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Is Stack Overflow a proper place to earn reputation for a good job? I look through the questions and it seems to me that we have a lot of artificial questions that were asked by people who actually know the answer.

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how much reputation do you need to buy a good job? what can i get for 386 rep? –  quack quixote Mar 14 '10 at 5:43
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i'm wondering about your "artificial questions" note. i don't think SOFU has ever declared "not knowing the answer" a requirement for posting a question. –  quack quixote Mar 14 '10 at 10:33

2 Answers 2

I would say that SO isn't a good place if your main motivation is to get reputation to get a good job. The motivation should be helping people - and it's pretty obvious when that isn't the case (IMO). Having said that, between SO and SO Careers, it can certainly be a benefit when looking for a new job.

Personally I haven't seen much in the way of clearly artificial questions - could you give examples?

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Put some to this thread afterwards –  Artic Mar 13 '10 at 18:53
    
A lot of questions is without selected answers. –  Artic Mar 13 '10 at 18:55
    
    
    
@Artic that is probably not down to the questions being "artificial", but askers simply not accepting an answer. I don't think this is representative of the question base on SO in general. –  Pëkka Mar 13 '10 at 19:00
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This questions is always looks clever and popular and easy to google –  Artic Mar 13 '10 at 19:01
    
@Artic well, they are badly worded questions but not the worst I've seen. They are not a pleasant phenomenon, but thanks to the immense numbers of visitors even they usually draw usable answers, which took some time for me to get used to. There is no obligation to answer poorly worded questions. What exactly is your problem with them? –  Pëkka Mar 13 '10 at 19:13
    
@Pekka: Do you have any evidence that those questions are being used to effectively farm reputation? –  Jon Skeet Mar 13 '10 at 19:27
    
@Jon I am not saying those questions are being used to farm reputation, am I? @Artic is. –  Pëkka Mar 13 '10 at 19:52
    
@Pekka: Sorry, that was meant to be to Artic to start with. Doh. –  Jon Skeet Mar 13 '10 at 20:08
    
@Jon thought so, no problem. –  Pëkka Mar 13 '10 at 20:11
    
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@Artic SO is by definition the proper place for both. High-level questions are mixed with total newbie ones, which is one of the things that makes it so nice IMO. If you feel the presence of questions like the ones you link to could tarnish your reputation, then maybe SO is not the place for you. Because those questions will keep on coming. :) By the way, I just noted that the one downvote on that question you link to is mine. –  Pëkka Mar 14 '10 at 12:26
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@Artic, please note that you're still commenting to Jon's answer. (And please give Stack Overflow et al a bit more than three days to get used to.) –  Arjan Mar 14 '10 at 13:53
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@Arjan I think our squatting in Jon's answer is already so beyond the pale that we may just as well finish the discussion in here :) I second your second point though. –  Pëkka Mar 14 '10 at 15:15

If you start participating on SO with the goal of earning reputation to get a job, you will probably get frustrated quickly. Gaining reputation is often an arbitrary process, and a sole focus on rep will usually result in some kind of negative feedback from the community. Plus, it's entirely possible that your SO reputation will be shrugged upon when trying to get a job, simply because people don't know the site or don't value it.

But if you participate on SO out of interest for your area of expertise, to converse with fellow developers, or to stay up to date in your technology, and if you bring along solid knowledge in your field, your participation will very likely, over some time, amount to a track record (including reputation points) that can be beneficial when looking for a job. It may even land you a job when you are especially active in a field, and point out to be looking for work in your profile - you never know.

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