Podcast #23

by Jeff Atwood

on September 24, 2008

This is the twenty-third episode of the StackOverflow podcast, wherein Joel and I discuss the following:

  • The Stack Overflow team will be in New York City from the 24th to the 28th. It's partly business, and partly a reward to our team for their hard work on the site. What are some cool geeky things for us to do in NYC?

  • We wonder: do newscasters wear pants?

  • Joel describes his upcoming Inc. magazine article enumerating the seven development mistakes we made in building Stack Overflow. I think by seven he meant zero.

  • Most of the reviews of Cuil and Knol are negative because "I tried it for what it was intended to be used, and it didn't work."

  • The power of short informal code reviews in bridging the skill gap between beginning and expert software developers. Good developers think of this as self-preservation, because today's beginner code is tomorrow's code you'll have to maintain.

  • There have been a lot of requests for a packaged, customized version of Stack Overflow, but we have some reservations about the difficulty of delivering a packaged solution, and whether the current design will scale down to smaller private communities at all.

  • Should trusted users be allowed to close questions? Or should the community simply vote them down? I argue we need both of these methods; Joel feels we ony need voting.

  • It's ok to have some "fun" programming questions every now and then. It can't be a community if you don't stop every so often to have some (at least partially on topic) fun.

We also answered the following listener questions:

  1. "How do you handle newbie questions?"

  2. Richard: "How do you cultivate programmer mentoring at a small company?"

If you'd like to submit a question to be answered in our next episode, record an audio file (90 seconds or less) and mail it to podcast@stackoverflow.com. You can record a question using nothing but a telephone and a web browser. We also have a dedicated phone number you can call to leave audio questions at 646-826-3879.

The transcript wiki for this episode is available for public editing.

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