While reading the comments for Joel Coehoorn's answer to the "“You have gained power. Here’s how to use it.” kind of message" question, I started wondering - is there any data on which we can base the discussion (people reaching thresholds too fast/easy)?

E.g. is there some sort of statistics (already avialable, without needing to load a data dump) which shows # of days taken by users to reach threshold? (average, mean, std_dev, etc...)

11 Answers 11


For reasons stated below, this is probably not possible. Your main talking point is probably:

At 6:55AM PST Saturday April 3rd 2010:  

517 of 154,637 users have 10,000 reputation

0.3% of all users have 10,000 reputation
For every 1 user with 10,000 rep, there are 299 without.

Well, given 200 reputation cap a day, we can assume that it would take 50 days to get 10,000 reputation.

50 days x 200 reputation = 10,000 reputation

Given it probably takes anywhere from 1 to 3 to 5 hours to get that 200 reputation

50 days x 1 hour = 50 hours

50 days x 3 hours = 150 hours

50 days x 5 hours = 250 hours

This means that in order to get to 10,000 reputation, you probably have spent anywhere from 50 to 250 hours on the site.

While this doesn't take into account extra reputation from bounties, accepted answers, etc, it is probably still fairly accurate because as you gain reputation, you spend extra time closing, voting, etc.

In more realistic terms, you would probably have to look at the 50 more recent users to hit 10k, and see how long they have been on the site. Throw out outliers, grab 50 more, average, repeat for a while. Unfortunately, I do not have that type of energy at 6:50 AM.

Even more unfortunately, the data dump can probably not help us here. We would have to create the entire history of each user, and see how many months they had been a member at SO when they reached 10k reputation. I believe you are unable to get that data from the dump as votes and stuff like that are anonymous-ized.

  • Oh, dear Lord. It's probably closer to 2 for me, but at 70K that's way too much time. Apr 4, 2010 at 0:50
  • Note: this answer is out of date because of the new reputation cap rules; now it's relatively easy to get 300 or more reputation in a single day if you post high quality answers. Sep 12, 2010 at 18:16

Of the last 27 people who reached 10,000 reputation on Stack Overflow 22 have been members for more than 1 year and less than 2 (the profile just says "1 year"). The other 5:

  • 11 months
  • 10 months
  • 9 months
  • 7 months
  • 6 months

I myself have been a member for 11 months and I have "only" slightly more than 5k rep. However, take a look at my reputation graph:

alt text http://img532.imageshack.us/img532/4946/captureeg.png

As you can see there are very long periods of inactivity followed by sudden spikes of activity. I believe most people are like me (except Jon Skeet).

