What are the best alternatives to Stack Overflow?

Probably the only answer would be what there was before stackoverflow.

I remember when I first started using it. At the time I was doing some Java development and questions that I had were placed on a forum run at the domain java.net. It was slow and it was clinky and it was hard to search, but it was better than nothing and some really great minds were posting answers there.

Sun stopped maintaining/upgrading the site (no funding I guess) and I finally saw someone post that they wouldn’t be using it anymore and there was this great new site where you could find him: stackoverflow.com. Went there

Probably the only answer would be what there was before stackoverflow.

I remember when I first started using it. At the time I was doing some Java development and questions that I had were placed on a forum run at the domain java.net. It was slow and it was clinky and it was hard to search, but it was better than nothing and some really great minds were posting answers there.

Sun stopped maintaining/upgrading the site (no funding I guess) and I finally saw someone post that they wouldn’t be using it anymore and there was this great new site where you could find him: stackoverflow.com. Went there and have been using it ever since.

The same story could be repeated with just about every programming technology I was using or ever used. There were (and are) many sites and mailing lists to use and each one focused on a specific language, framework, library. Since each sub-community was relatively small the velocity was slow. It could take weeks for someone to notice your question.

stackoverflow did a number of things to change that. Nothing they did was perfect but it was far better than what was there before.

My observation about SO is that people who show up at Quora dissatisfied with it is that they seem to think they have been maltreated by having their questions rejected. Before concluding that SO is no good it might be better to examine if you are doing anything wrong. If you were expecting it to be a hand-holding tutorial service I would say you are bound to be frustrated. Personally I have had questions rejected but on the whole I have had a lot of very tough issues resolved there.

I will recommend one alternative, although I would rather call it a supplement. I have found a number of extremely helpful training courses over at Online Courses - Learn Anything, On Your Schedule | Udemy — they have some really good video instructors there. I have paid for a couple of them and they have absolutely paid off.

Also I would plug W3Schools Online Web Tutorials. An amazingly information-dense resource for those topics they cover.

I totally agree with you, to me StackOverflow is useful, but people get pissed off from time to time.

There are a lot good/great people there for sure, but there are also quite a few bullies there, trying to close & down vote like a hell without a reasonable explanation, some even mocking about users if they don’t master something, in short, they press down other people.

And, the site’s policies seem to encourage that, somehow.

Occasionally, I still run into some SO posts, probably due to Google search while trying to figure out something, and won’t hesitate to view it, as I declared in the begin

I totally agree with you, to me StackOverflow is useful, but people get pissed off from time to time.

There are a lot good/great people there for sure, but there are also quite a few bullies there, trying to close & down vote like a hell without a reasonable explanation, some even mocking about users if they don’t master something, in short, they press down other people.

And, the site’s policies seem to encourage that, somehow.

Occasionally, I still run into some SO posts, probably due to Google search while trying to figure out something, and won’t hesitate to view it, as I declared in the beginning, it’s useful (otherwise I won’t have used it for years, and get over 8k reputations, though it’s not that much compared to many others).

But personally I rarely ask / answer questions on SO now, I would save the time for side projects and learning new things.


To answer the original question, I believe Google search is one of the best alternatives, as you already know.


Update (2020–08–15)

If you visit SO to improve your programming skills, then I strongly recommend another possible alternative: Codewars: Achieve mastery through challenge, it’s super interesting, and, in my point, serves that purpose much more effectiently.

Unfortunately there is no better alternative and i am saying this after years of research however that doesn’t negate the fact that there ought to be one.

The moderators of stackoverflow and even the “highly intelligent” developers who answer are soo rude. For people new to technology and less experience, they can only expect rude comments as to how badly formed the question is and are just shown how stupid they are which is absolutely uncalled for.

Still remember how i was rebuked for my first ever question, where the question was downvoted because according to them it wasn’t well researched.

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Unfortunately there is no better alternative and i am saying this after years of research however that doesn’t negate the fact that there ought to be one.

