DEV Community

Cover image for Do You Stack Overflow?

Do You Stack Overflow?

devlorenzo profile image DevLorenzo ・2 min read


Quick survey: You use Stack Overflow...

❤: Always - In all my projects
🦄: Often - When I have a bug / difficulty
🏷: Never - I'm smarter

Hello World! We are back with the #healthydebate series! It's time to get serious because today we're talking about Stack Overflow. It's very present in the developer's imagination, but in reality, how much do we use it? Let's discover together!

Also, by telling your experience, you have a chance to get featured in our newsletter.

The question of the week is: How much do you use StackOverflow in your developer life?


Question time: <-- To help you answer the big question above

  • When did you first meet / use StackOverflow? How did you feel?

  • How much do you use Stack Overflow on your daily basis?

  • How do you usually treat the answers, do you directly copy the code / just read and change yours / make a mix...

  • How is Stack Overflow considered among your colleagues? What do you think of those who search for too much code there?


Use the comment section to reply!


You can receive the weekly discussion recap directly in your email for free!

Bonus: How to handle any exception


Images Source:
  1. Reddit
  2. ahseeit
  4. GitHub

Discussion (13)

ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke • Edited

I use StackOverflow regularly to find answers, although I' afraid that despite their overzealous reputation system, there is still a lot of wrong advice to be found on the site. Some things simply get outdated, while others have not been helpful in the first place: some advice is not technically wrong, but still pointing in the wrong direction, away from a better approach.

Apart from googling and copy-pasting, I even try to participate in StackOverflow, but less so, as it seems pointless somehow. Either something is easy to answer and has been answered already, or it would take time to elaborate so before I finish my research or codepen, someone else already came in before me, or the question has been voted down for deletion for some obscure reason. Even worse, when asking a question myself, someone will surely find a reason why the question is either off-topic (not related to "programming", whatever that is) or prone to attract "opinionated answers".

StackOverflow denies the concept of best practice, but only in theory. In reality, accepting and voting on answers tends to promote popular trends (which might not even be the actual best practices).

To me, StackOverflow feels like a digital version of McDonald's, Costa's or Weatherspoons - it's hard not to bump into one, and if you're hungry you won't go an extra mile to find something decent.

inhuofficial profile image

The analogy of McDonald's to StackOverflow - beautiful!

ajrom profile image
A.J. Romaniello

Usually I take to Stack Overflow whenever I am stuck in a program. Usually when I come across a bug in my code.

As one thing I do, I try not to copy and paste any code, although use some for inspiration. Most of the time I can come across my own solution or even a more optimized one than the latter.

Stack Overflow is a tool that us software engineers must be aware of. It makes great use of the basic logic and flow of JavaScript although is still a beginner friendly website.
There are many portions of our code that we want abstracted to controllers or models.
For Example:

  • Inheriting helper methods from other JS classes/files.
  • Abstract the form input date to javascript
inhuofficial profile image

Probably use it 2/3 times a week for answers to my questions...normally the same questions for things that simply will not stay in my head though 🤣🤣

Probably answer on there more than I ask nowadays.

I used to use it an awful lot more but now that my focus is accessibility and front end performance related I find it lacking in detailed information and Google far more effective once you want “deep” answers to a question.

The “fastest finger first” side of it kind of ruins super complex answers getting posted I find as well, perhaps another reason it is not my go to resource anymore.

tankerguy1917 profile image

Sometimes. I usually don't like using it, but if I can't figure something out then I'll use it. I like figuring things out myself, and, this may just be me interpreting it wrong, but it seems like some of the people who give answers are being a little aggressive.

devlorenzo profile image
DevLorenzo Author • Edited

Other Stack Overflow meme:





Ps: Share if you know some 😉

nicozerpa profile image
Nico Zerpa (he/him) • Edited

A couple of months ago, I realised that I don't use Stack Overflow that often. The thing is, generally, I don't search "How to do X task", but "What's the best way to do X task". Particularly, I look for ways to do things using native APIs, instead of coding the solution myself.

The solutions from SO that I get do offer me a way to do the task, but these are answers from 5-10 years ago. That isn't useful for me because the solutions might use deprecated features, or there may be a newer, native alternative to do the same thing.

egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

Pretty often! I don't usually just copy code (large codebase problems can get pretty specific), but the snippets often help get me where I need to be, whether that's figuring out the right chunk of code or sending me back to google with better search terms.

I think StackOverflow is a great resource - but there is that saying "googling is worth $1, knowing how to find the good stuff is worth $1000". I also find that it's best used with the StackOverflow focus extension because those hot network questions are DISTRACTING.

nicm42 profile image

I just use it when I'm stuck. I've generally found that if I can't find the answer on StackOverflow (even if it's outdated/not exactly the right variety of language I want) then the problem isn't what I think it is.

icecoffee profile image

What is stackoverflow?
Compiler keeps tracks of all the function calls in memory, now if a recursive piece of code calls itself soo many times that compiler forget to keep its track in memory it is called stack overflow.
definitely loosing it
Dearest compiler / interpreter
Lol for those who don't know, like I didn't some time ago.

sharpninja profile image
The Sharp Ninja

I almost excusively use Bing for programming questions. It has a dedicated result set for develops that often returns usable code along with the explaination and references to the article it came from and other similar results. I usually only go to stack overflow as one of these references. I only search on Google when failing to find any usable results on Bing, which is rare.

johann_lr profile image

I don't use it often... In some cases it is quite useful to get "the" solution for known issues, but after a few years of coding copying code doesn't really make sense.

nefomemes profile image

I never ask any question, answer any question, and comment on any questions/answers.

But, I often use it when debugging bugs.

Forem Open with the Forem app