My favorite source of inspiration and knowledge on the Internet, Stack Overflow has passed a major landmark: 3 000 000 questions. If anyone has missed it, Stack Overflow is the largest question and answer site on the Internet for programmers.
To me, Stack Overflow is a major source of inspiration and knowledge. It’s far too easy to get deeply absorbed by the technologies and problems of the current project and loose perspective. At Stack Overflow, there’s always a fresh set of questions, in a variety of areas, that help me keep up to date, or learn new things.
The power of Stack Overflow is the help available on seemingly impossible problems. A few months ago I had a problem with an import routine developed for a customer. When debugging I found out that the text files received from the customer had very peculiar line breaks:
0D 0D 0A. Different operating systems have had different conventions for line breaks, but I’ve never heard of the
0D 0D 0A pattern. I turned to Stack Overflow for help, asking a question.
Four minutes later I had a detailed answer. It’s the result of a known bug in Windows XP notepad. Without Stack Overflow I would probably still be searching for a solution.
If you have a problem – try asking a question there.
To get good help, you have to put some effort into your question. Please be aware that the people like me that are answering questions are doing it in our free time, for the fun of it. You can ask, but not demand help. Make an effort to be as clear as possible on what your problem is. That will help you get answers to your actual problem. If you put some effort into your question, the community will put effort into helping you.
See you at Stack Overflow next time you have a question!