedIn.)

LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft.

I hope when he asked why he was getting replaced he got a [DUPLICATE QUESTION] reply.

Or even better, the classic SO “What are you actually trying to do?” non-answer!

> Or even better, the classic SO “What are you actually trying to do?” non-answer!

I've never contributed anything to SO, but this is one of the most valuable answers they could give.

Worst case, the people helping you can better understand the context around what you're trying to accomplish. Best case they recognize that there's a much easier way to do what you're trying to do, when you're too busy bashing your head against the wall on the particular implementation that you chose.

So often when people get stuck, it's because they were shaving a Great Brown yak.

But the Great Brown Yak can only be shaved with a razor from Bhutan. So they go to get the Bhutaneese razor but first they need to prove their worth by climbing the nearby mountain.

In order to climb that mountain they need the best climbing gear in the world, which is only available from a small shop in Honduras.

To get to Honduras from Bhutan they need their passport, but they lost the page with their photo on it.

Since they can't get back to their home country they need to get a passport photo some other way.

So they go to Stack Overflow and beg for someone to help them forge a passport photo.

SO asks what they're trying to accomplish, and they mention they need some Yak fur, and it needs to be brown.

SO suggests that they shave the Minor Brown Yak which can be shaved with an off the shelf Gillette but produces indistinguishable brown Yak fur, and could be done in five minutes.

Nice parable. :) This is sometimes called the "XY problem."


Yea, I’m aware of the XY problem. It is still irritating when someone presumes to know your problem statement better than you and insists on having you change your question. Sometimes I simply want to learn the answer to this very specific question and not keep restating my problem until I find one the answerer knows the answer to.

A better way to respond would be: “Here is how to do precisely what you’re asking, but there may be a better way if you more clearly stated your end goal.”

The XY problem is a terrible name, because it implies there are two levels, the one asked about and the real one. But just as in that story there can be many different levels, and it's hard to know which is the right one to attack.

Maybe the real issue is finding yak fur, or maybe its a razor, or maybe its climbing gear, or maybe its the passport. Or maybe the yak fur turns out to also just be a way to solve an even realer problem?

One would be surprised how more often than not, this is the scenario playing out on SO.

Thanks Joel for number of years that you have been a thought leader, nudging developer communities towards right direction. There are may be 5 people who could have started stackoverflow successfully, Joel was one of them. He had a huge, cult like following before starting SO and he leveraged that in creating a product which is immensely useful to many users. Thank you.

They went theough 200 candidates and finally decided in the former rackspace ceo? Look for stackoverflow paid services getting a big push.

I heard from someone who worked at Rackspace that Chandrasekar was a Senior VP, not CEO.

Confirmed on his LinkedIn:


Rackspace trajectory:

Rackspace - 7 years

Senior Vice President & GM, Cloud & Infrastructure Services 2019 – Present

Senior Vice President & GM, Global Managed Public Clouds Business 2017 – 2019

Vice President & GM, Global AWS Business Unit 2015 – 2017

Senior Director & GM, SMB Marquee Business Segment 2013 – 2015

Director & Chief of Staff 2012 – 2013

tbh, with remote work catching on, SO is in a unique position. If more value comes out of it , why not

Ignoramus here, what does SO have to do with remote work besides being a distributed team?

StackOverflow has a product for created a distributed company knowledge base (basically a private stack overflow).

Compared to chat or wikis I can see an argument that it is good for a distributed team - although in my company we tried it for a bit and didn’t find it to fit with our team.

I agree with the concept, but Question2Answer running on the company intranet or as a subdomain behind a SSO login at questions.<company>.<tld> could serve much of the same purpose without having to pay for yet another SaaS offering.

/rant of an on-prem diehard

> on-prem

And then the Question2Answer app is never updated by infra, it falls 402 releases behind mainline, and gradually becomes unusable due to constant crashes.

The company then spends ten times the install cost for an external consultant to migrate the content to cloud. (It's a living)

as a remote dev currently using a private stack overflow for knowledge base, I'm curious what your team went with

We didn't pick a competing product, really. We just use Confluence, which we were already using anyway. Not enough team members contributed to the SO pilot for it to seem worth continuing after the trial period.

I think it probably has a lot to do with team size, industry, and also with how distributed/remote the team is whether it's worthwhile.

Not parent, but having a distributed team generally makes people less likely to reach out to coworkers. Instead, they search the web for an answer, likely stumbling upon a SO thread.

