A few month ago, in a click out of mixed “I’m bored today” and genuine curiosity, I registered to Stack Overflow.
Of course, being a developer, I stumble on problems / questions / puzzles multiples times a day.
That’s what make makes the job interesting after all: solve puzzles, build Lego. And that’s probably one of the reasons (though not the only one in retrospect) I/you ended up in this career, isn’t it? And of course, when googling about such or such problem, I couldn’t help but notice how a ridiculous amount of time I’m driven to the same web site – with, OMG, what are actually relevant, good answers.
Or sometimes I’m asked questions from my colleagues/users, just like any of ours deploying code to production use. And then, be it verbally or written, you have to articulate a clear answer. In such cases, I like to provide an answer that is not just an immediate “dot this”, but rather provide some background info about what the problem fundamentally is, and the “how” and “why” – and yes, that can be quite verbose, and end up with a “…so, as a conclusion, do this:…”
And so, some day during September of 2015, I registered to SO.
There would be some things to write about this registration alone (to this date 8 months long), and the active participation experience following it. A lot have been written already about this, probably by some smarter people than me. That would be the topic of another post. A post about the effectiveness of SO, the related intense gamification of the system, and a question that arise to me more and more as time passes: “Why do have not post a single question – only answers?”
As time passes, I noticed I have a clear tendency to write lengthy answers to questions that may have been simply answered by “this is not do-able”/”this is not the way to do it”. Because, precisely, I like to put some “why” and background info about the context. Some of my answers take me anytime between 20 minutes up to 2 hours to write because of this, sometimes half of this looking for precise pointers to provide, and in any case worth the time to write this to an Emacs buffer and saving it. And I’m happy with that, naively hopping that may be some help to the OP or someone else with the same question.
And so, now that I started this blog, I came to realize that some of my answers may very well be turned into “a blog post”, exploring such or such details of whatever technology. Being or not the accepted or most up-voted answer is not related to that – I stand my point for posting some content with not only an answer, but also some wider perspective on this.
And this is why, starting of today, I’ll post these answers here as well. Because these “Ah! Now that’s an interesting question that deserve not just an answer but also a bit wider perspective!” led to what actually an article, and the best I consider I could write (without going to a doctoral thesis). As shameful self advertising as this may sound. As a matter of fact, I’ve just written one of these…