What is preferred and more valuable for the SO community when I find an answer to my own question?

Should I wait with my answer (even when I know it is 100% correct and to the point) to give others a chance to earn some reputation points, or should I just post an answer straight away?

My main concerns are:

  1. Not to give users a feeling that the question has been asked for 'autopromotion' purposes when author already knows the answer upfront.

  2. Find a balance between motiving / inviting others to collaborate with valuable answers and sharing the knowledge immediately.

  • Related badge: Self-Learner Sep 20 '12 at 11:06
  • 4
    I don't consider this a duplicate because this question is only asking about whether to delay posting the self-answer, not whether to post the self-answer at all (or whether to delete the question, or whether it's okay to accept a self-answer, or any of the other questions previously asked about self-answers).
    – Pops
    Sep 20 '12 at 14:27
  • @Pops (Almost 10 years later...) I'd have to disagree that it's not a duplicate (ouch, double negative), because the other question was asking about the checkbox on the question page for simultaneously answering your own question. I'd have to say that it pretty strongly implies it's OK to answer your own question immediately, when you can [indicate your intention to] do so even before you've posted the question!
    – FeRD
    Aug 31 at 19:07

Just post your answer. Stack Overflow is about finding those answers, and your answer can help others just as much.

If someone else posts a better answer later on, the community will vote accordingly anyway, and you will have gained a better solution.


This happened to me recently.

What I did and what happened :

  • I posted my answer, even while it wasn't 100% perfect
  • I didn't accept it, adding that I was waiting for other answers
  • 2 weeks later (it's a somewhat closed field), somebody else answered
  • After some time due to validation (and holidays...), I accepted this new answer
  • I let my answer which is still valid

I think this is the best outcome for everybody, especially for people having the same problem later.


Like Martjin, I think you sould not wait, especially if you have the intuition that you are no so far of the answer. I did that just this week : Is there a good way to represent file structure in a question/answer?

Obviously, 2 answers were more suitable than mine, but no matter. A least, you will know what is the best way to achieve want you wanted to.

  • I meant - when I sure that my anser is 100% correct and to the point. I will edit the question.
    – Lukasz
    Sep 20 '12 at 11:35
  • hmmm it may be confusing, when you read the post a few time after, even if it's well edited. But, there's nothing more important than share knowledge on SO. Just write you question, and put your own answer. This may be useful for someone in the future. Sep 20 '12 at 11:38

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