stackoverflow.com and serverfault.com

Gosh, I seem to have been rather remiss in not mentioning these web sites before. You’ll have to excuse my ageing brain :-)

OK, first things first, stackoverflow.com. This is a joint venture between Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood. It’s a programmer’s question and answer site. Probably the best description I’ve heard is

It’s Expert’s Exchange without the suck.

Anyone can ask a programming-related question, and normally an answer will be posted within a few minutes – that’s how active the user community is. It’s likely that there will be a number of answers for any given question, and the asker can select their ‘best’ answer.

If you register on the site (using OpenID) you will collect ‘reputation’ or ‘karma’ points and ‘medals’ as you use the site. Anyone (above a small threshold of karma) can vote both questions and answers up or down, so in theory the best answer should find its way to the top of the list.

Stackoverflow.com has been around for several months now and is proving to be an invaluable resource. Googling for almost any programming-related question will probably get a result on stackoverflow.com.

Just this week serverfault.com has come out of private beta. This is very similar to stackoverflow.com, except that the focus is server, network and system administration rather than programming. Of course, there is a fair overlap between the two sites in terms of users.

You may also be interested in the weekly podcast by Jeff and Joel, which is always worth a listen.

I can heartily recommend both sites – obviously it depends on your focus as to which (if either) will be useful to you.

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