I am Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror), co-founder of Stack Overflow and Discourse. Ask me anything! 4/8 @ Noon PST


Hi and thanks for the opportunity to engage with you through this AMA! Please share your advice for self-taught coders and junior developers on how to grow and hone in skills to be competitive and employable in the industry.


Hey @codinghorror, I feel privileged to have a talk with you !
What is your take on Open Source programming, and how people can benefit from this valuable skill?
Also please share your insights as to how one keeps up with this ever changing world of knowledge, where everyday, new frameworks are being published.



If you are now a young computer graduate, what are the:

  1. Top 3 Software Engineering skills you would tackle ?
  2. What about the top 3 soft (managerial) skills ?



First of all, thanks Jeff for everything you’ve contributed to the dev community over the years! I can absolutely say that I’m a better software engineer as a direct result of some of the thoughtful words you’ve published.

Are people hacking Discourse to solve problems your team didn’t anticipate? If so, what is the most interesting hack that comes to mind?


Hi @codinghorror! First of all, your blog was a major inspiration for me as a young coder-to-be, so thank you for that!

There’s plenty of advice out there for budding developers, but what advice would you offer to an experienced professional who wants to improve? That is, assuming I want to keep coding, and don’t want to go into management. :wink: Thanks in advance!


When growing the community how did you moderate content quality?


Hi Jeff Atwood aka @codinghorror !

I am having a career related question.

I am working as lecturer in Indian Engineering college, but I want to switch to software industry. From last 3 years, with good operational knowledge of Cloud computing, I started preparing and gave shot to following things:

  1. Python
  2. Devops Config Tools

But I was not able to clear interviews approx 9-10 and was told to become more good in Python for Devops interviews.

As I was eager to switch jobs, I found Python is bit difficult to master when I don’t have 40 hours per week of 2 Years experience. Considering years spent in Academics, interviewers were asking questions for 2+ years experience Python Developer. After that I started preparing for:

  • Technical Writing,
  • Instructional designing
  • Learner & Training Consultant

but here also I’m not seeing ray of hope. More I am preparing, more I am getting frustrated and feeling that lesser are going to be the chances to join Industry.

Please guide me how should I prepare wisely to end this Job hunting nightmare?
How should I bring transition when I am switching from Academics to Industry?


Hi, thanks for engaging with us.

You once tweeted "a group of programmers is called an “actually”. Have you ever been accused of being too rational, and what advice would you give to those who see criticism of ideas as a form of personal insult?


Hi Jeff, how did Stack Overflow’s reputation system start out? How did it evolve? What did you learn along the way?



Do you believe humans will peacefully collaborate with artificial life forms in the twenty-first century?


Are there any important lessons that have been lost to the detriment of younger developers? That is things that were common knowledge 10-20+ years ago that would benefit developers today if they understood them?


Hi Jeff, what are your favorite fiction/non-fiction books?


Hey @codinghorror thanks for doing this! Your insights and experience will be incredibly valuable.

My Question: Both StackOverflow/StackExchange and Discourse are great examples of social software done well. For those of us who are dreaming up of building social software as well, do you have any tips? What is worth keeping in mind (especially technically and from a product point of view)? And are there any good resources that you would suggest that we look at to help guide us along the way?



Hi Jeff

I resigned my role as CEO in a related field because I became disillusioned that my vision for what we were trying to achieve was compromised by decisions we’d made earlier in our business’ lifetime.

What are you disillusioned about? If you could do it all again, despite being so successful with what you’ve done, what would you do differently? What did you ‘take for granted’ back then that you’ve completely rejected since?




Hi Jeff :slight_smile:

Stack Overflow now runs off of several data centers, but at first it was launched as third party hosted.

What factors led to switching to private hardware, and what advice can you offer to startups who are trying to decide between staying hosted versus using their own hardware?



What do you think is the outlook for code marketplaces and other methods for introducing monetization into code repositories? Thanks!


With Discourse innovating on traditional community forums and chat programs like Discord/Slack replacing things like community IRCs/Jabber, what do you see as next on the chopping block?


Hey Jeff! How do you think the programming blogosphere has changed, for the better or worse, since you started writing Coding Horror in 2004?


Have you any ideas for utilizing artificial intelligence algorithms?


Hey @codinghorror - so fucking honored to have you here! really.

As you know, we are building Hacker Noon 2.0 comment system on Discourse (@Dane is championing that). From your experience doing that with your own blog, what do you think we should be realistic about in terms of the challenges that come with it?