Millionth Stack Overflow Question

by Jeff Atwood

on October 13, 2010

At about 9:26 PM Pacific time, on October 12th, 2010, the millionth question was asked on Stack Overflow. And then promptly closed.

This of course calls for a celebration.

There was an informal meta Contest to predict date and time that stackoverflow will eclipse 1,000,000 questions -- once the community decides who the winner is, I think they should certainly be the proud recipient of a Stack Overflow t-shirt, stickers, and of course the million unicorn bill.

Since our 100,000th question and first birthday, we've skipped celebrating these things -- but the millionth question is a major milestone.

The first Stack Overflow question was asked at 21:42 on July 31st, 2008. This means in the 803 days and 2.2 years since Stack Overflow launched, there have been on average 1,245 questions asked per day. That's ... a lot. The growth has been more or less linear over time, and it has forced us to think deeply in the last year about the intrinsic value of questions versus answers, how to assist new users in asking better questions, and how to foster sub-communities within tags.

Most of all, thanks to everyone in the programming community who so generously contributed a few minutes out of their day to help their peers and collectively make our craft a tiny bit better alongside us. When I announced our public launch on September 16th, 2008, I said:

The idea that you have all these experts waiting in the wings to do stuff is an illusion in my experience. There's really just a bunch of amateurs muddling along trying to do things together. The people that are truly experts are too busy to even help, right? And if the experts are too busy to help, what difference does it really make if there are experts at all. The whole point of this endeavor is helping others learn, and whether you're an expert or not, if you have no time to help, you're not really contributing to the solution.

One million questions later, I still believe in our mission, and I am proud to be a part of this community. I hope you are too.