Back when I was a full-time programmer and there was some code someone struggled with, it was a common practice to ask around in cubicle land. Sometimes you’d get lucky and find someone who know the answer right away or knew where to look in the documentation. When Stack Overflow launched, I cultivated a habit of asking and immediately answering questions I’d heard discussed at the office on the site. To this day, I get upvotes on questions like “How can you untar more than one file at a time?” It doesn’t just add to my reputation score—it also feels great to know I’ve helped dozens¹ of strangers. How often can you say that about an hour or so of effort?
Meanwhile, most of the questions people on my team had were more like, “How do I check the current state of resource_server?” If you don’t know what that means, don’t
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