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Discussion on: Advanced devs and beginner devs can co-exist harmoniously. It's not rocket science.

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Brian Rinaldi

Here's what I don't understand about that whole attitude that Jeff seems to epitomize - we're all beginners at something.

That's the nature of being a developer. I have been coding for 20 years and yet I am constantly being challenged to learn new things and dive into aspects of coding where I feel totally inadequate and uncomfortable. For example, right now I have to dive into a topic that I have read a ton about, but still feel like a total moron incapable of truly getting started. Other times in my career, I've literally had to switch entire stacks almost overnight. The point is, whether we are new to code in general or with decades of experience, we will always encounter times when we're the "noob." Anyone who doesn't is just coasting.

Over the years, I have turned to SO from time to time as a resource, but it was never a place that I chose to go as a resource - just something was linked-to from a Google search. The few times I have tried it, I never found it welcoming or entirely helpful. There seemed to be a set of unwritten rules that all the regular contributors knew that I didn't. I doubt I will ever actively participate by choice (though I may, from time to time, have to answer a question someone posted there as part of my job). I am grateful for the many times that the information I found there helped me solve a problem, but I do simultaneously wish it was from a resource that had a more welcoming and inclusive community.

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Ben Halpern Author

Yes I totally agree. Also, sometimes I'm actually a strong user of a technology or concept that I actually have a pretty poor understanding of. In these cases it's really exciting to come across an example meant for a beginner because I got by this whole time on intuition or trial and error. I finally get it and I didn't even know I didn't know.

I love Stack Overflow as a resource, but when I have to do more than read I often come away frustrated. What's tough is that improving on any of this doesn't really make Stack Overflow any more money. It's hard to convince the board of a company that has raised $68m that it's worth changing things in a way could alienate a portion of the most prolific users.