Gaining reputation from answering on Stack Overflow is getting increasingly difficult. There are many talented users to answer most questions within minutes, providing good enough answers immediately and editing in fuller answers within a very short time. Sometimes I feel like gaining reputation is somewhat of a race. However, I mean this in a good sense - it's a fun race, and it's great to have answers to most questions supplied most quickly.
But it saddens me to see how easily reputation can be gained by just asking questions. I know this has been discussed here on Meta Stack Overflow several times, but I want to highlight a pattern. Take a look at the Hottest Questions This Week (I tend to scan through this list on weekends). I don't want to point fingers, but many questions there have already been asked multiple times before. Stack Overflow veterans surely scan with their eyes, nodding - been there - over most of them. And yet, these questions gain lots of reputation. Some get closed in a couple of hours, but still manage to gain many votes until then.
This isn't a good situation, IMHO. Many members on Stack Overflow brandish high reputations and when you enter their profile it's a few 100s of questions, 3 downvoted answers on some semi-subjective topic, and nothing more. Is this the 4K user employers would like to hire based on high Stack Overflow reputation?
Perhaps to prove this, it's worthwhile to make an experiment - a user that asks semi-subjective questions over and over again, on topics which haven't been discussed in the past week or so. I have a feeling this can show some nice results, reputation-wise.
I know there are open issues on User Voice on this issue, but is someone planning to do anything about it? IMHO too much reputation is gained by asking questions, it is blatantly obvious, and it makes Stack Overflow a less fun place to be - as it partially invalidates the whole reputation system.
Why less fun? Consider this scenario:
Bob: So are you knowledgeable in programming?
Alice: Yeah, I have a Stack Overflow reputation of 8K!
Bob: Eh, I knew people get to such reputations just for asking hundreds of repeating questions there. So that doesn't count. Any other proof of your expertness?
Sounds surreal? I disagree. As an employer interviewing people quite often, such a scenario is real for me. I just value Stack Overflow reputation less because of this, period. Stack Overflow's administrators have to decide what they want out of it. Is it just a website for getting your questions answered? Great - it's a great one, indeed. But it appears they want to make something more, connecting to Careers, meaning reputation to actually be real. In such a case, allowing reputation farming from repeated questions is a self-defeating strategy.