That's not been my experience; people on my team use Slack quite liberally, and don't ask less than when I worked on single-office teams.

Jobs board in which prospective employers can vet users from their history

I worked with Prashanth at Barclays. He was principled, energetic, had a great attitude, low on ego and worked his ass off. I personally feel SO stagnated a bit over the past few years. I don’t think this would be an easy job for anyone but I genuinely believe he has the potential to bring back the right kind of creative energy and enthusiasm into the products. I wish him the best of luck.

What kind of culture did he create?

> Under his leadership, Rackspace successfully pivoted from a leading managed hosting company to a cloud services company

That's a pretty big deal and probably saved them from looming irrelevance.

No, it just moved their existing customers from trash level hosting at luxury prices with "Fanatical Support"(tm), to trash level cloud services at luxury prices with "Fanatical Support"(tm).

Now would be a good time to spin up a Stack Overflow alternative. By the time VCs are done with SO, there will only be a smoldering crater.

people that yet dont know that, read Joel’s blog and books. He shares so many gold nuggets

I recently watched his Excel tutorial on Youtube: "You Suck at Excel with Joel Spolsky" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nbkaYsR94c

Didn't intend to spend an hour on it, but we all know how these things often go.

second this, can not remember reading an article that did not give me a new perspective on the topic.

Also Jeff Atwood, the other cofounder of SO has a blog that is very informative called Coding Horror.

The good old days when there would be at least one Coding Horror post at the top in HN, regularly.

Don’t think the new CEO will be doing any of that sadly

I was lucky to see him give a talk at Silicon Slopes in Utah, where he delivered some amazing thoughts about online privacy, online communications, and the ways to combat issues that come with them.

Awesome awesome talk

In case anyone else is curious too, the recording is here: https://youtu.be/3is9lvGv27M

I didn't know this existed! Thank you!

This is quite surprising from Joel... So the new CEO is MBA and doesn’t even seem to have profile on StackOverflow. This tell me he has little clue how this complex community hangs on balance and what makes it tick. It’s also painful to see that we have now one of the largest website for developers run by guy who isn’t a developer. It looks like this person’s main achievement was to create business unit at Rackspace. How does it help building open community like SO? I can’t help but reminded of Jobs bringing in Scully with enthusiasm to do “business things”. I have admired Joel’s writing and wisdom for years but this somehow feels wrong given they could have chose almost anyone from their vast highly dedicated user base who understands the complex dynamics in SO community. Do we expect full blown value destroying commercialization of SO from now on?

This person doesn’t seem to be a real technologist, unlike Spolsky. That maybe OK in most compsniea, but seems like a risky choice for a company so developer-focused.

I will never understand why tech companies suddenly let non tech people step up as CEO.

It always failed (failed = does not continue on the same trajectory; at best is stable and in the long term eaten up by more innovative companies).

The OP created their Hacker News account 21 days ago and has only posted 2 articles, both about Stack Overflow. It looks an awful lot like someone is just trying to drive site traffic to SO with this post. It wont matter much but I figured it was worth pointing out ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It's interesting to see how Joel's stance on VC-backed businesses seems to have changed over the years. I think he was clearly against it in his FogCreek/FogBugz days, but now seems to have come round to the idea.

I wonder if he regrets not taking VC money earlier - maybe then FogBugz would be the new jira, and FogCreek would be as big as Atlassian.

But Atlassian was bootstrapped for a lot of its history. It didn’t take VC funding until 2010 when Stack Overflow did too. Fogbugz isn’t much older than Atlassian.

Congrats to the CEO. Welcome to the issues of SO. I have a major problem with the way SO is handling the license agreements and Joel's opinion on developer side projects as well. I plan to make a public statement on my YouTube channel about it. I'm so sick of tech companies thinking they can act however they want with impunity.

Can you share what the issues are with license agreements?

Anybody else noticing StackOverflow is not the number one source to get answers anymore?

I feel like I find more useful answers in GitHub issues (also through google) now than a year or two ago

I think this could be a function of what you have been working on. If you're working on cutting edge/niche things, github might be better. For good ol' tech stack, Stackoverflow is still golden.

SOP used to be to direct devs to Stack Overflow and keep GH Issues clear. I wonder if this switch was intentional or inevitable as devs reported "maybe a bug? Halp!" I agree though, far more searches lead to a helpful Issue thread than in the past - and more often than SO at least for my searches.

