In a post, Joel Spolsky mentioned that 5 digit Stack Overflow reputation can help you to earn a job paying $100k+. How much of that is real?

Would anyone like to share their success in getting a high paid job by virtue of their reputations on Stack Exchange sites?

I read somewhere that, a person got an interview offer from Google because a recruiter found his Stack Overflow reputation to be impressive. Anyone else with similar stories?

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    That's anecdotal evidence as user8149 has also demonstrated. If there isn't statistical evidence or actual case studies, it isn't reliable. – Gio Borje Nov 21 '10 at 18:21
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    I would upvote this 1000x if I could. Was thinking exactely the same :-). – Oliver Weiler Nov 21 '10 at 19:39
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    $100K in NYC is $25K in Chattanooga, TN. – Steven A. Lowe Nov 22 '10 at 2:08
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    If I were in position to hire, then I would like to read someone's questions and answers on SO, but would still need a face check and an interview. Salary is determined by many factors. – Job Nov 22 '10 at 3:42
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    I'm going to go out on a very secure limb and say in my personal experience, yes. – Marc Gravell Nov 22 '10 at 7:44

33 Answers 33


IMHO: Depends on what Q&A's you contributed on SO to earn a 5-digit rep. If the Q&A's that earned you a 5-digit rep are related to a jobs requirements which is in high demand, then most likely it will help you get the $100K+ job, but its just one of many factors (technical know-how and problem-solving) but what about the rest of the ingridients that go into being hired?


High reputation on SO might get you into the hiring process, might even give you small bonus, but that's it. In my experience, actually gives you less, than let's say participation in groups on LinkedIn (note, that there is no reputation system there).

The problem with SO rep is, that it does not necessarily reflect much. There are few types of very high scoring answers, that have nothing to do with actual skills:

  • obvious answer to obvious question posted few seconds faster, then 10 other identical answers;
  • popular answer to argumentative question, which should be community wiki, but was posted by a newbie;
  • c'n'p answers to duplicate questions;
  • sarcastic answers to really stupid questions;

Thus just the number without actually looking at the answers is meaningless.


John skeet got a job in Google as well, he has a good score on Stack Overflow.

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    Person A got a good job, Person A has a high reputation. Correlation does not imply causation. – Josh K Nov 21 '10 at 18:02
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    This isn't an example, this is correlation. I got an amazing job at Facebook making $200k / yr and I happen to smoke 4 packs a day. Did I get the job due to my smoking habits? Probably not. – Josh K Nov 21 '10 at 18:05
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    I believe that he was hired by Google before StackOverflow opened. – user1249 Nov 21 '10 at 18:20
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    @James: Causation would be "I got an email from Google who mentioned they found me browsing high reputation users on StackOverflow." – Josh K Nov 21 '10 at 18:28
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    @Josh, even better would be a framed thank-you notice from Larry and Sergey to Joel and Jeff for creating StackOverflow . – user1249 Nov 21 '10 at 19:59

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