Personally, I am a few thousand places behind, but still in the top 0.2%.
How? I asked and answered a few hundred questions early on, years ago, when SO was new and interesting...
Now those answers are old and, like most answers on SO, out of date. Usually when I google something technical and get seemingly the exact right question asked on SO, the answers are no longer correct. Software versions change.
And yet I still get a steady trickle of votes, forever increasing the gulf between outdated and no-longer-participating people like me and anyone starting on SO today.
I got tired of always seeing outdated answers as the top, so I actively started searching them out (JS first, then Android) and answering with the newest variant.
I make sure to include browser/device support and update regularly.
How I wish mods could change the accepted answer (or let it be voted on like deletion) after original question asker has dropped off the face of the earth.
SO seems to be eternally undecided about whether it's trying to be an unconventionally structured forum, a massively multiplayer online game, or a jointly edited database of useful information.
I wish it would put a bit more emphasis on the last one of those.
SO should add a “Vote to close because: Obsolete” option - which keeps the question visible but locks new answer replies and displays a very visible and prominent banner infotmjng users it’s for an old version (with the version range displayed and helpful information to find out what version you’re using).
The great mobile stagnation has begun. We're at least a few years into that now.
The mobile market is no longer growing (and or barely growing) based on usage and unit sales. The market has largely been saturated in terms of time and devices. Even India is heavily flooded with smartphones now, and it was one of the last great potential markets.
So what you have is a large group of existing developers with experience and a gradually reducing group of new inbound developers pursuing a shrinking number of free (widen open) opportunities (in jobs, in new apps that can be created, etc). It will end up mostly being a replacement system, where as developers slowly age out or leave, that's the max inbound new developers you can fit into the stagnate market (to have it be any other way, you need more growth than exists now, or is likely to exist going forward).
The existing developer base largely doesn't need the Stackoverflow information updated, and the demand from new developers isn't as high as it used to be. Most platforms start to stagnate in this manner after they pass their peak / prime days. Mobile is aging as a thing, in other words, and you're starting to see that show up in such ways as rotting Stackoverflow info.
After a year, the owner should perhaps no longer own the question. They've already gotten the answer, and now it only matters to new viewers. If the answer changes, accepted answer needs to be updated.
For example, on my home turf, in PHP, the ancient create_function() has not been recommended to be used for many, many years now, it's deprecated now, and it'll be removed end of this year. But if you are diving into an old embedded system using PHP (owie, I know) then information about create_function() might be absolutely invaluable since noone has the slightest idea how to use it any more because it's already been out of use for a decade. A PHP 5.0 answer using create_function() doesn't become invalid just because PHP 5.3+ is using closures. For PHP 5.0 it is the correct answer.
Even if you add a comment or an addendum with a link, it is only a band-aid that probably half of non-senior devs will still miss, trudging down the wrong path anyway
Perhaps these discussions I linked were too long ago. Perhaps after a set amount of time -- certainly measured in years -- people with a silver tag badge could vote to move the accepted checkmark and after say five such votes it would move over automatically and people with gold tag badges just could move them.
I answered a several dozen questions over a month, years ago. Now my answers have paid "dividends" for years, increasing my Stack Overflow Points. This is slightly odd, but I'll take it :)
But seriously, SO is a good tool for learning if you don't get excited by points, and just use it as a "this is what language/feature X is about" -- a method for zeroing in on your chosen topic.
One time I posted a fairly basic question and someone commented "why are you posting stupid questions if you have so many points?"
A coworker once saw the SO homepage on my machine with all my points and said "wow, what kind of answers are you posting?". I'm so embarrassed that I make a point of not being signed in at work.
If questions and answers carry the same weight in points assigned to profile (not sure they do?), that doesn't make much sense.
If you answer a question the +15 points you get for a correct answer count towards the limit. Jon Skeet's and Gordon's game is very different from most users and it's on those margins.
I believe you meant it does NOT count.
And bounties do not count either.
https://i.imgur.com/fWpAT8B.png (I am slightly cheating with this screenshot because it's from Travel SE not SO.)
