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I might want to answer my own question because:

  • I arrived at a solution before there were any other correct answers or I like mine better, can I still answer my own question?

  • I have a folder with lists of code snippets for things I always forget or get wrong, such as regular expressions for processing XML, common WinForms control idioms, etc.

    Is it considered poor etiquette for Stack Overflow to ask a question I already know the answer to, and then self answer, just so it gets recorded on the website?

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For more information, see "Can I answer my own question?" in the Help Center.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 25 '09 at 18:04

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1  
The "See also" link should point to the new location, here on Meta. <meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12513/…; –  Paul Wagland Jan 21 '10 at 21:43
    
Rather than minimum rep, there should be a minimum time to let others post their answers. –  Kris Dec 15 '11 at 11:13
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I get criticized for doing this, and many people avoid upvoting. Others have received down votes for doing this. It would be nice if there was something in the SO question that made it obvious that this is acceptable and encouraged behavior as opposed to bad etiquette. I almost always solve my own programming problems, and sometimes I think the information would be useful to the community. I am partly doing it for the upvotes - that's what the gamefication of Q&A is all about. –  Keith Walton Jan 5 '12 at 17:25
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@KeithWalton I regularly post question and answer pairs and frequently find it the case as you reported that people vote it down or close the question. One Q&A pair I posted was actually closed as "self promoting" because I actually published an open source tool in order to answer the question "does a tool exist to do xxx?" –  glenviewjeff Mar 12 '12 at 13:34
    
I think that the best way to decide whether it is suitable to post it is to think "If I didn't know the answer to this, would I post it on stackoverflow" –  matts1 Jul 4 '13 at 12:19

3 Answers 3

up vote 153 down vote accepted

Yes!

There are already numerous posts that answer their own questions. There's nothing wrong with it. It's even encouraged.

It's likely that others have the question for which you have the answer but can't find it anywhere, so post away! You can even accept your own answer (but not earlier than 48 hours after asking the question).

The only restriction is placed on new users with less than 100 reputation; they are not able to do so for the first 8 hours after asking the question. No such restriction exists if you have more than 100 reputation.

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This is a relief, my latest post on SO has many useful comments and I am getting close to solving the problem. –  user222137 Jun 9 '13 at 2:25

This is a thin line. On one side, Jeff is quite clear: If it's helpful to at least one other developer, it should be here. It also creates good Content, and Content is the #1 priority for a site.

On the other hand, "spamming" the site and turning it into just another Code Snippet site is what some users (including me) do not seem to want.

As this is essentially a Question/Answer site, I personally would not object seeing a code snippet as long as there is a Use Case assigned to it. i.e. "This is a codeSnippet for creating a .ddf file, which is used by Sharepoint Developers to create Features/Solutions".

I'd say: Just ask yourself "Is this really useful to a lot of people?" and try to keep a balance.

Edit: Also keep in mind that other people may look at your snippet and tell you better ways to improve it. That's why a use Case is so important. if people know what this snippet is used for, they can help making it better/more versatile/more efficient etc.

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+1: for emphasis on the use case as a way to found a better solution. –  Loda Mar 21 at 9:19

I am currently adding a question for anything I have to Google for, on the assumption that other people will probably have the same need one day. What sold me on the idea of stackoverflow was that the knowledge would be maintained and looked after by many people; so a good answer found on stackoverflow really should be something you can count on. It takes the russian roulette out of accepting things you find on a google search.

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