I recently became intrigued by how StackOverflow reputation system worked. Naturally I decided to find ways to grow my own reputation. After all, with higher reputation you get permissions to do more things on the site. I thought one way to get more reputation points would be to search for questions about technologies that I am familiar with (rails_admin, devise, sidekiq, mongoid) and answer them.

I decided to spend an hour or two per week just looking through questions. I found many questions where people were using these technologies in ways very different than I did. So instead of easily being able to answer them it challenged me to think about new ways to using these technologies. Also, whenever I was trying to something new and could not find existing question already answered I would post it myself. The process of writing my question in concise and detailed manner actually helped me either solve the problem or think of new issues.

Sometimes the answers provided by others to my questions helped me see entirely new solutions that can be applied in different areas (even if they did not answer my primary question). And the best part is when you actually solve your own question a few weeks later and than you can post the answer yourself.

So now I am seeing StackOverflow not as an easy way to copy and paste some code snippets but as a way to challenge myself to grow my knowledge to a deeper level. Pretty short post but it was interesting to share my experience.