From "6 Simple Tips to Get Stackoverflow Reputation Fast" at codexon.com:

  1. Be the First to Answer. Even at the cost of quality.

  2. Use Downvotes and Comments Strategically

  3. Use obnoxious in-your-face formatting and lists.

  4. Be Aware of the 200 rep/day Limit

  5. Edit, But Don’t Edit Too Much

  6. Associate your other accounts

Courtesy of our pal codexon. Agree? Disagree? Walnuts? Cantaloupe?

  • 258
    How in the world do you downvote strategically...? Oct 18, 2012 at 15:05
  • 138
    By downvoting other answerers who are competing with your answer. If you do that when you would not have done (had you not answered the question), then that is strategic.
    – Phil H
    Oct 31, 2012 at 11:35
  • 71
    More importantly, down voting answers costs you rep. So using too frequently isn't going to help your score. Jan 21, 2013 at 13:19
  • 109
    Where is the part about using jQuery for the answer?! May 31, 2013 at 1:17
  • 25
    You could always just ask a ridiculous number of questions... meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1326/…
    – apaul
    May 31, 2013 at 5:54
  • 104
    I'm kind of appalled at the existence of this post...
    – jpmc26
    Jul 15, 2013 at 7:21
  • 207
    downvoting only for the sake of for personal rep gain. Now that is anti-community.
    – Tanvimil
    Aug 17, 2013 at 9:58
  • 15
    ALSO Dont Comment on a post which is voted down I mean under 0, It will make them think that you were the downvoter .....
    – UltraDEVV
    Sep 25, 2014 at 16:42
  • 4
    What about: Provide copy and paste solutions to simple, everyday problems in enterprise languages, especially Java [and now Swift]?
    – Carl Smith
    Nov 9, 2014 at 19:28
  • 4
    Can someone please explain #6? Is that the same as merging 2 accounts created inadvertently? It seems like that would rarely happen. If it did, there wouldn't be many points in one of the accounts.
    – Nelu
    Nov 28, 2014 at 1:52
  • 8
    I would down-vote this, but I don`t have enough reputation A far more constructive answer is provided here
    – dmcquiggin
    Apr 5, 2015 at 3:10
  • 12
    @Phil H "downvoting other answerers who are competing with your answer" is very evil May 8, 2015 at 9:54
  • 11
    this have been been posted 6 years ago, but I find disgusting and unethic to "downvote" perfectly valid answers just to get reputation. Oct 15, 2015 at 21:31
  • 9
    These tips are not to be taken seriously, as they are clearly tongue-in-cheek. This is a satirical commentary from someone who is clearly unhappy with the status-quo.
    – Sheamus
    Apr 3, 2016 at 15:58
  • 4
    As a long-time StackOverflow user, I strongly disagree with #1. The whole appeal of StackOverflow is quality answers, not fast answers at the cost of quality! It's actually upsetting to see that as a suggestion at all...
    – CoolBots
    May 12, 2016 at 20:31

37 Answers 37


#1 is very true, but could maybe be alleviated by just receiving answers for a reasonably short amount of time (say 5 min) after the question was posted -- without displaying them. Then, these first answers could be shown in random order. This might take a little pressure away and encourage people to put some more efforts in their first try.


2. Use Downvotes and Comments Strategically

See my response to #1. I think that will help curb this. Another solution is to increase downvote cost if you have already answered the question. If the user downvotes before answering, then either revert the user's downvotes for the question, apply the new "cost" of the downvotes to the user after answering the question. This could be a confirmation the user has to agree to after clicking "submit". For example: "Answering this question will remove X reputation due to downvotes assigned to competing answers. Continue?"

  • 3
    Disagree. I sometimes downvote other answers on questions I have answered because the other answers are seriously wrong. I remember one question for alternative ways to determine whether .NET objects were equal, and there was an upvoted answer advising using GetHashCode [which is utterly wrong according to the docs]. It would have hurt a little to lose extra rep for downvoting that.
    – MarkJ
    Sep 16, 2009 at 22:23

What's the use of these reputations anyway? I became a member of SoF to find quality answers for my questions and if somebody has a question that I might know the answer, help him to find the answer. I know that it is enjoyable to gain respect among the fellow programmers, but I think that is not the goal. It's not a race for gaining more reputations but it's a game of helping each other to improve our knowledge. We are not players against each other but we are members of a team playing to gain the knowledge and skills that we need to be even better programmers.

  • 2
    To me it is primarily a game, the Q&A is just a nice bonus. I dislike reading about the crap I do in my day job, but I love games.
    – McGarnagle
    May 25, 2012 at 7:22

Others answered well how to continue, but here's my strategy for the very start: Not everyone is good in programming, but there are lots of sites on the Stack Exchange network and odds are good that you are good at something we have a site for.

Pick a topic you know enough about to be able to give good answers, read their tour, lurk around for a while and answer wherever you have something helpful to say (protip: early betas have less traffic, so you have more time to answer before someone else does and you don't have to watch duplicate answers too much). After a few days return to Stack Overflow with association bonus of +100 points allowing you to chat, comment and upvote, privileges whose lack annoys the most.


