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While this is half tongue in cheek, this website and community may end up being the premier site that over half the world's programmers regularly attend - especially if Jeff and Joel create localized versions (with automatic translation, please).

The rep doesn't have a 1:1 correlation with experience, ability, etc. It does strongly hint at the ability to quickly comprehend and answer a variety of questions (check out the top 25 - few of them strongly specialize in any one type of question or answer). It also strongly hints at an obsession and perhaps spending more time on this site than working, but there may be a balance point with optimal rep - enough to indicate expertise, not so much to indicate wasted time.

At some point Stackoverflow may hit a critical mass where hiring managers will understand and use it as a hiring resource - checking out not only one's rep, but the types of answers and questions the potential hire posts, and seeing how their peers respond to them (comments, votes, etc).

I can't see what the tipping point would be though, assuming it exists in the future.

  • At what point would you seriously consider adding a link to your SO user page in your resume?
  • At what point would you seriously consider putting your rep number on the resume itself? (before you say never, first imagine a world where this is commonplace, and then work backwards to see what drastic, unimaginable changes would have to occur before you felt it was useful)
  • If you knew your future employer is going to be looking at your questions and answers, would you review them in advance and consider closing/deleting/modifying anything?
  • Ancillary - Reputation represents time, and time can also be represented by money. At what point will we see financial transactions involving rep? This certainly would happen before rep became a resume option.
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migrated from Jul 29 '10 at 15:20

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Of course, as soon as I read this, I had to go check to make sure I was in the top 25. Phew! Just made it. – Paul Tomblin Jan 8 '09 at 15:45
I think Jon Skeet's rep # would be the least impressive thing on his resume. Not to call him out specifically; he's just the "top 25er" I'm most familiar with. – Robert S. Jan 8 '09 at 15:57
I think you need to remember that reputation number is a highly abitrary and subjective value. – icelava Jan 8 '09 at 15:58
I especially like HermanD's point that rep can indicate a genuine interest in and love of programming - passion for it. Sometimes it's hard to discern programmers who love it from those who say they love it. – Adam Davis Jan 8 '09 at 16:04
Yeah, but the passion for programming can be better shown by mentioning the programming you do when you're done with work for the night. – Paul Tomblin Jan 8 '09 at 16:06
Yes, that is a better indicator of programming passion, but it's becoming more commonplace for career oriented programmers to work a little on open source projects just to appear as passionate about programming as their peers. Rep isn't perfect, it's merely another indicator. – Adam Davis Jan 8 '09 at 16:16
A related (although more general) question is "Is Stack Overflow Reputation Marketable?" – amdfan Jan 8 '09 at 16:28
Just another vague ego boost. – Robert S. Jan 8 '09 at 19:42
Is this the definition of being desperate? – Seventh Element Feb 6 '09 at 7:30
Just the musings of a weirdo. While the answers here are interesting no one took the challenge of the second question "Imagine a world where this was common..." It certainly doesn't matter, but as with any system of accounting there is some value in considering future usage of the value. – Adam Davis Feb 6 '09 at 14:28
This is a joke right? LOL! I can't believe you got me – Greg Mar 26 '09 at 13:39

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