Why Stack Overflow Is Part of My Daily Routine

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed — Napoleon Hill

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Photo By Glen Noble on Unsplash

If you’ve ever been interested in programming or anything related to and been around the net long enough, you’ve come across Stack Overflow, accidentally or on purpose.

What is Stack Overflow?

Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It’s built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we’re working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about programming.

It was in 2013 when I asked my first question in Stack Overflow, got heavily down-voted and my question was closed. Back then, I didn’t know why was that 🤷‍♂️. All that I asked for was a solution for my homework, and by saying “solution” I mean a full solution. I didn’t expect comments like:

  • You should solve your homework by yourself
  • What have you tried?
  • Be more detailed

It was an easy question for professional programmers who actually live in Stack Overflow, why are they being offensive?

A couple of months after I’ve disappointingly left the community, I decided to take another risk and ask another question. It was a practical and detailed question. Senior members edited my question, fixed some typos, and reformatted it, making it look much better.

Not only that I was up-voted, got a detailed answer, learned how to ask, and won my first reputation points, but I was also encouraged and informed that I was really close to the solution.

This was the time I began to be addicted to Stack Overflow, visiting it daily, just to check if my question has new answers or comments. While hanging out there, I saw a very similar question to mine, I knew the answer! But just before I posted it, I had to verify it’s good by opening my IDE, running the code, and validating it — By doing so, I was more confident about the subject being discussed and I better understood the problem!

Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes — Peter Drucker

By navigating through Stach Overflow, I get exposed to new fields and keep atop new technologies, I can choose what subjects I’m interested in and filter questions accordingly.

Every day I learn something new through reading more posts from users. Sometimes I find myself investigating questions that I came across because I was curious about, I challenge myself to find a solution to that problem. By doing this, I do research, I try new things, I dive into other fields, and not only that I’m helping the original poster, but I’m learning new things. I can get comments on my answers and improve them, I can comment on answers, edit answers and questions, vote on them, and more.

Stack Overflow is the place for programming questions, it’s an endless source of knowledge, use it.

Summary

To get out the most of Stack Overflow, you should first know your problem in depth —” A problem well stated is a problem half solved”. Once you’ve realized your solutions don’t work, and you know you’re stuck and need help, then it’s the time to post your question. Make sure that your post includes a detailed description of the problem, include relevant code snippets, and put efforts into formatting it correctly.

Written by

Software engineer | Music geek | Beer lover

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