Here is what I think about those suggestions:

  1. Be the First to Answer. Even at the cost of quality.

Absolutely not. It's happened several times that I started writing an answer to an unanswered question, which took time since I was writing high-quality answers. While I was writing, others had time to answer before me and sometimes even got upvotes. But I just continued writing my answer, and when I posted it, it got more upvotes than the others and sometimes even got accepted. Here is a concrete example.

Also, if you have a good answer to an old question, don't hesitate to post it. This answer is my highest upvoted non-meta post on the whole Stack Exchange network, and it was posted 6 years after the question was asked. It's even the answer to that question with the most upvotes, it even outscored the acceped answer. Of course, it took time to collect all those upvotes, but in the long term I earned a whole lot of reputation from it. And I still see from time to time a +10 in my profile page because someone upvoted it.

  1. Use Downvotes and Comments Strategically

What? Abuse the system? No way. I don't know how comments can be used strategically, but tactical downvoting is wrong. It might earn you reputation, but it's not very nice. Answers should be downvoted because they're wrong or low quality, not because someone else who posted an answer wants his answer to be on the top. Also, if you abuse the system too much, you might risk being suspended (I don't know what the exact criteria are, but I'm not planning on trying it).

  1. Use obnoxious in-your-face formatting and lists.

Format your posts well. That way, they will be easier to read and therefore more useful. But even if the post is badly formatted, someone will probably edit it sooner or later. The question is how many people didn't upvote your post in the mean time because they thought it was ugly. Anyway, it doesn't take a huge effort to format correctly, so why not do it?

  1. Be Aware of the 200 rep/day Limit

I've never earned that much reputation in one single day, so for me it's not that important. However, for someone like Jon Skeet, it would probably be useful.

  1. Edit, But Don’t Edit Too Much

This depends on how much reputation you have:

  • If you have more than 2000 reputation, editing doesn't affect your reputation at all, so you can edit as much or as little you want, it doesn't make any difference.

  • If you have less than 2000 reputation, edit a lot since each approved edit gives you 2 reputation. But make sure that your edit is good, otherwise it will be rejected and rejected edits don't give any reputation. Also, it's better to edit posts of decent quality that aren't likely to get deleted, since every time a post you edited gets deleted, you lose the 2 reputation that you earned from editing it. So editing an answer saying "i hav the same prombem plzzzz help" into "I have the same problem please help" won't do you much good.

  1. Associate your other accounts

That's a great idea. If you associate your accounts and earn 200 reputation on one of them, you will automatically earn 100 reputation on all of them, even on the one where you earned 200 reputation. The only problem is that that only happens once. But it's better than not at all.

In addition to this, I have my own tips on how you can earn a lot of reputation. These tips made me earn a lot of reputation on Stack Overflow.

  1. Once you have the privilege to review, review a lot

In the review, you can come across posts that can make you earn reputation. If you have less than 2000 reputation, there are a lot of posts by people who are bad in English just waiting for you to edit them. For each post that you edit, you earn 2 reputation. If you edit a lot of posts, you will earn a lot of reputation.

You might even come across some question that you can answer. That's happened to me several times and each time I came across a question that I could answer, I answered it and my answer most of the time got accepted and a few upvotes. If this happens regularly, you will end up earning a lot of reputation.

  1. On Stack Overflow, participate in documentation

Look around in the Stack Overflow documentation to see if there is something you can improve. Every time your change gets approved, not only do you earn 2 reputation for the approval itself, but if you edit enough, you also earn 5 reputation for each upvote on that topic and 5 reputation each time someone references the topic in an upvoted answer.

Introductory topics are especially good for this, since they get upvoted often. Edit a few introductory topics in some popular languages, and then enjoy the +5's appearing on your screen every day.

To conclude:

  1. Post high-quality answers, and don't get discouraged if someone else answers before you
  2. Never abuse the system
  3. Format your posts correctly
  4. If you're Jon Skeet, be aware of the 200 rep/day limit; if you're Donald Duck, concentrate on the other tips
  5. Edit a lot, especially if you have less than 2000 reputation
  6. Associate your other accounts
  7. Once you have the privilege to review, review a lot
  8. On Stack Overflow, participate in documentation

I think that the most important ones are #1 (my version), #7 and #8 (Stack Overflow only). If you have less than 2000 reputation, #5 is also important.


Weekend effect

Most "hard" sites tend to have two large groups:

  1. The professionals of the site topics
  2. Enthusiasts

If you belong to (2), it is much more hard for you to get reputation.

But: the professionals are tend to be far, far away on the weekend. This opens the gates before the commoners.

Here is the time, as you can activate yourself, to concentrate your effort. Look for the enthusiasts. Here is the time to get your first mortherboard badge.

Note: if you want to get the mortarboard badge, or to hit the repcap, you have to start the day early.

If you are a professional, then it is the possibility to get your first motherboard badge without working on it on all the day.



  • formating



well (incoroect)[hyperlionks]

  1. And general usessness Of {posts}(0)

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