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Will high reputation in Stack Overflow help to get a good job?

In reference to this question, do you think that having a high reputation on this site will help to get a good job?

Aside silly and humorous questions, on Programmers we can see a lot of high quality theory questions. I think that, if Stack Overflow will eventually evolve in "strictly programming related" (which usually is "strictly coding related"), the questions on Programmers will be much more interesting and meaningful ("Stack Overflow" = "I have this specific coding/implementation issue"; "Programmers" = "Best practices, team shaping, paradigms, CS theory").

So could high reputation on this site help (or at least be a good reference)? And then, more o less than Stack Overflow?

  • 4
    Keep in mind that Joel built a business around a product called "Wasabi," a language that is essentially a VBA clone with additional features. His approach to the software business (and, I suspect, to hiring practices) is not exactly orthodox. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 19:47
  • 6
    Hasn't this been asked several times already?
    – Henry
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 19:48
  • @Robert: but Joel is not the one and only employer... So my question is much more general. I think that a high reputation on Programmer might mean a high competence in design, best practices, paradigms, methodologies and so on.
    – Wizard79
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 19:51
  • @Henry: can you provide links to the duplicate questions?
    – Wizard79
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 19:52
  • 3
    @drachen: The point of CW is collaborative knowledge, not to bypass rep gain.
    – Josh K
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 20:13

8 Answers 8


I think SO rep would be better for getting you a great coding job.

Programmers rep more accurately reflects your ability to impress people with subjective BS. Therefore, programmers rep will be better for getting you a job in management. ;)

  • 4
    Disagree but LOL :-)
    – Wizard79
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 19:46
  • 4
    No, the mentors are here.
    – user1249
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 19:53
  • 19
    No, a high Programmers rep means you're good at transferring knowledge, which is a very valuable skill.
    – Josh K
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 19:55
  • 5
    I think the upvotes on this answer proves your point. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 21:13
  • 1
    MY current "dream" job I got with 0 degrees, no hs diploma, and several years experience plus a review of my SO Answers, not that I've used Programmers Stack site much anyway, but I have to agree here. The last job I had was Government, they too review my SO Answers. Many more employers are becoming well aware of SO and hiring more based on it than "degrees" or other site/forum interest. Or so the my case has been for the last 2 years
    – SpYk3HH
    Commented May 24, 2013 at 14:38

We only have two users with five-digit reputations on this site, but one of them has definitely built a reputation with his answers about agile, team management, and automated testing.

If he is approached by someone about a consulting opportunity in any of the above areas, that will sure not be a surprise.

  • [wrong country]
    – user2567
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 23:16
  • @Pierre: Wrong country? Come on! I know someone from it, but he lives in Canada now, but he was an agile coach and consultant before he moved (I think). Also, there's one globally well-known agilist from Gent... You probably know/have met him.
    – azheglov
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 16:55
  • 1
    Of course, if I have that opportunity one day, I will just.... TAKE IT!
    – user2567
    Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 17:03



You have >1k rep on Programmers.SE? Great for you!


I think many of the arguments given on the other question would also apply here, except applied to design and best practices as opposed to coding.

Maybe Joel should look for programmers on Stack Overflow, and managers and architects here.


The Programmer's SE, as its FAQ says, is "for expert programmers who are interested in conceptual questions on software development."

Stack Overflow accomplishes a different, needed function -- troubleshooting source code, algorithms, and tools (SO FAQ). As others have noted, a high Stack Overflow reputation may or may not aid in getting a good job. Joel Spolsky certainly thinks so, but others disagree. I would say that even the highest rated Stack Overflow questions tend to have somewhat rote answers. They are relatively easy to rattle off one's memory, if you know the answer, or look up in a book. For most problems of that sort, there is a simple technological reason, easily communicated, why it is thus.

In the real world, programming occurs on a team of people for whom it is most of the time hard to escape being subjective. Some of the questions are managerial, but many are not. Adopting "new" methodologies, like automated unit testing and code reviews can be hard. Having a CS degree but not feeling like you know how to program is a real issue. Rising above the subjective nature of these questions and providing useful guidance is a challenge.

Communication is a vital aspect that sets apart intelligent life forms from unintelligent life forms. Communicating persuasively and objectively in the presence of subjectivity and strongly held opinions is a test of intelligence (and also humility and tact) that is useful to an employer.

Borrowing from the title of Joel Spolsky's helpful book, Smart and Gets Things Done, perhaps Programmer's SE measures the Smart and Stack Overflow measures the and Gets Things Done.


do you think that having a high reputation on this site will help to get a good job?

Maybe in the future, but right now it seems to have very little relevance.


It will not get you a good job (assuming in programming here), but then neither will having a degree. What matters most is knowledge and experience in the field. Social sites aren't going to get you the job, they might make a difference in a tie-breaker kind of situation.


Caveat: It may depend on your posts, not just your reputation. If you have differing views to the majority, it could hurt you if a potential co-worker or manager sees your posting history and thinks "This guy doesn't like X, and we use X a lot. No hire."

EDIT: Or, worse, if you post something that disagrees with a decision at work and someone from your company finds it; you might find yourself fired because of StackExchange

  • Would you voluntarily go for a job where you had to use X a lot?
    – user1249
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 6:14

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