Friday, August 20, 2010

Voting and StackOverflow

While watching TV in the evening or waiting for compiles at work to finish I often spend my time browsing and answering questions on StackOverflow.

Today I got my first “Nice Answer” badge, meaning you got 10+ votes on an answer. My answer was on a rather non-important question: Which operator is faster: ?: or &&

The question is irrelevant in day to day work, and that’s what I wrote in my answer. Readability is more important than which piece of code is faster. At least for things which are already super fast.

What I find interesting is that answers on questions like these get the most votes. Harder, difficult questions, tend to get fewer votes.

So why is this? My only explanation is that topics/questions which many people understand get more votes as more people read the question. If the question is outside your programming skills, you can’t value the answers, and most likely will not spend time understanding it, so you won’t vote on it (if you ever decided to read the question at all).