What is the best way to gain reputation in Stack Overflow?

Stack Overflow, the largest QA site for professional, founded by Jeff and Joel in 2008 and became an encyclopedia for everyone who work or interested in Information Technology. It became an essential part of every programmer's life. Unlike other sites, Stack Overflow focuses only on technology. Any question that are not related to technology will be closed as off topic there. Also questions to recommend some software or hardware is unacceptable by the community.

To get high reputation on Stack Overflow, you have to consider lot of things.

1. Choose your Tag(s)

Each Stack Overflow question is tagg

Stack Overflow, the largest QA site for professional, founded by Jeff and Joel in 2008 and became an encyclopedia for everyone who work or interested in Information Technology. It became an essential part of every programmer's life. Unlike other sites, Stack Overflow focuses only on technology. Any question that are not related to technology will be closed as off topic there. Also questions to recommend some software or hardware is unacceptable by the community.

To get high reputation on Stack Overflow, you have to consider lot of things.

1. Choose your Tag(s)

Each Stack Overflow question is tagged with programming language, tools, etc. So you can watch the tags of your interest to see new questions immediately when they posted.

Choose wisely because if you answer wrongly, you may lose reputation because of down votes.

There are certain tags that have high traffic. If you choose such a tag, your earnings will be high.

2. Be a FGIW

Try to be the first answer. Being the first one to answer, the chances that your answer get maximum view are high. Also your answer will stay at the top. So in future, every visitor will, first saw your answer. So you can get some points from that too.

Note that, while you're trying to be the first to answer, don't answer with rubbish stuff. As already mentioned, your answer will be seen by thousands. So if you answer with rubbish content, you may get a lot of down votes.

Try not to write one line answers. Instead write the solution and a description. It is not just about gaining rep but it's about building a programming encyclopedia. So each contribution is valuable.

3. Don't answer on stupid questions.

If you answer to a question which is very simple or didn't show any research effort, don't answer to that question. Both question and answer will be down voted.

4. When asking, search first and then ask.

When you're about to ask a question, don't forget to search first, then attempt to solve it and if failed, ask it and show what you've done so for. That will make good question.

If you're unsure whether it is on topic or not, visit the off topic page.

5. Respond to queries.

People may have questions after reading your answer and that's for what the comments are there. If someone asked a doubt, clarify it. If someone suggested some edit, check it with your answer and accept it if necessary.

6. Answer to bounty questions.

Bounties are a good way to gain reputation much faster and are exempt from the 200 daily rep cap.

Here's how the reputation system works

Up vote for a question = +5

Up vote for an answer = +10

Answer accepted = +15

Down vote = -2

Down vote another one's answer = -1

There is a rep cap of 200 reputation. Which means you can earn maximum of 200 reputation per day from up votes. Accepted answers are exempt from this.

This post first published on my blog Sagar V - Official Blog .

You can read the original post here How to earn some internet points on Stack Overflow

It is simple. You write questions and you write answers, good answers, answers that actually address the problem, or at least an important part of it. But both questions and answers get you reputation on StackOverflow. Also, visit its sister sites like SuperUser. And if you want more details, see Jerry Coffins answer for some specific advice.

However, I need to ask, why do you need a reputation on StackOverflow? Not that it’s a bad thing. It isn’t. It’s a good thing. But the purpose of StackOverflow, like the purpose of here on Quora is the answers. So, a reputation on StackOverflow can feed yo

It is simple. You write questions and you write answers, good answers, answers that actually address the problem, or at least an important part of it. But both questions and answers get you reputation on StackOverflow. Also, visit its sister sites like SuperUser. And if you want more details, see Jerry Coffins answer for some specific advice.

However, I need to ask, why do you need a reputation on StackOverflow? Not that it’s a bad thing. It isn’t. It’s a good thing. But the purpose of StackOverflow, like the purpose of here on Quora is the answers. So, a reputation on StackOverflow can feed your ego, but it probably isn’t going to get you a job offer, at least not by itself.

