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I am the lead developer of a small, but growing iOS development team within a larger company.

We are spread out across the globe, and although we are more than willing to help each other out, meetings and daylight cycles makes it hard for us to be online and working at the same time.

I was contemplating working in use of StackOverflow when encountering an error regarding Objective-C issues. Without any use of internal lingo like "Nils gave me the files from John, what is the password for opening X, ect..." but clean programming problems.

One a dev has posted the issue, he posts a link to the SO stack into a internal app i will design for this, spreading the links to others.

This would reduce the potential answering time, since someone outside our company probably can answer the question faster and sometimes better, plus it will open up for debates regarding the best use of different functions.

But it will result in a "clique" within SO that frequently will answer, approve and up-vote each others stacks, and I am forced to add to the plan that the devs should focus on the company stacks during work hours, so they don't get to distracted answering other devs problems (unless the spare time can be found).

Is this against any of the SO rules ? (written or unwritten, so to speak) And would anyone consider this a bad idea ?

I haven't instated this yet, was hoping to get some opinions from more experienced users from the SO community, hence this post.

We will of course continue to contribute individually when we are off work, at least that is my hope.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

So long as the questions and answers are good and relevant to others, I don't see a problem with this. The normal voting will take care of any bad and irrelevant posts, and if the information will help others, all the better.

As you noted, however, there is a chance that you will be seen as sock puppets - that really will end up depending on how much voting occurs within the small "ring".

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first sentence is extremely important. They must be valid questions to the world not just your office. – Jeff Atwood Jan 4 '12 at 13:06
Indeed, I could see a situation where two team members develop a kind of mentor-student relationship and one often accepts/upvotes answers from the other. Definitely tread carefully. – David Jan 4 '12 at 13:06
Yes, it's that grey area that made me post this stack. I will of course not ask our employees to "always upvote" but I think regardless of the community spirit that the link between the leaddevs and the devs will always be felt.. – Nils Munch Jan 4 '12 at 13:10
The second part is a very valid warning. On several occasions, I've had to contact more than several people working for the same outfit to discuss abnormal voting patterns. If a post is well written and useful, it probably won't alert our community to tip us off that odd voting might be going on. Always make sure to up vote on a level scale based on the merits of the post, not your relationship with the author .. and you should be fine. If a really stinky answer gets a lot of up votes, we're going to look. – Tim Post Jan 4 '12 at 13:19

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