Nothing like the Github repo saying "do not use stackoverflow for help, their answers are out of date"

I love reading the docs and using issues.

I have the same experience for anything hyper-library or distro-specific - like "why is x package not working on alpine 3.whatever".

More generally, I use async Python features and libraries, which are developing and changing very quickly. Most stack overflow answers on things like this are at least partially outdated, many more-so. I tend to go to prominent async libraries source code & Github issues to see how the leading users of async features are doing it.

it's still the number one source for finding questions that have been marked as off-topic or duplicates...

I got a chuckle out of this one recently. Everything that’s wrong with StackOverflow: https://i.redd.it/per2eihv0jn31.png

At least it's not as bad as web forums, where if you post your opinion to an old thread it's deleted as "necroposting", but when you post it as a new thread it's deleted as a "dupe", so you shoehorn it into a closely-related thread but it's deleted as "off-topic", and when you point out your predicament to a mod you're "ignored", so finally you complain and then you're "banned". :)

On my forum, we encourage posting in old threads.

I've never understood why posting to old threads upsets mods when the newest post rises to the top. In reality, it keeps things efficient and topics easy to search and find, since more of the content is in one thread instead of scattered all over.

That's not my experience at all, what is the number one source for you and which tech stack are you working in?

Have not noticed this. If not SO, then what? MDN?

GitHub. 90% of my non noob questions are now found on GitHub issues.

I work in web so basically anything NPM related (most of the web in my field) is all on GitHub. Much faster than StackOverflow for sure over the past few years. I now read SO mostly to shoot the crap. GitHub has a hold of the latest issues by far. JS being the wild west with guns blazing in the air, has done really well for GitHub.

I also think people raise good points about Microsoft acquiring SO. They are buying up all the developer circles.

Personally, I hope the license thing bites Mr. Spolsky. I think he deserves it after speaking out publicly about getting companies to squash our creative freedoms at home. I'm sorry Joel, not everybody wishes to work 14 hour days for somebody else's vision.

StackOverflow's surplus of dickhead programmers doesn't help either. We don't hide behind usernames on GitHub.

I'm not really sure how this could work. Which repo do you file an issue on to understand the difference between double-equals and triple-equals?

For help with libraries, it makes sense kind of. But I personally wouldn't want to file an issue unless I was sure there was an actual issue. "I don't know how to use it" isn't an issue.

If you think that SO will give you anything useful to a question about the difference between double-equals and triple-equals I suggest posting one (and then running for cover)

Here's the last language question I asked on SO: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/50704766/elementof-can-i...

I got a clear, concise, and correct answer. I've heard a lot of noise about the toxic community on SO, but I never see it whenever I'm there. Or maybe it's me. Anyway, SO is a very useful resource for me, even at this late date.

Agreed. When you have a legit question SO can be great. Maybe I'm being harsh on your example but it's just not the place to get the basics explained to you like your comment infers.

Just for fun I googled it: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/359494/which-equals-oper...

I don't really see what is so horrible about these answers?

No doubt there are some great answers there, but the test isn't to google it (which is what you should be doing with such a basic question, btw), it's to post it and see what happens.

Presumably, it will be closed as duplicate since it's already answered.

Personally, I hope the license thing bites Mr. Spolsky. I think he deserves it after speaking out publicly about getting companies to squash our creative freedoms at home.

What did he say / where could I read it?

what?! ...maybe for project-specific errors. But for general questions about language behavior, and well known established frameworks, it reigns supreme.


Please don't do this here.


If so it will be time for a new company to build a new platform and Stack Overflow (verb) Stack Overflow (noun).

I’m sure this will happen. I wonder who are the upcoming Joel and Jeff accumulating their audiences and the right kinds of software and developer community experiences.

Content is CC-BY-SA, that should make seeding a new platform easy enough. But to get people to move either SO has to fuck up majorly or you have to offer a killer feature.

Empty suit

Yes! We need more diversity in the executives club!

It's unfortunate that "content of character" is no longer a factor in one's diversity quotient.

What's the end-target state that you have in mind? Serious question.

How is this materially different from an old white dude cheering for more white people?

I don't actually think the comment you replied to is necessarily productive.

That being said, your hypothetical is materially different in that it's literally not increasing the type of diversity they were referring to. This is assuming a reasonable metric of diversity, probably similar to something I've encountered, Shannon entropy, etc.

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