Getting Started with Stack Overflow
Yesterday morning I woke up to find a comment had been made on an old answer that I'd posted to Stack Overflow, and I opened up the site. Quickly I remembered why I don't enjoy using it. I had a reputation score of 46 and was unable to comment on anything other than my own answers. Without having much work that was pressing I decided to change that.
The first thing that I did was to read through posts and vote up any question or answer that I found interesting. Quickly I had finished the forty vote max for the day, and earned three badges (Citizen Patrol, Suffrage, and Vox Populi).
The next badge that came up for tracking was to edit a question that had been dormant for 6 months (Excavator). I set into the depths of #python posts. I quickly found many posts with irrelevant tags, missing tags, or poor wording, and I submitted some few dozen edits. Along the way I actually found a couple of questions that I could answer. After the first two edits were accepted I had gotten myself over the comment barrier of fifty reputation, and that was the goal.
At this point something happened, and I started to enjoy the ability to comment in order to evoke more information on questions. Before I knew it, I had an answer accepted and jumped above seventy reputation.
This morning I opened up Stack Overflow and was greeted with having 105 reputation and 13 badges. After years of frustration with one of our most beneficial tools as a developer, I was able to break through in the span of one afternoon. I know that many of us have frustrations with that site and how difficult it can be when you are trying to ask questions (to this day I have not posted any question). But there are many ways that you can contribute to Stack Overflow that help to raise your reputation AND help get people answers to their questions.