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How did Stack Overflow get started? How did the Stack Overflow operators get so many experts to participate during the initial stage?

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migrated from Aug 23 '10 at 17:23

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

Listen to the podcast (starting with episode 1).

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Where do we find that podcast? – Iznogood Aug 23 '10 at 17:28
1 (see link at bottom of page) – Shane Aug 23 '10 at 17:28
@Shane hey thanks! – Iznogood Aug 23 '10 at 17:33
How sad. I listened to 1 minutes and with the dumb jokes and everything just could not support it longuer. I hate podcasts. – Iznogood Aug 23 '10 at 17:36
@iznogood podcast 1 is a bit shaky as it was the first. Try sampling some slightly later ones. – Jeff Atwood Aug 23 '10 at 22:00
@Jeff Will do. I admit I overreacted yesterday. – Iznogood Aug 24 '10 at 16:29
The full list of the 87 podcasts, including the first 7 can found at – Peter Mortensen Sep 1 '10 at 8:21

How did the Stack Overflow operators get so many experts to participate during the initial stage?

The two founders, Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, both had software development blogs with a huge following, Coding Horror and Joel on Software, respectively. This allowed seeding Stack Overflow with a lot of users.

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Good answer, but it leaves out what I suspect is a critical distinction: those audiences allowed seeding SO with a lot of good users. – Pops Sep 29 '11 at 18:41

How did Stack Overflow get started?

I don't know how accurate this account is, but the blog post Stack Overflow: Social Networking for Practicing Programmers includes ("..." indicates text I have left out):

"Atwood ... says that the inspiration for the question and answer site began when he read Steve McConnell's Code Complete: a Practical Handbook of Software Construction. ... Inspired by McConnell's ideas, Atwood began a blog dedicated to how programmers could become better at their work that he called Coding Horror. ...

Maintaining Coding Horror soon turned into a full-time job, and Atwood started to wonder what to do next. "What appealed to me most was advancing the craft in some small way," he says, so he thought of launching another developer-centered site.

Asking around for advice, he consulted Joel Spolsky, another prominent developer turned blogger, who suggested the idea for a question and answer site. ... Part of the inspiration came out of the wide-spread dislike of a similar site called Experts Exchange ... As a result, Stack Overflow went into private beta in August 2008"

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