Posted by: tonygurney | September 30, 2008

Answers to Those Pesky Programming Problems

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Image via CrunchBase

We’ve all done it. Been 90% through a project only to find that we’re stuck. The libraries don’t work like they should or some dependency problem rears its ugly head. You ask friends, look up programming books and, of course, ask Google. Nothing works.

As Joel Spolsky puts it in his blog Google gives you:

  • A bunch of links to discussion forums where very unknowledgeable people are struggling with the same problem and getting nowhere,
  • A link to a Q&A site that purports to have the answer, but when you get there, the answer is all encrypted, and you’re being asked to sign up for a paid subscription plan,
  • An old Usenet post with the exact right answer—for Windows 3.1—but it just doesn’t work anymore,
  • And something in Japanese.

Spolsky and Jeff Atwood (from excellent blog Coding Horror) have tackled this problem with StackOverflow.com, a programming site with questions and, more importantly, answers. As the answers are voted on by the members you get much better replies than with traditional searches.

StackOverflow has just come out of beta and looks like it’s going to be great. Give it a go.

Stack Overflow

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