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I'm a new incoming user who is interested in knowing more about Stack Overflow. I hadn't seen any information about Stack Overflow before coming here. I was directed by a search engine while I was searching for programming information. I need guidance - how can I find it?

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    Didn't you take the Tour? – juergen d Dec 19 '13 at 9:41
  • My question is how can i get reputation and bounty?. What is the difference between the two terms and which comes first?. For the future the procedure to become familiar easily with stack overflow to support the new comers is better if reviewed. – Ashu Dec 19 '13 at 9:47
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    Keep visiting and reading the site for a couple of weeks and you'll learn fast. My main suggestion: don't rush and try to understand it before posting any Answers or Questions. – brasofilo Dec 19 '13 at 10:31
  • Thank you @all for your great comments! – Ashu Dec 19 '13 at 12:36
  • "I was directed by search engine while I'm searching for programming" Like me :) – user245347 Dec 19 '13 at 13:29
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    You might have a look at Getting started with Stack Overflow – ale Dec 19 '13 at 17:07
  • And, of course, RTFHC and TTFT. Both will give you a really good overview of the site and what it's about. – ale Dec 19 '13 at 17:09
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    Run quick before the addiction really sets in. – Lance Roberts Dec 19 '13 at 17:19
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    This is a thoughtful request for guidance on how to fit in to the community, posted in the right place. Does it really deserve all these down votes? – Jaydles Dec 19 '13 at 17:29
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Start with the tour.

It takes VERY little time, and gives you all the basic info you need to get started.

If you still have specific questions, or want to really read up on how to best succeed in the community:

Browse the Help Center.

In particular, I'd start by checking out these help center topics:

Don't get discouraged by feedback!

New users often ask questions that get a few down votes, or even get closed, as they are learning how the site and community works. I know that can be daunting sometimes, but just think of it as feedback you can use for your next post - take it as a way to learn, and you'll be unlocking new privileges soon enough.

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Here's some additional things to check out in addition to Jay's suggestions.

First, what languages do you like? We've got a tag for every single one, and each of those tags has some interesting information in what we call a 'tag wiki'. Let's say you love Python, you'd go to the tag page, then click on the 'info' which leads you here. You'll find some tagging conventions, a list of books people in that tag think are worth reading and other information.

Some tag wikis contain a hand picked list of the most common questions folks tend to ask, with links to some spectacular answers to those questions. It's a great place to start exploring the smaller communities that revolve around our language tags. Tag wikis are a neat part of our system that unfortunately aren't that easy to discover.

The next thing you might want to check out is chat. You'll need 20 rep to participate, but you can find interesting conversations going on about a variety of languages, or just people relaxing and getting to know one another.

You can also try playing around with our formatting sandbox (right here on Meta), which lets you play with the editor on a special question where it won't disturb anyone. If you're not familiar with markdown or our editor, you can get to know both there.

Welcome to the site!

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