  • 1
    How did you get this? If you just counted the people 'near' 10k, you could have counted people that stopped doing anything once they reached 10k. Apr 3, 2010 at 14:06
  • I only mention it because I was planning on putting something similar to that, but then I realized most likely half the people I counted didn't 'just' hit it, but simply didn't go far past it. Apr 3, 2010 at 14:09
  • @Chacha: all of them visited the website either today or yesterday, with very few exceptions (one person visited the 24th of march for example). Apr 3, 2010 at 14:09
  • 1
    WOW! Who's the 6-month wonder?
    – DVK
    Apr 3, 2010 at 14:10
  • @Kop It is still a bit shaky, but good enough. Assuming that people who visit will gain reputation, it seems that we could conclude it takes on average over a year to get 10k. Apr 3, 2010 at 14:11
  • @Kop - Mine is a LOT less "angly" :) But I found an interesting pattern on mine - I hit the platoes (sp?) when I'm just past some threshold of rep (e.g. after 6000) and accelerate as I get close to the next threshold. In retrospect, that should probably be an obviously predictable one :)
    – DVK
    Apr 3, 2010 at 14:17
  • I have pauses at 6,000 and 12,000 Apr 3, 2010 at 14:22
  • @DVK, hm, I've just done it, having been a member for 7 months. It doesn't seem that rare, I suppose.
    – P Shved
    Apr 3, 2010 at 15:38
  • @DVK, and Developer Art (stackoverflow.com/users/151323) did it in just 2.5 months`
    – P Shved
    Apr 3, 2010 at 17:07
  • @Pavel - 1) from the amount of 10k users as well as Kop's stats, it is not that often either :) But I think that there's possibly an interesting pattern to the rep velocity - i'll post that as a separate question
    – DVK
    Apr 3, 2010 at 17:08
  • @Pavel - besides, i'm not really going for outliers (hence "statistics") - I'm sure Jon Skeet got to 10k in <1 months :)
    – DVK
    Apr 3, 2010 at 17:08
  • In a nutshell: it's easy to get to 10k in just a couple of months; the hard part is finding the motivation to do it (it would mean reaching the cap every day). Apr 3, 2010 at 17:38
  • When a profile states "1 year", hovering that text will show one the date one started using the site. (In general this is true for many things on these site, including things like "x months", or "1 hour ago" and "yesterday" for posts.)
    – Arjan
    Apr 3, 2010 at 18:52
  • @Arjan: yes I know but doing that for all 27 of them would have been very time consuming =) Apr 3, 2010 at 19:22
  • While interesting, the total amount of time one is a member is not necessarily relevant. I've only been an active member since December, and I can point to a few other users with similar stats. I think there are a number of people who "lurk", then develop an interest - and vice versa.
    – Aarobot
    Apr 3, 2010 at 23:02

I think it took me about five months to reach 10K. I think I joined the site some time in May 2009. It helps that distractions help me focus. ;-)

  • 2
    When did you build the time machine?
    – amelvin
    Apr 4, 2010 at 1:10
  • 2
    Just as a note, May 2010 is next month.... Apr 4, 2010 at 1:17
  • 1
    Sinan is a Perl guy. He didn't need to build it. He just did "use Time::Machine" :)
    – DVK
    Apr 4, 2010 at 2:45
  • The tooltip for "11 months" shows "2009-05-04 09:04:02Z". Your memory serves you well. ;-)
    – Arjan
    Apr 4, 2010 at 11:42

I also hit 10k in about seven months, given that I only became active last July:

rep graph

I would only say that I was "making an effort" for a month or so (November); the rest of the time, I merely looked at the site when I was bored or something was compiling in the background. :)


Switch to the user's reputation tab and run:

alert(eval(document.body.innerHTML.match(/var d = (\[\[[^;]+);/)[1]).filter(
            function(x){return x[1]<10000;}).length + " days");

(e.g. Jon Skeet reaches 10k in 52 days.)

Edit (Cha): You can paste this into your address bar:

javascript:alert(eval(document.body.innerHTML.match(/var d = (\[\[[^;]+);/)[1]).filter(function(x){return x[1]<10000;}).length + " days");
  • Kenny - this will only help get per-user info. I was looking for statistics across users
    – DVK
    Apr 5, 2010 at 17:16
  • @DVK: I think you needs to run a similar script through all 517 user pages to get the stats :|.
    – kennytm
    Apr 5, 2010 at 17:56
  • I'll refer you to a recent meta question on "programmatically" :)
    – DVK
    Apr 6, 2010 at 0:27

I just reached 10k today. I've been registered on the site for just over a year. I agree that getting there definitely takes effort.

alt text

I had some slower periods (but accelerating towards 10k) so one could definitely reach it a lot faster. I think I'll try to spend less time on the site from now on for a while.


