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I gather that the company that runs the Stack Exchange network of sites has a role with this title.

What is this role about? Is the job description published anywhere?

  • 9
    This seems like a question that would set in motion a chain of responses that would no longer attempt to answer the actual question :) – dfhwze Oct 26 at 8:23
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    If that happens, I hope they'll get down-voted, flagged etc. It's a simple question, that is intended to be taken at face value. – Kramii Reinstate Monica Oct 26 at 8:24
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    The role seems quite self-explanatory. "Director" is a fairly standard title, at least in US companies, and I think we all know what "Public Q&A" is. – Cody Gray Oct 26 at 9:49
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    @CodyGray I for one would like to know what their responsibilities are and where they are situated in the chain of command. I am not American, and I have never worked for a corporate, so I'm pretty ignorant (in the true sense of the word) about these issues. – Mari-Lou A Oct 26 at 9:56
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    @Mari-Lou A I think we can deduce where the role ISN'T in the hierarchy based on stackoverflow.com/company/management -- it isn't at the top table. Director is such a common title as to be effectively meaningless, but I suspect the role reports to Stack Overflow’s CTO. Wouldn't hazard a guess at responsibilities other than 'all the free stuff SE do'). – ColeValleyGirl Oct 26 at 10:18
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    When you get hired by Stack Overflow as anything else than dev, you apparently either get the title Manager or Director. – Amarth Oct 26 at 11:54
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    Related (Stack Overflow blog, 2019-08-19): Meet the Public Q&A team – Peter Mortensen Oct 26 at 13:02
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    @PeterMortensen not really helpful, we just know that the Director has a cat called Tea, and is married to an engineer and they like setting up meetings...the Director; not the cat and the spouse. – Mari-Lou A Oct 26 at 13:12
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    @Mari-LouA I love how you had to clarify what "they" refers to, and I wonder whether Chipps's niece and cat have agreed to be referred to as "she". – user12205 Oct 26 at 13:22
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    @ace_HongKongIndependence Just showing that "they" can be ambiguous, but the solution would have been easy: We just know that the Director, who has a cat called Tea, and is married to an engineer, likes setting up meetings. – Mari-Lou A Oct 26 at 13:26
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    @Mari-LouA Careful. Whether or not avoiding pronouns like that is compliant with the CoC is still part of the debate. – Marco13 Oct 26 at 13:56
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    Meanwhile, unexpected connection found: "Herding Code 204: Sara J. Chipps and George Stocker on Jewelbots" – Peter Mortensen Oct 26 at 14:04
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    To those voting to close: this is very much on-topic and specific. It is possible that it may not have been asked with the best intentions in mind, but that doesn't make it off-topic or POB. If you feel that the question isn't a good one, you can use your downvote. That's what they are for. – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Oct 26 at 17:57
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    I don't know, but I Googled the title and found only Sara Chipps. It made me laugh. – The Anathema Oct 26 at 19:40
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    Lol @ voting to close as primarily opinion based; a job description isn't opinionated, but if it is, it's a pretty useless position – Zoe Oct 29 at 6:48
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It seems that "Public Q&A" are the question-and-answer sites accessible and usable by the public, as opposed to (edit:) Stack Overflow for Teams where only a limited set of people can become members. This includes several tiers - Basic, Business, Enterprise, where the latter is not hosted together with the public sites. Teams would be "Non-public Q&A" I guess.

So, it seems the Director of "Public Q&A" directs the development, design and engineering efforts of the entire public Stack Exchange network, and answers to Mary Ferguson, VP of Engineering; who in turn answers to David Fullerton, the company CTO.

In the context of the recent, uh, events, that means, in particular: "Public Q&A" does not include public relations, engagement with the public, being the public face of anything, or making SE-Inc-held information public which wasn't that way before.


See also the blog post Meet the Public Q&A team linked to by @PeterMortensen.

  • As I understand it the reporting structure is Director -> VP -> C-suite. So there’s at least notionally be the VP of Engineering between the two positions. – George Stocker Oct 27 at 15:49
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    @GeorgeStocker: It's not clear to me whether the leadership team has VPs per se. Also, what do you mean by "C-suite". – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 27 at 19:09
  • C suite is a slang term to encompass any C-Level execs; CTO, CEO, CFO, CMO, etc. Mary Ferguson is the VP of engineering at Stack Overflow and lies between directors and the CTO. – George Stocker Oct 27 at 21:07
  • @GeorgeStocker: Ok, edited accordingly. – einpoklum - reinstate Monica Oct 27 at 21:21

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