How much rep is enough rep in relation to Stack Overflow and Stack Overflow Careers? 10K? 50K?

  • 12
    We need a close-as-pointless-question reason – juan Nov 13 '09 at 20:39
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    Self-deprivation trumps pointlessness, at least when well written; Stack Overflow has a culture/specification that somewhat promotes a tad to zealous question/answer/whatnot ethic....but of course, I would never want to go back to the old forum days....I just realized that I am commenting on form, and good syntactic mastery, rather than your post, so I guess my boat is sinking faster than yours at the moment ;-) – Morten Bergfall Nov 13 '09 at 21:02
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    ... but are you programming on your sinking boat? That's the real question. – Pollyanna Nov 14 '09 at 1:34
  • See revision 2 meta.stackoverflow.com/revisions/29711/list – waffles Nov 14 '09 at 10:30
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    so...if I have under say, 1000 rep, is careers a waste of my time? – Ed Griebel Nov 30 '09 at 20:35
  • Is that site about answering questions or to get a kick out of getting more and more votes? – feeela Sep 7 '11 at 20:08
  • 2
    How much is enough Money for you? – Kuldeep Jain Apr 19 '12 at 11:49
  • @MortenBergfall Self-deprivation or self-deprecation? They're rather different! – Widor Jun 13 '12 at 13:03

11 Answers 11


Somewhere around 12.5K 22.5K.

Enough to get you access to the moderator tools trusted user status and a buffer to allow for down-votes, bounties and rep recalculations.

But then again if you've got that much it will never be "enough" as you'll want to keep your place on page 7 or even get up to page 6 (and then page 5...)

EDIT 8th Jan 2010

As an interesting aside 12.5k rep now gets you onto page 9. To get onto page 7 you'll need 13.5K. So in two months you'd need to get approximately 1K rep to keep your place at this level. 500 points a month shouldn't be too hard to keep up for a moderately active user.

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    So, "never enough." I concur. :) – Bill the Lizard Nov 13 '09 at 21:34
  • for the time being I am comfortable enough fighting into the pit around page 35 – JohnIdol Nov 14 '09 at 1:06
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    @JohnIdol - page 7 is (roughly) where 12.5k rep will get you (as of Nov 2009). – ChrisF Nov 15 '09 at 22:38
  • So you will never get enough, unless you get it fast – Puntero Jun 13 '12 at 13:42

You have enough rep when Jon Skeet is in second place.

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    Your answer can be refactored to make it more clear: "You will never have enough rep." – user27414 Nov 13 '09 at 20:51
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    @Jon B. Using any decent compiler this answer would be optimized out completely. – Nathan Koop Nov 13 '09 at 21:31
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    Actually, I am pretty sure that the compiler would do neither of these. It would just stop compiling and laugh at you. – kemiller2002 Nov 14 '09 at 12:17

Think from the point of view of a person looking to hire, who is the kind of person you want to work for. If that person were me, I'd be looking for someone who knows how to communicate well, and who is largely correct.

I can't actually tell that from just the rep score. I can get some idea if I know the average number of votes that person gets per answer. I can improve that by knowing what tags that person is active in (as upvotes are easier to come by in popular tags). But the only way I'll really know is by reading the person's answers.

Maybe I'd use rep just as a very crude first pass filter, discarding anyone with less than 1K - why would they want to use SO Careers if they're not really invested in SO? - but anything above that and I'd be interested in the details, not a number.

Now leaving careers aside, I think anything above about 93K is respectable.

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    Woo hoo...just another 100 days and I achieve respectability! ;-) – tvanfosson Nov 13 '09 at 21:24
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    @tvanfosson: Well, the bar is always rising of course... at about the rate that Marc Gravell gains rep ;) – Jon Skeet Nov 13 '09 at 21:30
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    ...and my parents were going to be so proud. :-( – tvanfosson Nov 13 '09 at 21:33
  • Could we hear Jon Skeet's seal of approval level: how much rep per answer is OK? For instance, is 18.3 enough? – P Shved Nov 13 '09 at 22:13
  • @Pavel: Votes per answer is more interesting than rep per answer, due to the rep cap. Unfortunately that's hard to work out for other users (beyond the top N) - but the "any tag" stats page should help you work it out for yourself: stackoverflow.com/questions/… – Jon Skeet Nov 13 '09 at 22:41
  • completely agree its all about the details... but with a twist, employers will probably only look at your user page, and their initial pass will probably only look at the top 10/20 questions and answers. – waffles Nov 14 '09 at 10:06
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    "I think anything above about 93K is respectable." - lol ;-p – Marc Gravell Nov 14 '09 at 11:27
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    The ironic thing is, if you have enough rep to get hired by a company that uses it as the only way to screen candidates on SOC, you probably don't want to work for that company. – kemiller2002 Nov 14 '09 at 12:21
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    Actually, I've come to agree with you... 93K sounds about right ;-p (cue Jon increasing the number...) – Marc Gravell Nov 18 '09 at 10:48

The perfect amount of rep is 42.

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    Hundred or thousand? ;) – gnostradamus Nov 14 '09 at 1:04
  • 7
    What was the question again? – fbrereto Nov 30 '09 at 21:31
  • Thats Why i named my company 42 consulting :D – Alexander Petrov Feb 19 '19 at 16:11

A much better measure is quality. Employers will probable look at your home page.

  • Are there any answers there that are of poor quality?
  • Are there any outrageously bad questions there?
  • What tags are you active on?
  • Is your bio riddled with horrid phrasing and spelling? Too many jokes perhaps?
  • Is there enough information there for them to make some sort of decision?

I would argue that even 500-1000 reputation can be enough as long as your home page is all quality.

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    Discussiony? Discussionish? Discoteque? – random Nov 14 '09 at 10:07

It's not about the size of your boat, but the motion of the ocean, and if you're programming on said boat.


I'm in the 7000s on SO, and the 3000s here, and feel comfortable with my rep. Would I like more? Sure, we all would!

So technically, there's never such a thing as "enough," but the truth is that once you're comfortably able to edit and vote-to-close, you're probably there. That said, rep is only one facet of the site -- it's not like people who really want to contribute stop just because they've rep-capped, or they're not likely to gain rep from an answer. At least, that hasn't stopped me. (Although I think I've only rep-capped 3 times ... and two of those were here on Meta.)


It's never enough!

# Hold on! It's never enough
# It's never enough until your heart stops beating
# The deeper you get, the sweeter the pain
# Don't give up the game until your heart stops beating.

"Skeetshocked", by New Waffels


IMHO you want just enough rep to appear on page 3 or 4. More than that employers maybe think you spend too much time on SO, less than that maybe they don't think you shine so much. YMMV.


Well, the threshold to get free stickers was around 20k.

But there are those who feel too high a reputation will hurt you in terms of job hunting.

The 10k moderation tools aren't something worth getting reputation points just to get.

In order to have a buffer for bounty, and do most of the editing you might ever want, I'd say right around 7-8k is good.

  • I got stickers and I only had 4k rep on meta – waffles Nov 13 '09 at 23:47
  • Yes, Meta, SU, and SF had much lower thresholds for first and second page users than SO. – Pollyanna Nov 14 '09 at 1:33
  • I got an email offering SO stickers, but I never bothered to give them my address. – mmyers Nov 16 '09 at 17:16

10k gives you all the functionality you need - so anything above that is just useless.

  • 2
    Were you referring to Stackoverflow reputation or Visual Studio pricing? – user164291 Dec 12 '11 at 15:16
  • 10k hit points on the stack overflow gives you everything but moderator powers as far as I know – tim Dec 12 '11 at 15:44

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