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I've been trying to be active here for a few months now but I noticed that after posting questions I'm much more likely to contemplate solutions, delve into various subjects, sometimes even get distracted when trying to solve a problem or just simply decide on the best solution. Sometimes I spend days deciding on the next way to go forward with something. Fortunately I am currently in a position where I can afford to spend so much additional time, when I could do the things much faster.

I guess I was too into code generators and copy-pasting sample code, and I spent too little time actually thinking about good programming.

I've noticed this pattern for a while now. I can't decide if it is a bad thing or good thing, though it does seem like a good thing because all in all I think my code pieces get better.

What do you think about it?

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migrated from Feb 13 '10 at 23:45

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Take it to – Carl Norum Feb 13 '10 at 23:43
Duplicate?:, "How does SO affect our productivity?" – Peter Mortensen Feb 14 '10 at 1:15

After you started using SO, has your overall productivity fell or risen?


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To be very honest: It has fallen slightly. (I have spent a lot of time here since I signed up in October, as I've been working and online very, very much of my time.) You turn to SO in the spans in between work, and sometimes you hang on a bit longer to get an answer right, to read an interesting question or to change wording. But I have learned a bunch of really, really important things. I look at my own code in a new way, and I use better practices, many of which I knew about, but not always followed. I put that at least partly down to the constant exposure to SO, and the fact that any error or bad coding practice in an answer is found out and pointed out within minutes. It's not peer programming, but it feels a bit like it.

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+1 for honesty. If (lines of code) * (quality) is how you measure productivity, then mine has risen. – Bill the Lizard Feb 14 '10 at 0:09

From a time perspective mine has dropped significantly. I spend a considerable amount of time on SU, however it has kept me away from SO and SF.

As far as the quality of my work is concerned it has definitely improved. I am currently busy with a new project in MVC and the amount of information I have been able to retrieve from SO has improved the quality and the time I spend writing code. So I would say from a productivity perspective I do get more done in less time overall.

I am addicted though. Something I am trying to change.

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I can only answer for SuperUser and not any others, I would say it is a mixture!

Some times, I do feel like I am spending a lot more time than I should on the site, but, without it - I would probably feel a bit depressed - I am self employed and apart from working on larger projects when I take on contract workers, I am generally on my own and it is very boring!

Answering questions is great, reputation doesn't mean that much - but when people say thank you in comments or you get the feeling that you are helping someone with a problem - it is a great feeling and the sacrifice of a few minutes here or there is worth it!

Generally I would say productivity is up. If I am stuck on a problem, just finished a phone call or similar, SuperUser gives me the few minutes of peace I need before going back to the problem - and I feel like I work better straight after having a few minutes off.

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