I understand that this might come across as envious, but it isn't on my part, and I don't see how else to deal with the problem.
Actually, I’m a little ashamed to admit that my most recent points are for a typescript question I didn’t even answer totally correctly. It explains something useful about typescript, but I didn’t really address the question properly. People still upvote it, perhaps because it explains something people might need to know if they’re asking the original question anyway. I should edit the answer to address that now that I noticed.
One of my best answers stands the test of time. It just explains how to optimize images for the web, but explains it fairly agnostically by describing compression techniques and image content and how they combine well (or don’t). Not a lot has changed in that arena since 2010.
I would love to help people like I was helped early in my career, but I find SO fairly useless as a platform to do that these days. It doesn’t feel collaborative or constructive when I use it. It’s like a race to get the best answer to avoid throwing insight and knowledge into the void. Not to mention a plethora of other reasons it can be fairly miserable. I tried moderation for a while and I guess that was the final nail in the coffin.
Gordon Linoff wrote a bit about his habits here but I still can't fathom how he manages to maintain such a rate. Imagine just taking a day or two off – you would then have to write 45 (or 68 answers) the following day. So assuming that he does take a day off every once in a while, this means on non-vacation days his average is even higher.
 https://blog.data-miners.com/2014/08/an-achievement-on-stack... (I'm gettting an EOF / Connection Closed error in both FF and Chrome but the Internet Archive has it cached.)
StackOverflow has done a great job with the points incentives. As noted in this blog, the daily cap on points is important - it's valuable to put the brakes on people who are too into it and in danger of burning out. Candy Crush does the same thing.
A few years ago, I asked Joel Spolsky what he might do differently: he mentioned that getting to a million points is a magical number for many people but it's too tough on StackOverflow. If the point system were set up to be more generous, more people could achieve this milestone and more valuable contributors would have this somewhat arbitrary but enjoyable recognition
Its like once your brain gets used to doing anything well it just keeps doing it.
Nevertheless, I wasn't asking about the why, I was asking how. :)
Hope that's not his real name because if it is his boss might think he needs more work to do.
I haven't asked a python or C++ question in probably 5 years because the existing answers are all excellent and I can glean what I need from one or more of them.
SO really shines once you've cleared the minimum bar in terms of computing knowledge. From what I hear it's not super great for people that haven't cleared the minimum bar yet (students, absolute beginners, etc.), but it's truly a gem of the internet (I didn't use it as a student because I didn't learn about its existence until I already graduated college - plus, it launched when I was a sophomore in college so it really hadn't built up a good answer base until later).
In other words. To post a question: I'd have to do my own research, followed by prototyping, testing, debugging. Be unable to reach anywhere, unable to get help by talking to peers directly. The topic should not be domain specific. Gather my thoughts, experience, etc. write them down and post a question. There has been a single case where a colleague of mine asked a question and it never got any attention whatsoever. We found the issue/solution few days later.
This is less true for answers - even with old questions with accepted answers you can gain points by providing a better answer. Not necessarily better in terms of pure information but maybe better edited or explained more clearly.
And obviously you can still rack points by quickly answering the bad questions (before they get deduped or closed).
Disclaimer: this is only about my experience, not implying anything about Gordon Linoff - I have zero knowledge about his record on SO.
and your old very simple answers to common questions continue to rack up the most points
you get points on stackoverflow by answering common problems. not much from contributing more nuanced indepth things
I've pretty much found github issues to have the newer up to date discussions
Usually, I can just dig in and find the answer myself, but I was trying to get a solution quicker with search.
Of course, I've only answered one question too, so maybe it's just not my kind of site.
Quora has different incentives for asking questions and answering them. I am also connected to a community of people who mostly ask questions and don't write answers.
It is hard to ask a good question to which I can't find an answer. I ask questions for which there are no good existing answers and usually outside my realm of expertise. This is true for most other top contributors on Quora. Most of us ask very few questions.
Mere speculation: Maybe he enjoys the asymmetry, and has some other accounts on which he asks questions.
That has always been a real put off at SO. They actively don't want me to answer.
A lot of people seem to get their start by suggesting edits that later get accepted.