Thursday, May 1, 2014

"Question quality is dropping on Stack Overflow"

There's an interesting discussion going on on the subject of "Question quality is dropping on Stack Overflow". Choice quotes:
"Folks are entering this field not because they have any real drive, love or talent for the craft, [...]""The question quality will continue to decline as long as we continue to reward the bad questions with answers.""The problem is by no means new, btw, as evidenced by this four year old thread. The number of users who are full of it might be, however, [...]""In my view, SO made the jump and became the zero-cost version of Mechanical Turk aeons ago.""How about a probationary period for Questions"
And one answer is the wiser, IMHO: 
This is how gamification works, right?

The rules of Stack Overflow: The Game are as follows.

Your rep is your score.
You want your score to be the highest, because then you WIN. Winning is good!
Downvoting bad questions does nothing to your score. Who cares?
Voting to close bad questions does nothing to your score. Who cares?
Downvoting bad answers, or answers to bad questions, lowers your score. Avoid at all costs!
Posting a quick answer to a trivial question generally nets you an accept, plus maybe a couple drive-by upvotes. Which makes it the best strategy.
The game isn't designed to increase the SNR.

Dislike the game, not the player. The game at Stack Overflow was well enough set up that it could work pretty well for some time. 

Now for my own thoughts...well, sometime later, some sunny day when I get some return for writing here.

Actually, I do have some thoughtful thoughts on this, and I may very well get back with them. This post feels just about the right size and the right single-subject form to end here.

No comments:

Post a Comment