I just thought, that it might be useful to have a feature so that the asker could somehow indicate his/her level of skill in the area. So that people could easier filter questions if, say, they don't want to see beginners' questions. Just a thought.

  • You could show tag badges of the OP on the question somewhere perhaps, but a) tag badges indicate the product of volume and votes, not expertise so much as interest and helpfulness and b) even if you did use that I'm not sold on the idea it would actually be particularly helpful – Flexo Sep 26 '12 at 21:54
  • Something like meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3811/… ? I don't like it – ajax333221 Sep 27 '12 at 2:44

I wonder how many people on StackOverflow could accurately gauge their own level of expertise. Especially those asking a lot of questions. A few years ago I was interviewing people for a junior SQL Server DBA position and I had people saying they were 4/10 when they were a 9, 9/10 when they were a 2, and everything in between. I told one person who said they were 8/10 to take SQL Server off their resume. Literally.

I think it would be very hard to come up with some scale that would be applied consistently enough to be meaningful. As an answerer, it should be easy enough for you to look at a question and decide whether or not you want to answer it, regardless of what skill level the OP thinks they are.

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    Take a look at the Dunning-Kruger effect. People fundamentally under or overestimate their abilities as a function of their actual abilities: low skill-levels means they usually overestimate, highly skilled people usually underestimate. – Martijn Pieters Sep 26 '12 at 21:50
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    I am very much pro 10/10 with the SQL Server I have found many ways to use Cursor instead of WHERE clause, you pay me big monies? – Ben Brocka Sep 26 '12 at 21:50
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    @Ben make them while loops and you got yourself a deal. – Aaron Bertrand Sep 26 '12 at 21:53
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    I hate those places that make you estimate your skills - underestimate and some moron with a bigger number might look more attractive on paper (or searching). Overestimate and you'll look like a fool later on. There's no way to win. – Flexo Sep 26 '12 at 21:57
  • @Flexo I don't ask for those numbers to compare one candidate to another. I ask to see how the user self-assesses, how accurate they are, and how many layers of the onion I should try to peel. And I give them as much feedback about that number as I possibly can. – Aaron Bertrand Sep 26 '12 at 21:58
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    @Flexo - This also tells you if the person is a cocky, know-it-all bozo who will walk in the door and crash the production servers because he/she thinks he/she knows what he/she is doing. I'd rather have someone more cautious who underestimates his/her skillset than some idiot who thinks he/she is God's gift to programming. :) Hope this helps see the point of self-ratings in interviews. – jmort253 Sep 26 '12 at 23:25
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    *Quietly removes "90% familiar with SQL Server" from resume* – user200500 Jun 19 '13 at 3:40

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