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Discussion on: StackOverflow isn't as useful anymore? I use GitHub more often.

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John Selbie • Edited

StackOverflow isn't structured to give design advice. Those questions get closed by a rather rigid moderator community. (Disclaimer, I might be one of those folks). S.O. is better suited for specific questions about programming languages and framework behaviors where there's a single answer. Basically, a half-duplex stop and wait protocol. You ask. You wait for answers. End of discussion.

And I've always felt like that cultivating a better discussion community for debate and design has been a missed opportunity for Stack Overflow. Unfortunately, they've never attempted to try to build a feature that augments the one time reply/response protocol of asking questions.

More disappointing, is that S.O. has even failed at building a community around discussions of improving their own site. If you think S.O. is unfriendly, try making these types of suggestions on meta.stackoverflow.com. That's where good suggestions go to get voted down and pooped on by people who don't even work for StackExchange.

With that in mind, StackOverflow can be a valuable resource for all experience levels of developer, provided your topic is properly represented with those that have the experience to give sufficient answers. I don't think it is correct to say getting off SO will make you a better developer. Rather, a more experienced developer will leverage multiple support sites and support communities for the tools, frameworks, and languages he uses.

And one final point about StackOverflow. Beginner or expert - if you just browse the daily questions on StackOverflow for any particular topic, you're bound to learn something or see trends in programming that you might want to read up on later.

But I do agree - newer frameworks aren't as well represented on S.O. for many of the reasons you give in your video. Often just contacting the author directly or posting on the issues page for their Github repo generates a more open response.