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Ask HN: do you value Github profile more or StackOverflow?
6 points by codegeek 1543 days ago | hide | past | web | 3 comments | favorite
So I know that there is no zero sum game etc but I was wondering how do you evaluate another hacker based on their online profiles ? Github lets you see someone actual work/code samples etc. but a forum like stackoverflow gives you insights about how someone approaches a problem, respond to it etc when answering questions. A combination of both is of course ideal but if you have to only choose 1, which one ?

I think github and stackoverflow are both good indicators of how people use their spare time (and the quality of work they expect from themselves). It shouldn't be used blindly or out of context, however I feel both can be a powerful addition to a talent-judging heuristic.

To comment on the actual question, i.e. which do I value more, I'd say github. This probably comes from my bias of valuing execution slightly more than domain knowledge (and understanding executors better than domain experts).

Here's an example to illustrate why I believe this way. Person 'a' may write an instruction manual for some appliance -- this may take considerable skills (it is unclear whether they borrowed the instructions or composed them entirely themselves). How do we know if the instructions are accurate without first implementing them? Either we or someone else, let's say person 'b', must execute on said instructions and have the knowledge to know whether the build was a success. By this, I do not make the claim that everyone on github who builds things writes good code (or even understands if they've assembled the parts correctly). I have, however, experienced that a good github profile (on average) provides me with more information than a stackoverflow post. Do they contribute with others, do they comment their code, do they catch bugs, do they write efficient code, how regularly do they contribute? Granted you can obtain some of this information from stackoverflow, but this leads me to a question of my own -- why choose just one?

When I review the public GH and SO profiles of various developers I know, they seem to be very poor indicators of competence as I judge it. So many of the excellent developers I know are have negligible GH and SO; some don't even partake.

And I see one chap I'd recommend you all steer clear of and he looks positively rosy on SO; its downright misleading.

Just my data-point.

This is good, heavy question.

I think it depends on the user.

On github, you might only have code - personal projects. But you might also have responses to issue trackers, a timeline, responses to pull requests, a commit log, documentation, etc. On SO, you have a lot of things but you'll never have the code.

So if the user uses github like I do - as a git repository and nothing else - then it's probably not super worthwhile and SO is probably more useful, but if they are engaged in the github community and have active projects with multiple pull requests and keep good docs, then it's probably the more valuable resource.

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