Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Asking Questions and Giving Answers

In 2001 Eric Raymond wrote the quintessential article on asking questions online, How To Ask Questions the Smart Way. Yesterday I think Jon Skeet wrote the quintessential article on answering them, Answering technical questions helpfully.

For anyone who doesn't know Jon, he's a programmer and an author, and he's currently the top rated user on Stack Overflow, a web site dedicated to asking and answering programming-related questions. In other words, he knows a little bit about this. Both articles are worth a very thorough read.


Johannes Rössel said...

Currently the top-rated user? I doubt that this will ever change (unless he gets bored or dies). I mean, the second-rated user would take 100 days to get to Jon's score; and only if Jon would do nothing in those days. (Not counting bounties.)

Ah well, someone currently lurking at page 4 might dream of actually getting to page one eventually :-)

Bill the Lizard said...

Yeah, that wording does seem strange now. I think the race was a little bit closer when I wrote that. Even if Jon quits answering questions now, he'll still likely gain 200 points per day on the thousands of old answers he's given. :)

Johannes Rössel said...

He even made a short reputation holiday of a weekend as he reached 100k rep. He made all his answers community-wiki back then :-)