We Stand On the Shoulders of Giants: Thanks, Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow logo

We have been working on the technology behind our community repair platform for several years. About a year ago, someone I’ve been following for a long time and respect a great deal launched a revolutionary new site, stackoverflow.com. The evil mad scientist behind it is Jeff Atwood, author of the influential Coding Horror blog. Stack Overflow is a Q&A for programmers with a built-in reputation economy.

The moment I saw it, I knew he had struck gold. We immediately realized that the SO team had created elegant solutions to a lot of problems that we had been struggling with. Since then, we have been working to combine the best elements from what we have been working on with Stack Overflow’s solid, field-tested model. The result of this work is iFixit Answers.

I strongly agree with Jeff’s stated goal of making his corner of the web better. I like to think that’s what iFixit has always been up to—making sure that the repair content here raises the bar for repair manual quality on the web. We are thrilled to back up the Stack Overflow Justice League by making online repair information better.

Stack Overflow team imagined as the Justice League
Visualization of the Stack Overflow league of web justice

Thanks for all the fish

I want to personally thank the entire Stack Overflow team for being so inspirational and helpful. Jeff is a genius at building community and architecting social software. One of the more unique features of Stack Overflow is their badge system, which we have almost exactly copied. Jeff also graciously gave us permission to use some of their badge names. I had actually been planning a badge system from my Boy Scout days, but again, the SO team really nailed their implementation (which was in turn inspired by the Xbox achievement system). So today, I am pleased to introduce the Stack Overflow badge. We haven’t decided exactly how we’ll award this badge yet, but I guarantee it will blow your stack.

Also, if you’re a software developer, you should definitely be listening to the Stack Overflow podcast. Every week, Joel Spolsky and Jeff go off on an hour-long riff on programming topics and social software development.