I have a Stack Overflow account with 6000+ rep, but it has a lot of stupid questions. It has some answers but not that good...

I'll also change the area of programming where I was active, so this reputation will not be really relevant for future contractors...

So I was thinking about create a new account and use it only for answers, for Careers, my hp, etc. instead of my current messy profile. But I would have to create second email, since apparently open id / google profile can be merged and this is not what I want. This feels not quite right. And start from rep 0.

What is recommended in this case? Maybe employer / contractor doesn't care about my 200+ (stupid) questions if I add good answers to this profile? Or is a clean start better?

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    You have just 5 question with a negative score (-1) and you think it is bad ?? I think you have asked some really good questions. – Habib Apr 3 '14 at 18:33
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    I wouldn't worry about well written questions (basic or otherwise); they show growth over time. I would only worry about poor questions. You can request disassociation from those if you like – Richard Tingle Apr 3 '14 at 18:35
  • (Not that i think people would worry too much either way but) Having an account with no questions just seems odd. A lack of using a valuable resource. If anything it looks better with the questions – Richard Tingle Apr 3 '14 at 18:38
  • 6k rep and lot of upvoted posts hm. If I would worry about exposure to employers / contractors, I'd rather use all this to build / filter a solid, attractive, SEO-friendly Careers profile – gnat Apr 3 '14 at 18:38
  • @RichardTingle okay. I just had those accounts with no questions in mind, as something employer might prefer to see, instead of someone that asks a lot of questions instead of doing more research. Could be seen as lazy or not passionate enough maybe. – Ixxzz Apr 3 '14 at 18:40

I think you should always use the full account and not create a new account.

Hopefully when prospective employers are looking over your profile, they are also taking into account the dates in which you asked/answered the questions. This can show a good, steady history of your growth, which is much better than appearing as a big bang out of nowhere. A constant pattern of growth is good for employers because they know you are a self-starter and still actively engaged in your craft over a period of time, and therefore less likely to burn out.

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There are no stupid questions, only poorly written questions. So fix up those questions by going back and editing / improving them.

No decent employer is going to look at your history of learning a technology and judge you for not knowing things at one point in time (that point in time being when you decided to learn it). StackOverflow is really good at showcasing your best work - your best tags appear first, you have lots of badges that link to areas you're more experienced, your most upvoted questions appear on top of your profile, as do your answers, etc. My stupid questions in Ruby show that I do things besides program in Java even if novice, and they certainly don't hurt my "Java" resume.

Plus it looks like you have a good profile. Add to it, don't remove from it.

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  • I think they're fairly ok written. The only issue is they might appear as if I'm lazy, because many of them could be answered just by doing more research. – Ixxzz Apr 3 '14 at 18:37
  • @lxx that's true for literally any question ever. Show your employer you get it done the fastest way, not that you use SO as a last resort. – djechlin Apr 3 '14 at 18:38
  • SE, as a platform, is essentially predicated on the fact that there are bad questions. Poorly written (in terms of spelling, grammar, formatting, etc.) questions are one way that a question can be bad, but they can also questions that are unclear, offtopic, not properly scoped, not properly researched, demonstrate a lack of sufficient understanding of the underlying concepts, are excessively subjective, and I could go on. See the help center/faq for some more examples. Asking a question on SO is not supposed to be a first step to solving a problem, research is expected of people. – Servy Apr 3 '14 at 19:12

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