Last week I wrote a post about CSS naming conventions, while trying to start up my review of the Programmers Stack Exchange site. Writing the question got me all excited about the wonderful answers and insights I was about to gain. Unfortunately my question fell to the 2nd page of the site quite quickly, with a meager one upvote, and one (though well-written) unsatisfactory answer.
For a week I debated whether to skip Programmers and review a different site, but today this problem struck me as an opportunity! This is a great way to test the bounty system. So I decided to put 100 of my current 106 reputation up for a bounty, looking for any answer that can provide me with something more solid than the “personal-preference” argument.
While waiting and frantically F5-refreshing the question I have some time to write about the site. One fun side-effect from the reputation system already became clear though: I can’t upvote any answers on the site anymore, because the 100 rep bounty I gave up dropped me below the 15 rep threshold you need to pass to be able to upvote things.
Just like last review, first we dig up the current facts for this site:
|Questions with no upvoted answers||225 (1.30%)|
|FAQ (questions with most links)||4,241|
|Top 3 questions||313 votes, 275 votes, 275 votes|
|Questions active last hour||10|
|All-time rep for top 3 users||37.4k, 34.7k, 31.1k|
Bigger than Cooking SE, but still quite the “little brother” to Stack Overflow.
Next up, my questions. Even though I often have questions that feel like a great fit for Programmers SE, once I’m halfway writing them I tend to delete them again. The reason is simple: even though the “good subjective” kind of questions are the bread and butter of Programmers SE, I’m probably too exact to ask a subjective question. However, the one question that got this post rolling is still worth noting:
- Practical considerations for HTML / CSS naming conventions (syntax). This had been bothering me for several months now, and I’m still hoping someone can come up with an answer. If not, then that’s okay, and I’ll just go with the answer that it’s a matter of personal preference.
Like many people I have a certain mental threshold before I post anything on a public site like Stack Overflow. However, I was determined to overcome or ignore the threshold for the Stack Exchange Challenge. Nonetheless, at the time of writing this, I came up with zero answers.
Perhaps in the future I will answer a question or two (heck, I may even answer my own question), but until then, this section is shamefully empty…
Now this is the good part of Programmers Stack Exchange. Although often subjective or even “whiny”, there are quite a few questions that are interesting or plain fun to read! Some questions i enjoyed:
- If you had two projects with the same specification and only one was developed using TDD how could you tell? I prefer the second-most upvoted answer though.
- Programming with ADD/ADHD
- Is there a way to combat Sales perpetually overcommitting?
- How can I explain the difference between NULL and zero?
Some fun ones on this site:
- What should every programmer know about web development? With a massive 1827 upvotes!
- What is the single most effective thing you did to improve your programming skills? With a great answer “work with folks smarter than yourself”.
This particular Stack Exchange is a fun site. It’s a fine line though between subjectivity and questions following the “good” Q&A format. This fine line will probably keep me from becoming a regular poster. However, I can highly recommend the level of interaction I’ve currently settled on: follow them on Twitter for the occasional fun-to-read question that pops by.
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