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Isn't StackExchange a network to build a knowledge base for Google? Or to help people?

Yes, it is. So why is there the Programming Puzzles & Code Golf website? What problems are solved there? What questions are asked there?

None.

Therefore, I think Programming Puzzles & Code Golf doesn't fit into the philosophy of StackExchange. It should or

  1. get it's own domain
  2. be removed (though I wouldn't do that)

I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

  • 7
    For Google? Really? – Won't Jul 25 '14 at 17:24
  • 1
    Here is an SE employee's explanation of the existence of PPCG. – user259867 Jul 25 '14 at 18:09
  • I read those. And so? Jeff Atwood is not affiliated with Stack Exchange anymore. And it's not a secret that SE has been experimenting with using the engine for new purposes, such as supporting particular online courses. – user259867 Jul 25 '14 at 18:20
  • 2
    Google doesn't own the internet. Yet. – Won't Jul 25 '14 at 18:41
12

At our core, we're about individuals helping other individuals to learn something or work their way through a problem.

Then, wherever we can, we try to leverage that exchange, so the byproduct is as reusable by others as possible.

Most of our "typical" questions are a specific problem someone's encountered, with a solution that (hopefully) demonstrates a broadly applicable idea. Ideally, not only can that person apply it to other situations, but other people can, too.

But it requires you to have a problem to start learning. Code golf just takes that core idea and turns it on its head:

What if the "student" doesn't have a challenge, but wants one? What if they're trying to practice new skills, push themselves to learn new techniques, etc? And what if the expert's real talent to share is an ability to create challenges that others can learn from (and, dare we say it, enjoy learning from)?

  • Is it one individual taking their talents and abilities, and sharing it with others? YUP
  • Does the "expert's" contributions allow for multiple "learners" to benefit? YUP
  • Is the overall by-product more knowledge/skill/ability in more people? YUP

As they say at Harvard Law School:

"You just can't argue with three 'yups.'"

(It may be worth mentioning that I attended no law schools, and have nary a clue what gets said at HLS. But still.)

  • 4
    What does the domain matter. Should we all keep it a secret it is part of SE? What's the purpose of that? – Patrick Hofman Jul 25 '14 at 19:45
  • So... What doesn't it matter? – Patrick Hofman Jul 26 '14 at 8:31
10

Good programmers learn a lot by participating and reading through the contests posted to that site. It is exceptionally educational for those that have a passion for programming.

But even if that weren't the case, you have an incorrect perspective on the purpose and mission of Stack Exchange.

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