Of course, maybe I’m just saying that because I don’t have a high reputation score there, because my reputation there isn’t something I have ever worked on. I go there to ask questions. Not a lot, but some, because there are things I don’t find by Google search alone, so I ask. But I hardly go and look to see the reputation of the people who answer, when I get answers.


I look to see if they have helped me figure out the solution to the issue I couldn’t resolve by myself. When they do, I am happy. When I get snark, I am not. When I get no answers or answers that convince me no one knows how to do what I want, well I’m just frustrated, because I probably still want to do it, but don’t yet know how.

A good example of that is when I wanted to understand how to decode MacOS packages to install a piece of software on Linux. Fidelity has a wonderful Windows stock market app that can also run under Wine on the Mac, so I should be able to get it to run under Wine on Linux, if I can just decode the packaging instructions to figure out how to set it up. So, I asked. I got mostly snark for that question. Snark is a pretty good sign that the person doesn’t know the answer and is trying to hide the fact that they don’t by attacking the question[er]. But, anyway, I don’t have a useful answer to that question, so I keep running Windows, because my Mac is on the other side of the ocean. So, much for people promoting open source.


So, you want reputation on StackOverflow, ask good questions, give good answers, and help people. It’s a commendable thing to do. A good reputation there and $5 will get you a nice cup of coffee at Starbucks. But, maybe somewhere, sometime, you will meet somebody who actually has read some answer you wrote and they will even spring for that cup of coffee for you.

There are a lot of ways to earn reputation on Stack Overflow. Basicly, they are listed on their What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? page as;

How do I earn reputation?

The primary way to gain reputation is by posting good questions and useful answers. Votes on these posts cause you to gain (or sometimes lose) reputation. Please note that votes for posts marked “community wiki” do not generate any reputation.

You gain reputation when:

  • question is voted up: +5
  • answer is voted up: +10
  • answer is marked “accepted”: +15 (+2 to acceptor)
  • suggested edit is accepted: +2 (up to +1000 total per user

There are a lot of ways to earn reputation on Stack Overflow. Basicly, they are listed on their What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? page as;

How do I earn reputation?

The primary way to gain reputation is by posting good questions and useful answers. Votes on these posts cause you to gain (or sometimes lose) reputation. Please note that votes for posts marked “community wiki” do not generate any reputation.

You gain reputation when:

  • question is voted up: +5
  • answer is voted up: +10
  • answer is marked “accepted”: +15 (+2 to acceptor)
  • suggested edit is accepted: +2 (up to +1000 total per user)
  • bounty awarded to your answer: + full bounty amount
  • one of your answers is awarded a bounty automatically: + half of the bounty amount (see more details about how bounties work)
  • site association bonus: +100 on each site (awarded a maximum of one time per site)

You can earn a maximum of 200 reputation per day from the combination of upvotes, downvotes and suggested edits. But Bounty awards, accepted answers, and association bonuses are not subject to this daily reputation limit.

If you are an experienced Stack Exchange network user with 200 or more reputation on at least one site, you will receive a starting +100 reputation bonus to get you past basic new user restrictions. This will happen automatically on all current Stack Exchange sites where you have an account, and on any other Stack Exchange sites at the time you log in.

Assuming you are fluent in a programming language and can write decently in English:

The quickest way to gain reputation points on Stack Overflow is to answer a lot of new questions (correctly) every day. Being first to answer is a positive, but it’s more important that you be right. Being first and wrong will just earn you downvotes.

You will eventually see that you average a certain number of points per answer, and that you can actually have some rough control over how you do on a daily basis - by answering more questions. Accepted answers give you an additional 15 rep points that don’t count

Assuming you are fluent in a programming language and can write decently in English:

The quickest way to gain reputation points on Stack Overflow is to answer a lot of new questions (correctly) every day. Being first to answer is a positive, but it’s more important that you be right. Being first and wrong will just earn you downvotes.

