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Require users to earn some minimum rep before asking questions

Ive griped about this before but I'd like to perhaps be constructive:

We have perhaps millions at the time of reading this, developers on Stack Overflow, there's no shortage of discourse. I STRONGLY believe that a lot people (or most likely companies somewhere with perhaps struggling under-qualified employees) have a tonne of SO accounts which they burn down to get free (oh yeah sorry, 'points' of course) help with dev problems.

Its really not positive for the community. Personally I always make sure I answer more than I ask and do my best to try before asking anything, I believe this is the benchmark for making this place better for the community benefit.

Any good developer knows that being here will benefit them, is it time to implement a: "Answer before you ask" policy?

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    How can anyone learn if they start with answers? – simchona Jul 5 '12 at 23:04
  • " I STRONGLY believe that a lot people (or most likely companies somewhere with perhaps struggling under-qualified employees)..." do you have proof? – simchona Jul 5 '12 at 23:05
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  • i didnt want to say it but about 3 weeks ago i met a css guy who i asked if he was on SO and what his id was, he said he just made a new acct when hed run out... i felt sick – Alex Jul 5 '12 at 23:08
  • @alex then flag him for sock puppeting. – simchona Jul 5 '12 at 23:10
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    It doesn't matter HOW STRONGLY you emphasize how much you believe something. Provide evidence, and someone else may actually believe it. – Nicol Bolas Jul 5 '12 at 23:12
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    You're not practicing what you preach by the way. In some of your accounts questions outnumber answers. – simchona Jul 5 '12 at 23:13
  • @simchona yes i agree with your point but i feel that ive been a net benefit, i know i'm not up there wih the stars but the accounts you mention it was because of bounty giveaway – Alex Jul 5 '12 at 23:16
  • I'm sure what you describe happens on a daily basis. But that's the risk you take when helping people on the net. If you don't feel comfortable helping someone who may be using SO as a free support resource instead of a place of learning, don't answer questions on Stack Overflow (or look very closely at the OP before answering). It's the same problem Open Source has - if you give away your work for free, there's a risk undeserving or even evil people will benefit from it. If you don't want to take that risk, don't release your work. – Pekka Jul 5 '12 at 23:17
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    Why are you an exception to your own rule? What makes you better than those "under qualified" devs? – simchona Jul 5 '12 at 23:17
  • ok i'll delete the question but my point is that i feel like i might as well be running up gmail accounts here to get free work done if i feel that this is whats going on... – Alex Jul 5 '12 at 23:18
  • @alex if you keep deleting you won't be able to ask more soon. – simchona Jul 5 '12 at 23:19
  • @simchona theres no difference between me and some account thats signed up, asked a few basic questions, abused rules and then gone dormant except that i would like to think that on the whole ive been helpful, both for the context and ubiquity of my questions and the precision of my answers. Again, i'm no hero here but i believe that theres no other developer community like this and there never has been (90s irc, early 2000s listservers, mid 2000s forums combined). There should at least be an offering given in order to recieve, SO is beyond the point of trying to gain critical mass – Alex Jul 5 '12 at 23:38
  1. The word 'Win' reminds me of a certain occasional contributor here who managed to alienate pretty nearly everyone in sight. I recommend against that formulation.

  2. If you don't want to answer questions from people who have never contributed answers, you don't have to. Please don't try to impose that view on others.

  3. There is no number 3.

But you might be number 6.

  • thanks for the response i guess, its just infuriating to see 'heres some code, got problem with not doing x please do' kind of questions, i love answering but only if i feel like someones genuinely tried – Alex Jul 5 '12 at 23:14
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    @Alex: Then don't answer them. If you don't feel like answering a question, don't. But don't impose your values on someone else; if they want to answer it, and it is a legitimate question, let them. – Nicol Bolas Jul 5 '12 at 23:15
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    @alex I'm not sure I see how poor question quality links to providing an answer before asking any questions – simchona Jul 5 '12 at 23:15

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