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This ain’t Stack Overflow πŸ˜‚ ..... this is a community for Thought Leadership in the software development space. Some people publish tutorials but many others publish articles on much more complex topics such as career, leadership and team work as well as best practices in a production software development environment. While I love Stack OverFlow .... it is usually limited to individuals searching for a missing semicolon 😎


I think this site has a different purpose than StackOverflow. This is more like a social network, where you can chat, tell other developers what you like, what are you interested in, etc.
StackOverflow is more focused on plain question and answers. It is very important and used, but it's a different kind of animal than dev.to.


Stack Overflow is about collecting "high quality" questions and answers so you can quickly google for answers to common questions. For instance I can google for "error FS0030: Value restriction" and most of the top answers are from Stack Overflow and more or less answer the question: "How do I fix this error?"

Following the goal of collecting "high quality" questions and answers, Stack Overflow does not care about answering your question. Unless your question is useful to more than just you. Stack Overflow is also limited to specific code tactics and errors, not general conceptual questions.

SO's Software Engineering site can be used to ask more conceptual questions, but I find it somewhat broken for that purpose. They are trying to apply the SO curation formula they use for tactic/error questions, and it just doesn't work. To start, the site gets a lot of the wrong kind of questions based on misperception of what it's for. (Software Engineering means anything to do with code right?) So moderators are constantly having to close a lot of questions which don't fit on the site. Also, conceptual questions are far more nuanced, and may require a bit more explanation. But these larger/deeper questions hinder the ability to moderate and answer them with single answers. Many require a conversation to answer. And many times the moderators are not familiar with (or perhaps don't like) the concepts being asked about, which has a negative effect on the question. I've seen answerable questions closed as too broad or opinion-based due to ignorance, or moderators post salty comments/answers about concepts they don't like (which then gets upvoted by other mods). It is not surprising because the constraints of the site setup a strong tension between moderators and question-askers.

So anyway, I actually like this site in lieu of the Software Engineering site, because #discuss questions and answers here are more free form and can take a conversational approach. But Stack Overflow is still the best thing out there to look up errors, tactics, and specific tech usages. And I don't see that changing any time soon.


Following the goal of collecting "high quality" questions and answers, Stack Overflow does not care about answering your question. Unless your question is useful to more than just you.

This is the main thing people don't understand about SO. If your question doesn't serve the community it will probably not be well received.

This focus makes it very good at some things (e.g. hosting fantastic solutions to all sorts of problems) and very bad at others (e.g. helping beginners). Dev.to makes a different set of design/community moderation decisions which results in a different set of tradeoffs. Both sites have their place.


I may chime in later, but I'd love to read more of others' answers πŸ˜„

  • Dev.to shows no badges or scores next to your avatar. We're all just names with an avatar and equal in that sense

  • Dev.to is friendly and supportive. Stack Overflow can go either way.

  • Dev.to does articles mostly whereas Stack Overflow has the focus on questions.

  • Dev.to has no downvoting mechanism. Stack Overflow does.

  • Dev.to is better looking, which ofcourse is totally subjective but it's way less noisy to me.

Some of these points I think refer to the same core philosophy.


I might add that mostly I'm comparing the two on what they have in common: being a community website.

I should also say I love Stack Overflow for the invaluable information it offers. It's just that I feel apprehensive to contribute whereas over here it comes naturally.


Post downvoted 36 times

More seriously, for every question I had, if it were not challenging or directly about programming, a bunch of salty dev commented some bashing stuff without giving any answer and downvoted my question.


It's nearly the opposite. StackOverflow curates answers generated in response to questions (sort of a documentation by desire path), while dev.to curates discussions which usually begin as blog posts, demonstrations, and occasionally manifestos. It's a publishing platform rather than a technical resource.


There is a kind of dichotomy between the subjective platform which is dev.to and the objective goals of StackOverflow. They each fulfill their role and have thus their place.


Stack Overflow is like a subway system. The trains come and go and the doors open and close without regard for whether any individual passengers get where they're going, because, paradoxically, operating that way ensures that as many passengers as possible get where they're going.

It's better when it's impersonal, like when the door to the train closes in your face or the train leaves just before you arrive. The problem is when it's personal and the comments are mean or derisive. Then it's like having the door close in your face and voice from a speaker says, "Ever hear of walking faster?"

I've never asked a question, but I've answered hundreds. I've accepted that at times it's going to seem uncaring, even though by its very nature it's exactly the opposite. But once in a while when I see people making harsh comments to someone who's just trying to get some help it gets under my skin. Never be mean.

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πŸ‘‹ Hey dev.to reader.

Do you prefer sans serif over serif?

You can change your font preferences in the "misc" section of your settings. ❀️