This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Screenshot of Stack Overflow as of February 2017
Type of site
|Available in||English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese|
|Owner||Stack Exchange, Inc.|
|Created by||Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood|
|Alexa rank||63 (October 2018[update])|
|Launched||September 15, 2008|
|Written in||C# |
Stack Overflow is a privately held website, the flagship site of the Stack Exchange Network, created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. It features questions and answers on a wide range of topics in computer programming. It was created to be a more open alternative to earlier question and answer sites such as Experts-Exchange. The name for the website was chosen by voting in April 2008 by readers of Coding Horror, Atwood's popular programming blog.
The website serves as a platform for users to ask and answer questions, and, through membership and active participation, to vote questions and answers up or down and edit questions and answers in a fashion similar to a wiki or Digg. Users of Stack Overflow can earn reputation points and "badges"; for example, a person is awarded 10 reputation points for receiving an "up" vote on an answer given to a question and 5 points for the "up" vote of a question, and can receive badges for their valued contributions, which represents a kind of gamification of the traditional Q&A site. Users unlock new privileges with an increase in reputation like the ability to vote, comment, and even edit other people's posts. All user-generated content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribute-ShareAlike license.
Closing questions is a main differentiation from Yahoo! Answers and a way to prevent low quality questions. The mechanism was overhauled in 2013; questions edited after being put "on hold" now appear in a review queue. Jeff Atwood stated in 2010 that duplicate questions are not seen as a problem but rather they constitute an advantage if such additional questions drive extra traffic to the site by multiplying relevant keyword hits in search engines.
Stack Overflow also has a Jobs section to assist developers in finding their next opportunity. For employers, Stack Overflow provides tools to brand their business, advertise their openings on the site, and source candidates from Stack Overflow's database of developers who are open to being contacted.
The website was created by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky in 2007. On 31 July 2008, Jeff Atwood sent out invitations encouraging his subscribers to take part in the private beta of the new website, limiting its use to those willing to test out the new software. On 15 September 2008 it was announced the public beta version was in session and that the general public was now able to use it to seek assistance on programming related issues. The design of the Stack Overflow logo was decided by a voting process.
Stack Overflow only accepts questions about programming that are tightly focused on a specific problem. Questions of a broader nature–or those inviting answers that are inherently a matter of opinion– are usually rejected by the site's users, and marked as closed. The sister site softwareengineering.stackexchange.com is intended to be a venue for broader queries, e.g. general questions about software development.
In April 2009, Stack Exchange implemented a policy of "timed suspension", in order to curtail users who either show "No effort to learn (the community rules) and improve over time" or engage in "disruptive behavior" and become a nuisance. The suspension is accompanied by temporarily setting the user's reputation score at '1' and a notation on the user's profile page indicating the suspension and remaining duration.
A 2013 study has found that 75% of users only ask one question, 65% only answer one question, and only 8% of users answer more than 5 questions. As of 2011, 92% of the questions were answered, in a median time of 11 minutes. Since 2013, the Stack Exchange network software automatically deletes questions that meet certain criteria, including having no answers in a certain amount of time.
As of August 2012, 443,000 of the 1.3M registered users had answered at least one question, and of those, approximately 6,000 (0.46% of the total user count) had earned a reputation score greater than 5000. Reputation can be gained fastest by answering questions related to tags with lower expertise density, doing so promptly (in particular being the first one to answer a question), being active during off-peak hours, and contributing to diverse areas.
In 2016, 1.5 million posts were deleted, of which about 8% were deleted by moderators.
Stack Overflow is written in C# using the ASP.NET MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework, and Microsoft SQL Server for the database and the Dapper object-relational mapper used for data access. Unregistered users have access to most of the site's functionality, while users who sign in can gain access to more functionality, such as asking or answering a question, establishing a profile and being able to earn reputation to allow functionality like re-tagging questions or voting to close a question.
Stack Overflow has received general praise for its architecture of handling questions and answers as they are regulated by the community. Its success has often been attributed to self-regulation.
Romanian researcher Bogdan Vasilescu criticized Stack Overflow, saying that its policies discouraged women from being actively involved[why?] while an editor from Medium said it kept maintaining a negative atmosphere for newcomers. In another report, researchers conducted empirical studies to identify what types of barriers exist for women, as well as men for posting. The study suggested that the site encourages one-upmanship, flame-wars and down-voting which makes it less likely that female users will participate. It criticised the rewards system and found instances of "gender swapping" with females adopting male or gender-neutral personas and some males masquerading as females thinking that they will not be treated as harshly.
Stack Overflow has been criticized for the proliferation of poor programming and development practices, specifically by encouraging developers to prioritize basic functionality at the expense of other features like security. A study from the University of Maryland found that Android developers that used only Stack Overflow as their programming resource tended to write more insecure code than those who used only the official Android developer documentation from Google.
