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Does high reputation mean more experience in programming?

Reputation can be a measure of:

  • How long you've been using the site.
  • How good you are at gathering reputation

I can't see a big number as being any more indication that the users answer could be correct.

Take for example if I give a well meaning but incorrect/misguided answer to a question. If I recieve 2 upvotes and 6 downvotes I've made a net profit of +4 rep.

So users who give harmful answers can be thought reputable.

Or the joke questions again. If someone hits the rep cap on a joke question will that person really be more trusted?

Discuss please.

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marked as duplicate by ben is uǝq backwards, Toon Krijthe, Lorem Ipsum, Some Helpful Commenter, Bart Nov 15 '12 at 21:27

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Reputation ~ amount of time you've spent. – Mysticial Nov 15 '12 at 19:47
I know that the words aren't the same but the explanation of what rep is will be. <the sell> This should be closed as a dupe because otherwise "Is reputation a measure of [pick something] are all not duplicates </the sell> – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 15 '12 at 19:57
Rep alone is not a sufficient metric to deduce a persons knowledge, trustworthiness, influence, etc. I believe this has been discusses many many times before on meta. – Shawn Chin Nov 15 '12 at 19:58
In my opinion it's same question as "Is money measure of how good the person is?". – Shadow Wizard Nov 15 '12 at 20:14
not according to the faq @ShaWizDowArd and it's probably not that bad I hope – Wes Nov 15 '12 at 20:16
@Wes what faq? What do you mean? – Shadow Wizard Nov 15 '12 at 20:17
1 – Wes Nov 15 '12 at 20:19
It says "Reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you". It does not say "Reputation is a rough measurement of how good and correct are your posts" so no, I don't think it's misleading. – Shadow Wizard Nov 15 '12 at 20:30
it's too hard to loose too even this question has an upvote which severely limits the damage that should be done by suggesting something harmful. or would do if this wasn't meta. – Wes Nov 15 '12 at 20:35
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Off the bat, I have nothing against the joke question, this is more to disagree with those pretending reputation doesn't exist.

These users need to stop kidding themselves.

Reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you;

Reputation is important within the scope of Stack Overflow. Whether that may be through

  • points
  • famous name in Microsoft, XYZ company
  • $$$

It's important. Whoever says otherwise is fooling themselves. You know why?

Because the great deletion wars, reputation debates and historical locks would never have had to happen.

Guess what is one number you are bound to find on most pages?

That's right! Your reputation.

What's the default ordering of the user page?


If I had the power to take away 10,000 rep from each user setting them back past the unpassable 1 rep barrier, they will notice, they will uproar.

So to answer your question, yes they will be trusted, because no one will remember who asked that joke question, you will see their name on a next question and think... oh they have a lot of reputation! You go to their profile and see their language specific badge points are high! Are you going to dig through each and every question to be sure the user didn't gain the point from a joke question?


The majority of SO users don't sit down and ponder

  • how much experience a user has
  • where they got their education
  • what other languages they know
  • whether they only answer low hanging fruit questions

This is the flaw that SO throws under the rug and pretends like 4 out of 5 new users don't believe reputation has a measure

The cake is a lie

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The cake is a lie? Can you explain that one to me? – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 15 '12 at 20:22
@Ben It's a reference to the game Portal. – nickb Nov 15 '12 at 20:33
What's this about an unpassable 1 rep barrier? – Justin Morgan Nov 15 '12 at 21:21
@TheGuyWhoDisagreesWithYou, you can't go below 1 rep, no matter how much you get downvoted. – ben is uǝq backwards Nov 15 '12 at 23:11

Generally speaking from experience, higher rep users tend to give better quality answers.

Sure, some people can theoretically grind rep without being good answerers, but having higher reputation is normally a good indicator.

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Not always. But most of the time, high rep users have more experience with the site, so they (hopefully) know how to give a good answer. But if you want a measure of experience you better look at the upvotes for the specific tag. – Toon Krijthe Nov 15 '12 at 19:59

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