The moderators of stackoverflow and even the “highly intelligent” developers who answer are soo rude. For people new to technology and less experience, they can only expect rude comments as to how badly formed the question is and are just shown how stupid they are which is absolutely uncalled for.

Still remember how i was rebuked for my first ever question, where the question was downvoted because according to them it wasn’t well researched.

Never got the answer to the question and instead was made fun of with sly remarks like even a kindergarten kid can tell and you need to google. Well i googled and did not find appropriate answer which is why i asked.

Till date that question remains without any proper answer and only filled with the rudest remarks proving how dumb i am.

In short, an alternative to stackoverflow/exchange is the need of the hour!

Here are a few things I can't stand about StackExchange - just a few of those reasons why I only go there after exhausting all my other options and am hoping to find an alternative.

  1. Highly-privileged users who edit your question out of the clear presumption that they understand better than you do what you're trying to ask.
  2. Answers I got to questions that made it perfectly clear that the person providing the answer didn't really read my question through. I had no way to reject that answer as the "noise" that it was --- and I was the one who got the brunt for daring to express my agitation at an a

Here are a few things I can't stand about StackExchange - just a few of those reasons why I only go there after exhausting all my other options and am hoping to find an alternative.

  1. Highly-privileged users who edit your question out of the clear presumption that they understand better than you do what you're trying to ask.
  2. Answers I got to questions that made it perfectly clear that the person providing the answer didn't really read my question through. I had no way to reject that answer as the "noise" that it was --- and I was the one who got the brunt for daring to express my agitation at an answer that did little more than reduce the chances that someone else might give a satisfactory answer.
  3. Their concept of when a question is "redundant" is way too loose --- including cases when they see a question as "redundant" on the basis of an answer provided years before -- even if the question pertains to a very rapidly-changing technology for which a mere six-month-old answer could potentially be obsolete. It also includes questions that really weren't the same question --- or which were themselves given a less-than-adequate answer (see gripe #2).

Anyway --- these are the three main reasons that I am hoping to find an alternative to StackExchange.

I am praying for google to create an alternative to Stackoverflow. I am tired of their moderators. Neither do they allow questions to be asked, nor do they allow them to be answered. It looks like most of the new questions appear to them as ‘low quality’. I can’t digest their quality requirements. It is unfortunate that they currently have the largest amount of information, (just like Facebook has the largest functional social network). Stackoverflow started off with ‘Amercian’ ideals and ended up becoming Soviet Union. Too much moderation/downvoting sucks. Instead of appreciation, I got negat

I am praying for google to create an alternative to Stackoverflow. I am tired of their moderators. Neither do they allow questions to be asked, nor do they allow them to be answered. It looks like most of the new questions appear to them as ‘low quality’. I can’t digest their quality requirements. It is unfortunate that they currently have the largest amount of information, (just like Facebook has the largest functional social network). Stackoverflow started off with ‘Amercian’ ideals and ended up becoming Soviet Union. Too much moderation/downvoting sucks. Instead of appreciation, I got negative votes after researching more than an hour to answer a question. I decided to never write again in Stackoverflow sites.

For the time being, I use its information, block its ads., post questions in google’s forums, and best, read books to learn. Till a new site gets built up and gathers momentum, we are stuck with this hostile website.

Experts Exchange is older than Stack Overflow and used to be a good source for questions and answers. But EE is mostly ICT-related, not politics.

Quora is also a good site but you already know that. :-)

However, you have to keep in mind that most of these Q&A sites are user-moderated and aren’t looking for opinions but for answers. This means that some moderators can be real anal about some questions or answers. StackOverflow is only interested in questions that have answers, not opinions.

Quora, on the other hand, is more about opinions and less about answers. Experts Exchange is somewhat in-bet

Experts Exchange is older than Stack Overflow and used to be a good source for questions and answers. But EE is mostly ICT-related, not politics.

Quora is also a good site but you already know that. :-)

However, you have to keep in mind that most of these Q&A sites are user-moderated and aren’t looking for opinions but for answers. This means that some moderators can be real anal about some questions or answers. StackOverflow is only interested in questions that have answers, not opinions.