- Askbot (free engine)
- OSQA (Open Source Question and Answer)
- Rosetta Code (Multi-lingual algorithms)
- List of Internet forums
- "Stackoverflow.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
- Spolsky, Joel (2008-09-15). "Stack Overflow Launches". Joel on Software. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- "Which tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network?". Meta Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow.
- Sewak, M.; et al. (18 May 2010). "Finding a Growth Business Model at Stack Overflow, Inc" (PDF). Stanford CasePublisher. Stanford University School of Engineering. Rev. 20 July 2010 (2010-204–1). 204-2010-1. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- "Stack Exchange Network Legal Links". Stack Exchange. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Stack Overflow Internet Services, Inc. (2010-06-08). "Stack Exchange API". Stack Apps. Retrieved 2010-06-08.
- Jeff Atwood (2008-04-16). "Introducing Stackoverflow.com". Coding Horror. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- Jeff Atwood (2008-09-16). "None of Us is as Dumb as All of Us". Coding Horror. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- Alan Zeichick (2009-04-15). "Secrets of social site success". SD Times. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "Spolsky's Software Q-and-A Site". Slashdot. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- Joel Spolsky (2009-04-24). "Google Tech Talks: Learning from StackOverflow.com". YouTube. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- Jeff Atwood (2008-04-06). "Help Name Our Website". Coding Horror. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
- Jeff Atwood (2008-09-21). "The Gamification". Coding Horror Blog. Retrieved 2011-01-24.
- "What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it?". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
- "List of privileges".
- "Case Studies/StackOverflow.com". creativecommons.org.
- "Closing changes: on hold, unclear, too broad, opinion-based, off-topic reasons, bye-bye to Too Localized". meta.stackexchange.com.
- "The war of the closes".
- "Dr. Strangedupe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Duplication". stackoverflow.com.
- "All Sites". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "10,000,000th question is here!". Stack Overflow. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- "Developer Jobs, Programming Jobs & More - Stack Overflow". stackoverflow.com. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Stack Overflow Business". www.stackoverflowbusiness.com. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "J.Atwood & J.Spolsky founding stackoverflow.com -- but we need a logo". 99Designs.com. 30 April 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Ha, Anthony (4 May 2010). "Stack Overflow raises $6M to take its Q&A model beyond programming". VentureBeat. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
The money we've raised means that, for the next ($6m / monthly burn rate) months, we can take on new projects, hire new people, and build new expert Q&A sites on a wide variety of new topics. Instead of opening sites in exchange for money, we’re about to launch a new, democratic system where anyone can propose a Q&A site, and, if it gets a critical mass of interested people, we'll create it.
- Atwood, Jeff (2009-04-06). "A Day in the Penalty Box". StackOverflow Blog. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- Wang, Shaowei; David Lo; Lingxiao Jiang (18–22 March 2013). "An Empirical Study on Developer Interactions in StackOverflow". Singapore Management University. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 February 2014.
- Mamykina, Lena; Bella Manoim; Manas Mittal; George Hripcsak; Björn Hartmann (2011). "Design lessons from the fastest q&a site in the west". CHI '11 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: 2857–2866. doi:10.1145/1978942.1979366. ISBN 9781450302289.
- "Turbocharging the Roomba: solutions for premature deletion". stackexchange.com.
- Bosu, Amiangshu; Christopher S. Corley; Dustin Heaton; Debarshi Chatterji; Jeffrey C. Carver; Nicholas A. Kraft (2013). "Building Reputation in StackOverflow: An Empirical Investigation" (PDF). Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0290, USA: Department of Computer Science, The University of Alabama.
- "What posts get deleted, and why?". Meta.StackOverflow. 3 January 2017.
- Jeff Atwood (2008-09-21). "What Was Stack Overflow Built With?". Stack Overflow Blog. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
- Sam Saffron (2011-03-30). "How I learned to stop worrying and write my own ORM". Retrieved 2014-07-22.
- Anderson, Ashton; Huttenlocher, Daniel; Kleinberg, Jon; Luskovec, Jure (2012). "Discovering Value from Community Activity on Focused Question Answering Sites: A Case Study of Stack Overflow" (PDF). Cornell University.
- "Gender, Representation and Online Participation:A Quantitative Study of StackOverflow" (PDF). Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "The decline of Stack Overflow".
- Ford, Denae; Justin Smith; Philip J. Guo; Chris Parnin (2016). "Paradise Unplugged: Identifying Barriers for Female Participation on Stack Overflow" (PDF). Seattle, WA, USA: ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering.
- Y. Acar, M. Backes, S. Fahl, D. Kim, M. L. Mazurek and C. Stransky, "You Get Where You're Looking for: The Impact of Information Sources on Code Security," 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP), San Jose, CA, 2016, pp. 289-305. doi: 10.1109/SP.2016.25