One of my mates is at start of his computer science degree. I had a word with him about advantages and importance

  • of code review and

  • Stack Overflow on daily basis, as he is addicted to some social networking sites.

He agreed to the first point, but I could not convince him about the second. I personally understand, the positive impact of Stack Overflow over myself, but I was not able to to list them for a new programmer.

So, what in your opinion could be the reasons to suggest someone, use Stack Overflow for learning, as we use books and tutorials?

Note: "He is a good learner and enjoys programming". I am not recommending him to use Stack Overflow as primary learning method/meduim.

closed as off-topic by Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog, Nathan Tuggy, Ward, Robert Longson, Glorfindel Feb 10 at 10:41

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I think SO can be a valuable resource for learning. Find interesting questions and try to come up with a solution. You might have to do some research, but the advantage over text book exercises is that you are solving a real problem.

If you think you have a good solution, post it, or just compare it with the given answers.


Using only SO to learn programming is very lazy and will also lead to patchy understanding. Using a good book or other online resource is the way to go. If clarification is required, then post questions on SO.


I think he will show up here one way or another once he bumps into his first problem ;)

You can push him however when he comes for an answer to you.

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