Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Stack Overflow

I've been casually mentioning the Stack Overflow site on this blog for several years. As far as I can establish, my first mention here was on 25/10/09, but I asked my first question on 25/08/09.

As the site states, 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.

Like all the Stack Exchange sites, there are two systems of ranking: one is reputation (Your reputation score goes up when others vote up your questions, answers and edits. As you earn reputation, you'll unlock new privileges like the ability to vote, comment, and even edit other people's posts) and the other is badges (Badges are special achievements you earn for participating on the site. They come in three levels: bronze, silver, and gold).

Sometimes the badges seem puerile (there's a badge awarded for filling in one's biography or logging in every day for a month), but some are more serious and of course, the gold badges are difficult to achieve.

Most of the time, I manage to ignore my reputation and number of badges, but over the past week checking my reputation had become almost obsessive. The reason is that a reputation of over 3,000 enables one to vote to close questions which aren't good (or vote to reopen), and I was so very close to achieving that 3,000 reputation.

Unfortunately, SO doesn't easily allow one to see how the reputation changes over time (that's not strictly true, but it'll do for now). I've been thinking about including my reputation and badges here for some time - not in order to brag, but rather to see where I was standing at a given date. The key is very simple: first the reputation, followed by the number of gold, silver and bronze badges.

At the moment my reputation is 3,013 but having just given a good answer to a question, it may soon increase. Sometimes it happens that people upvote an answer which was given months or even years ago, so there is not necessarily a connection between answering new questions and increases in reputation.

[SO: 3013, 2, 11, 29]

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