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What motivates people to answer questions in Stack Overflow?

Just curious?

Feeling of giving something back to community is nice but, what else?

  • 15
    Every tenth answer can be redeemed for a free sub. – user149432 Jun 5 '11 at 8:52
  • Reputation
  • Exposure
  • Peer review and discussion of your answers
  • Also, reputation
  • And I believe reputation
  • Learning (from other answers, and from your mistakes, if any pointed out by your peers)
  • Did I mention reputation?
  • Fame (which is probably synonymous with reputation depending on how you look at it)
  • "reputation" (thanks Anthony)

But honestly, it's better to give than to receive. (Yes, crazies, this quote "has its roots in religious scripture", but that's light years away from my point.)


Teaching someone else is, I think, one of the best ways to organize your own knowledge about the subject. And, if Schoolhouse Rock has taught us nothing, it's taught us: "Knowledge is power!"


Giving something back is important, especially for us older guys who got help from others earlier.

I also see many of the questions as puzzles to solve, instead of doing crosswords or a sudoku. Being able to solve it is nice in itself.


Reputation. It is the only other thing I can think of ... Ohh, and more experience trouble shooting 8 ^ )

  • 1
    +1 for "More experience troubleshooting". After a hundred question "where's the error in ma codez" you spot error faster than any debugger – Damien Pirsy Nov 15 '11 at 6:49

For me it's pleasure. I love helping others and knowing that I helped someone, even if complete stranger, makes me feel good from the inside.

The reputation is nice addition of course and act as "positive feedback" all along, reassuring me that I'm doing it properly.

And the side effect is widening my own horizons - for example without being active here I'd never use jQuery as extensively as I'm using it these days.

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