Quora, on the other hand, is more about opinions and less about answers. Experts Exchange is somewhat in-between, but only ICT related.

As for the blog complaining about Stack Overflow and how you don’t like their rules, Meh… That’s an opinion. Go somewhere else if you want opinions, but I want answers on Q&A sites.

I can't stand Stackoverflow. As someone who has a BS in Software Engineering, I can't tell you the number of times I've banged my head against the wall, and I ask a question from time to time. Like how do I get proper exchange of data from a java server to a c# clients readbytes. It's a harder question than it sounds, but you get some 15 year old kid closing your thread.

To me, most people have problems reading at a college level, so to discourage someone from programming, because the moderator wants to feel superior is deplorable.

Besides, learning is messy business. It looks messy, it feels me

I can't stand Stackoverflow. As someone who has a BS in Software Engineering, I can't tell you the number of times I've banged my head against the wall, and I ask a question from time to time. Like how do I get proper exchange of data from a java server to a c# clients readbytes. It's a harder question than it sounds, but you get some 15 year old kid closing your thread.

To me, most people have problems reading at a college level, so to discourage someone from programming, because the moderator wants to feel superior is deplorable.

Besides, learning is messy business. It looks messy, it feels messy, and it can be painful to look at. SO directly hurts education and severly limits knowledge, due to it's need for drawing within the lines. More laws and rules are not what people need.

You could argue that it's a private site and it has a right to act that way, but when you spam google search results, with clean but mostly unhelpful code it kills efficiency in finding the right answer or direction.

I've found Stack Overflow very helpful at times but it also pisses me off when you ask a very specific question AFTER trying about a billion searches and then get negged for it. OR, you don't get any responses. There are some very helpful people there but an alternative that encourages discussion rather than trying to limit it in this context would be nice.

There is alternative , but not good alternative. I, as a person, appreciate stackoverflow, but at the same time I hate their administration policy. The most irritating thing is that they will block you for silly reason, so that you no longer can post any question. That is quite bad in my opinion.
However, for programmers , stack overflow is just awesome, with programming question. Nice code formatting opportunity, option for editing are just amazing. Also the quality answers are available.

So for the question except programmin type, quora is my best option.
And for the programming question I h

There is alternative , but not good alternative. I, as a person, appreciate stackoverflow, but at the same time I hate their administration policy. The most irritating thing is that they will block you for silly reason, so that you no longer can post any question. That is quite bad in my opinion.
However, for programmers , stack overflow is just awesome, with programming question. Nice code formatting opportunity, option for editing are just amazing. Also the quality answers are available.

So for the question except programmin type, quora is my best option.
And for the programming question I haven't found any nicer one than stackoverflow yet.

I frequently use stack overflow and other stack exchange for a, but have never had a problem. Its great at what it does, maybe you are looking for something different.

You mention two problems:

1. Overly prescriptive Q&A structure. Well, read the guidelines, or simpler still, use the same structure as other posters. Only quite a small proportion of questions are rejected, so if this happens to you frequently, you must be doing something wrong.

2. "Opinionated questions". I suspect this is closer to your problem. Don't ask opinionated questions. Ask questions about facts. Don't offer opi

I frequently use stack overflow and other stack exchange for a, but have never had a problem. Its great at what it does, maybe you are looking for something different.

You mention two problems:

1. Overly prescriptive Q&A structure. Well, read the guidelines, or simpler still, use the same structure as other posters. Only quite a small proportion of questions are rejected, so if this happens to you frequently, you must be doing something wrong.

2. "Opinionated questions". I suspect this is closer to your problem. Don't ask opinionated questions. Ask questions about facts. Don't offer opinions in answers unless you state this is your personal opinion, and if its not a widely held opinion, why you believe it to be true. It must be directly about the question.

If you want ask questions, learn to use Stack Overflow. If you want to discuss opinions, Quora seems a little more relaxed about this, you could ask a provocative question related to your opinions.