You will eventually see that you average a certain number of points per answer, and that you can actually have some rough control over how you do on a daily basis - by answering more questions. Accepted answers give you an additional 15 rep points that don’t count towards the daily rep cap. You can also attempt to answer questions with bounties, which also don’t count towards the daily rep cap.

Early in my account career, I figured I was earning about 15 points per answer. As I got better, it went to 20, then 25 points per answer, and so on.

I eventually learned that different users (i.e. voters) like different things, and having a diversity of things that add value to your answer helps it more, things like:

  • Introductions, summaries, conclusions
  • Empirical evidence (code) that others can easily copy, paste, and run
  • Footnotes, references, citations of and links to (preferably primary) sources, including documentation, dev mailing lists, and source code.
  • Critiques of other answers, with code evidencing what’s wrong
  • Comprehensive reviews all of the possible answers
  • Call out best practices that most robustly cover the most edge-cases
  • Provide rules of thumb, tables, diagrams, and even graphics
  • Provide implementation details to aid in understanding
  • Ensure good grammar, good style (code and text), and make elegant use of formatting tools (and do not over-use them.)

Sometimes other answers go on tangents and readers start to lose track of what the actual question is - which is why I generally restate the question in the introduction of my answer. It also helps me stay focused on the actual question as well, as well as highlighting how other answers may actually be side-stepping the question.

As a moderator, let me add: don’t cheat - don’t bother trying to create multiple accounts so you can vote for yourself - that’s just a waste of time, you’ll be caught, and your votes and reputation points will be undone. In fact, tell your friends with accounts to be careful that they’re not only voting for you, and to only vote on the posts, not the users, just to be safe.

To quickly gain reputation in Stack Overflow, you just got to troll. That’s usually the demeanor of that whole site. All the answers on here are incorrect. Posting high quality answers will just end up getting downvoted by some troll on there. I’ve asked legitimate and actually solid quality answers and my questions got downvoted simply because people are trolls. One answer to my question even said “I don’t know why people are downvoting you.” A lot of people have left Stack Overflow because of this. Just read this nicely put article about Stack Overflow that someone wrote in 2015. The decline

To quickly gain reputation in Stack Overflow, you just got to troll. That’s usually the demeanor of that whole site. All the answers on here are incorrect. Posting high quality answers will just end up getting downvoted by some troll on there. I’ve asked legitimate and actually solid quality answers and my questions got downvoted simply because people are trolls. One answer to my question even said “I don’t know why people are downvoting you.” A lot of people have left Stack Overflow because of this. Just read this nicely put article about Stack Overflow that someone wrote in 2015. The decline of Stack Overflow – Hacker Noon. The community and demeanor has never changed since than either. So if you really want to gain reputation and that’s all you want to do, then just troll. Make some absurd comment to get the upvotes like most of the comments on there does.

Wear short skirts, too much makeup,….errr…ummmm…I mean…

You answer a lot of questions about programming. Oh, and you need to answer them at least reasonably well as a general rule.

But if what you care about is reputation score, a decent answer quickly will usually do better than a better answer more slowly. Most people just don't have the patience to wait very long, so slow answers don't get nearly as many votes.

At the same time, an answer that's really poor will often get down voted, obviously losing reputation points in the process. And if I its score goes negative there's a pile on effect th

Wear short skirts, too much makeup,….errr…ummmm…I mean…

You answer a lot of questions about programming. Oh, and you need to answer them at least reasonably well as a general rule.

But if what you care about is reputation score, a decent answer quickly will usually do better than a better answer more slowly. Most people just don't have the patience to wait very long, so slow answers don't get nearly as many votes.

At the same time, an answer that's really poor will often get down voted, obviously losing reputation points in the process. And if I its score goes negative there's a pile on effect that will attract even more down votes.

… By asking and answering questions.

It’s unclear what kind of answer you expected. Just searching the web would turn up things like How does "Reputation" work? which already answer this, and SO’s on FAQ does as well.

(There are a few other trivial ways like voting, but relatively speaking asking and answering.)