I'm very surprised that people here talk about effort. To reach my 10k I didn't make any effort. It just... happened. And I hope that there is more people who don't try to game their level-ups, but just have them. Like this:

(source: coldattic.info)

Oh, well, I lied a bit. When I had 9 999 rep, I spent some time searching for a downvote to cancel. That was my effort to reaching 10k. :-)

  • I must admit that I have stopped down-voting for a while after the big re-calc knocked me down from 10k+ to 9k+, until I went well back over 10k. But yeah, I agree with the sentiment that the more users who gain the levels without gaming the system, the better!
    – DVK
    Apr 4, 2010 at 14:59
  • You answered 325 questions on stackoverflow; wouldn't you say that's an effort ? Apr 4, 2010 at 15:20
  • @ChristopheD I could have answered more questions, and make my answers better (most of them are crap)... but it would become an "effort" then. :)
    – P Shved
    Apr 4, 2010 at 16:02
  • I would hardly say that your answers are crap. Not being a C++ expert I can't speak to their correctness, but they are at least formatted correctly, spell-checked, and complete, which is more than I can say for many answers. That's what I'd expect the chart to look like for users who know what they're talking about but don't spend insane amounts of time on the site.
    – Aarobot
    Apr 4, 2010 at 16:50
  • @Aaronaught That's because you looked at the first page only :-) Nevertheless, all you're talking about is just... natural, and it's not what I call "effort".
    – P Shved
    Apr 4, 2010 at 20:01

I made it in 55 days. Some insight: I exceeded the 200 mark on 35 of those days. Those days required me to spend a couple of hours on the site. Most of the other days I just visited to keep the consecutive streak going.

EDIT: And we have a new record1! Colin Hebert did it in 46 days.

See also this SEDE query:

50 Newest Users with >= reputation

1 citation needed.


If I can offer you the perspective of a new user (two months in); I went onto SO every day in March and picked up an enthusiast badge, answered about 50 questions with upvotes on about 30, 6 accepted answers - picked up 546 rep as a result.

I reckon 10K in less than a year is very doable - but would require more committment than I have available to me (so I guess that would apply to lots of people). Personally I think I would need 18 months of logging in and answering to reach 10k, but there are almost certainly going to be gaps along the way so I'm not sure the absolute amount of time that my 18 months would need to be spread over.

  • You can do 10,000 reputation on upvotes alone in 50 days (a little less than 2 months). If you got 667 accepted answers with no upvotes, you could do it in a single day. Apr 3, 2010 at 23:49
  • @Chacha102: Is that adjusted for every answer being accepted as soon as you submit it (Thus bringing you that much closer to the rep cap)? 667 answers is slightly under 2 per minute, that sounds doable!
    – Phoshi
    Apr 4, 2010 at 0:23
  • On average 800 questions are asked on SO per day - but about 15% of questions do not get an accepted answer. 667 would be tight I reckon.
    – amelvin
    Apr 4, 2010 at 1:14
  • @Chacha: Or 100 small bounties.
    – Aarobot
    Apr 4, 2010 at 3:10

I've reached 10k on Super User in about 7 months, so the considerably more active SO shouldn't be much worse.

edit: I just realised I have a fifth of that on meta. How sad is that? :D

  • 1
    i feel your pain. on both counts. :) Apr 4, 2010 at 0:37
  • Same here... Though I leave more comments on Meta than on Super User
    – Ivo Flipse
    Apr 5, 2010 at 8:29

Like others, I sometimes have very limited time to use the site. I hit 10K today (May 24). I would have hit it sooner had I:

  1. Not given away 500 rep on this silly question (boredom got the best of me), if I hadn't made it CW, I would have made 130 of it back.
  2. Used the site more often. I did not pull RSS until after being a member for at least six or seven months.
  3. Not lost another 700 something rep due to the recalc
  4. Not deliberately asked for another recalc once I got close to 10k last month, just to be sure (- 380 again)

Here's my history of using the site, which shows (like many others) lulls in use, my bounty question and the spikes from me actually having time to answer questions:

Tim Post On SO http://echoreply.us/graph.png

I think a more interesting metric is how many answers / questions it took someone to get to 10k. 10,000 answers with 1 vote each is quite a bit different than 200 answers with 50 votes each. But then again, even that's flawed if 10 of the fastest guns in the west beat you questions you could answer, and you spend just a few minutes a day on SO :)

When I use the site on a semi regular basis, I usually earn at least 1k rep per month, sometimes more.

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