I am a new user at Stack Overflow, and I have registered in some other forums too. I found that at Stack Overflow, we get the fastest replies to my questions and it's very well-organized (like choosing an appropriate answer, giving votes, and many more that I don't know).

As far as learning a programming language is concerned, there are multiple ways to do it:

  1. A person can teach you like getting tuition from somebody. Plus I have to read and program after my teacher finishes his classes. [most efficient and faster]

  2. I can read myself and learn everything on my own. [least efficient]

  3. There are a lot of video tutorials on programming by experts available online (e.g. on YouTube and Google Video). We need to pay for some of them. Plus reading and learning. [most efficient and faster]

I have found the 3rd option quite comfortable and helpful. Should Stack Overflow or other sites allow video tutorials?

Please share your thoughts with me.

  • 1
    Learning everything myself is MOST EFFICIENT, IMHO.
    – YOU
    May 3, 2011 at 8:06
  • could the title be edited to make it more coherant? It reads very poorly in the current state.
    – tombull89
    May 3, 2011 at 8:07
  • 1
    "Extending the capabilities of Stack Overflow by adding video tutorials?" @tom
    – YOU
    May 3, 2011 at 8:11
  • @You, that'll be fine, thanks.
    – tombull89
    May 3, 2011 at 8:14
  • @tom, but I guess, that would attract downvotes? :D
    – YOU
    May 3, 2011 at 8:16
  • thanks, I edited it I got downvotes too
    – munish
    May 3, 2011 at 8:16
  • 2
    well, if people disagree, it will get downvoted, regardless of how it is worded. and @munish, as said below, the SE network are Q&A rather than tutorial sites. I don't think the SE platform is the right way of doing something like this.
    – tombull89
    May 3, 2011 at 8:18
  • Who is going to make these video tutorials? I'm not going to film myself answering questions. I've never felt particularly constrained by text as a medium. Neither have all the people who've accepted my answers.
    – Cody Gray
    May 3, 2011 at 8:21
  • 1
    Stack Overflow is not a forum site, as the question seems suggest ("and I have registered in some other forums too").
    – apaderno
    May 3, 2011 at 9:20
  • Hmm, I get it @kiamlaluno
    – munish
    May 3, 2011 at 9:42
  • 2
    When a question is solved, this is indicated by accepting an answer (which you have already done so). Please do not revise your questions to place "SOLVED" at the end.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 3, 2011 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


Stackoverflow answers can link to videos but SO is not meant to be a tutorial site.

The main premise is Q&A, so if you have a question, you ask it and someone else answers it. Depending on the type of question you ask, the answer can be either very descriptive or terse and not like a tutorial at all.

Also, I don't really agree with you marking option 2 as the least efficient. This would depend on personalities, I'm terrible at learning in classes, I tend to learn by diving in and then back tracking to find out what the 'correct' way to do something is.

  • At SO the answers are really good,beacause they are answered by probably best(very good if not best) people in that field. But I began by learning from video tutorials along with some books but I find it easy when i learn by listening to somebody( an expert ). I might be wrong!
    – munish
    May 3, 2011 at 8:14
  • @munish you don't have to be an expert to answer a question. SO works because there are so many people with different backgrounds and experience in various fields. It's most useful when you're learning (from another source maybe) and you don't understand one part of it or you have a question and you want to find out more about the subject.
    – JohnP
    May 3, 2011 at 8:25
  • Also, don't forget that you can learn by just browsing questions other people are asking as well. Learn from others' questions as well as your own
    – JohnP
    May 3, 2011 at 8:28
  • Thanks,John I appreciate it
    – munish
    May 3, 2011 at 8:30

There's nothing wrong with video tutorials but the stack exchange sites (or at least the "big 3" computing sites) are not that kind of website.

We're not all about "teach yourself to program\build a server in 24 hours", we're more "Have a specific question about programming\server building? - Here's some specific answers". Note the "specific" - that's an important part of the equation and the reason video tutorials won't work here.

Unless you're expecting video answers to every question (good luck with that) then videos would move us from that kind specific solutions to specific problems to generic tutorials, which would then generate specific questions which would need to be answered with text anyway ("In the Objective C video you installed Apple's XCode 3.2, is it OK to install XCode 4.0 instead?").

The best we could hope for from those questions is that we'd be led in a big circle back to where we are now. The worse is that we become another videojug - a great resource as it happens but you only need one of those and it's already there.

  • Well, I don't expect to somebody to make video answers that would be unecessary as text explanations suffice.I was thinking that if there is any site that has video tutorials and text explanations of doubts raised by users related those videos. Thanks for the link that you mentioned
    – munish
    May 3, 2011 at 8:54

Why all the negative votes? This is a good question (because I came here to ask it), glad I didn't - geeze!

Two days after your post, Jeff Atwood (the co-creator of Stack Exchange/Overflow) had this to say:

We are potentially enabling this on a site-by-site basis, as needed... Make the case for it on your site's meta, as it is a site specific decision.

I lifted that quote from here: Adding Support for Video or Slideshow of Images. So the question isn't: "Can it be done?", but rather, "Should it be done and what are the potential drawbacks of doing so?". For StackOverflow it sounds like a great idea because I'm too lazy to write up all the steps to do something when I can just use Camtasia to record a quick video and upload it.

But here are the cons:

  1. You can't google or site-search what the user is saying or the code they're displaying in a video.
  2. You can't copy/paste the code you see in a video - again, I'm lazy.
  3. Video adds cost to a site if they are hosting and streaming uploaded media.
  4. If you use YouTube it's even less reliable as accounts can be deactivated, content can be removed for copywrite violations, or users can just delete the video.
  5. Bad people can add ads or update the video later to promote something else after getting a high vote-count.
  6. The community can't edit the videos.

Just like Twitter can force you to concentrate what you're saying into 140 characters or less, making the effort to type up an good answer that'll win votes and allowing the community to edit and sharpen those answers only increases the quality of content on sites like Stack Overflow.

Well, I came here to ask this question and I ended up answering it for myself. Thanks!

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