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Answering StackOverflow questions

Afshar Mohebi
A work-life balance lover developer who is passionate about startups while trying to keep updated with coding trends.
・2 min read

By now, it is several years that StackOverflow is one of highest ranked resource of questions and answers for developers. Many of us, visit StackOverflow at least once a week. Codes and solutions posted on StackOverflow has been entered many code based world wide. Rather than its usage as a source of information, it is also a play ground for competitors who fight for higher reputation. Everybody loves those numbers in front of their user names, especially when it is shown with a K character.

Personally, I am too a fun of StackOverflow reputation. I feel it enriches my resume. Also, I feel it shows how I am a master of some field in spite of the fact some people believe that StackOverflow is not a good metric to show someone's expertise. By the way, I spend some of my time answering StackOverflow questions in an irregular manner. Some days I feel lucky because I found some good questions, answers them and hopefully they are accepted. When I am really lucky, I even answer out-of-my-skills questions. But some days, I read many questions and review many answers, however, I do not find a question to answer. The tougher problem is that my reputation does not get raised much by increasing amounts of just 10 or 20. I'd like a reputation of 50K which needs thousand of accepted answers.

The more I tries, the more work-arounds I find. I found that it is better to do my answering effort base on North America's timezones rather Middle East or even Europe's timezones. During working hours of Middle East, the frequency of questions are very low. It gets better when working hours of Europe begins and, it is in its highest rate when working hours of North America begins. Same is true for working days of the week. In most parts of the Middle East, Sunday is a working day. On Sundays, there are little question to answer despite the fact that Middle Eastern are on work.

I have created a list of watched and ignored tags. But they do help a lot. As soon as I try to answer a question, someone else has posted theirs. And the other way, when a question remains un-answered for a long time, it usually means it is not a simple question to answer.

Today, I did some search and learnt some tips:

  • Avoid Wall-of-Text questions. They take way too much effort for little reward. And usually are syntax errors or bad structure.
  • Post an answer even if the question already has 1–2 or even 3 answers. In these cases, take your time and answer well. This will usually net you a good sum of rep.
  • Learn when to edit. Post a short answer at first and then edit. You have <5 minutes to make that answer shine.

I am still hopeful to find some ways to earn reputations rapidly!

Discussion (1)

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Reza Bozorgi

helpful content!
thank you Mr. Mohebi.