What is Stack Overflow? A forum for anyone who codes

Developers point to code on a PC in an office.

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Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer website that unites computer programmers worldwide.

The site serves as a repository of information about computer programming. It is named after the software error that occurs when a program runs out of memory.

Stack Overflow facilitates collaboration, problem solving and knowledge sharing between individuals, groups and organizations.

Stack Overflow Benefits

  • Ask questions and get practical, detailed answers
  • Tags and filters make it easy to find questions and answers
  • Communities of like-minded computer programmers sharing information
  • No ads or spam
  • Voting system to promote accurate answers
  • Smart participants with quick responses

Stack Overflow Cons

  • Resistance to newbies asking questions
  • Tutorials on how to ask a question are difficult for beginners
  • Downvoted by fellow users without explanation or instruction
  • No way to refine and edit existing questions and answers
  • Moderators do not always facilitate discussions efficiently

The Stack Exchange Network’s flagship website, Stack Overflow, hosts more than 100 million visitors every month. Founded by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky in 2008, the public platform offers questions and answers about: computer programming† Stack Overflow provides resources for individuals in addition to products for teams, advertisers, and users seeking talent.

Stack Overflow contains over 22 million questions and answers. Each is tagged so you can filter by what you need. You can also filter by user.

Participants are categorized as new users, editors or moderators. Additional user breakdowns include voting history and reputations.

The format of Stack Overflow is similar to Reddit. Any visitor can search Stack Overflow, but you need a free account to participate.

Questions come from novices and experts alike, and thorough answers are provided quickly. Questions about how it’s hard to learn to code and the easiest programming languages ​​to learn guide questions on advanced computer programming topics.

The Stack Exchange Network also hosts the Software Engineering Stack Exchange. It overlaps with Stack Overflow, but the latter focuses on coding and tools. The first contains questions and answers about system development lifecycles.

Stack Overflow topics meet the needs of programming enthusiasts, professionals, and experts. Using words and phrases that describe specific topics or tags increases efficiency when exploring Stack Overflow.

Popular tags include: programming and scripting languages ​​such as:

Operating systems like Android and iOS are among the top tags.

But you will also find information on every aspect of computer science, from general (databases, frameworks and algorithms) to niche and specific.

How to answer your questions on Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow offers tips to help you ask a question in a way that will get an answer. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Provide a concise, descriptive title.
  2. Write your question using the correct terms, grammar and language that fully explains your problem.
  3. Adding code helps, but make sure to fully explain the problem first.
  4. Provide enough information to help others re-solve your problem.
  5. Use all appropriate tags.
  6. Proofread before posting to make sure your question is clear and concise.
  7. Respond to feedback and answer follow-up questions from fellow users.

More Free Encoding Resources

Stack Overflow can help you find answers to computer programming questions, but there are additional resources that will benefit coders and programmers. We have listed some important websites below.


codecademy is an interactive platform with free coding lessons in 12 programming languages. Codeacademy also offers career programs, projects, documents and a blog to give you an insight into the world of computer programming. The price varies.

View our full Codecademy review here

Code project

Code project exists for people who code. With question-and-answer forums, discussions, articles, and a thriving community of over 15 million members, Code Project also offers contests and surveys.


GitHub is a platform where users build, distribute and maintain software. GitHub users can speed up their coding with software packages from the site’s registry.

Coders can also post and share code with fellow users. This makes the site a popular one coding portfolio host.


GitLab, a complete DevOps platform, enables software professionals to perform all project tasks from one location. GitLab is an application with free open and private repositories of content.

Users have access to GitLab’s community programs, technology partnerships, and external events.


Quora, a general question-and-answer forum, also provides information on computer programming topics.

Quora has forums for coding advice, general programming information, and exploring more advanced aspects of the field. The site is searchable by keyword.

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