"The Stackoverflow.com for Software Testers"

By Justin Hunter · Oct 6, 2009

Today I've released a beta version of testing.stackexchange.com which is a "stackoverflow.com for software testers." I would appreciate your help in contributing content, and/or getting the word out. Stackoverflow has become an extraordinarily useful forum for software developers to ask difficult, practical questions, and get quick, actionable, peer-reviewed responses from software developers around the globe. While there are some software testing questions on stackoverflow itself, the questions are mostly software developer-centric. There's no reason why we can't create a very similar forum geared primarily towards the software testing community. So who's with me? Please show your support by posting a question, sharing an answer or voting on existing answers at [testing.stackexchange.com](http://testing.stackexchange.com/

If you share my belief in the significant potential benefit to the software testing community that would result from a mature, well-trafficked site with a rich collection of peer-reviewed questions on software testing and you would be interested in helping out beyond posting periodic questions and/or answers to the site, please post a reply here or contact me through Linkedin. I'd love to brainstorm ideas and work with like-minded people to get this forum created for the software testing community. As of now, the odds are against testing.stackexchange from growing to obtain the critical mass it needs (particularly since I'm busy day-to-day building my software testing tool company); a small number of active collaborators would improve the odds dramatically.

I first found out about stackoverflow.com through my brother's blog here


Joel Spolsky's video is fantastic. He set out to crack the code on:

  • How can you get a useful exchange of information between experts that results in very good questions and answers being actively shared by participants?

  • How can the community encourage visitors to the site to actively participate and share their expertise?

  • How can the site generate a critical mass and utilize Google to drive traffic to the site to make it self-sustaining?

  • How can users (who might not otherwise be able to tell which are the best answers from among multiple answers) tell which answers are in fact the best?


In my view, he has succeeded on all of the above counts, which is truly impressive. We're using the identical strategies (and Spolsky's technology) at testing.stackexchange.com. The way Spolsky lays out his vision is impressive. He logically progresses through a graveyard of multiple Q & A sites that have devolved into largely useless forums where inane questions are asked and dubious answers are shared. He then shares how he and his collaborators adjusted the model for Stackoverflow to maximize the value to participants. Their self-described strategy amounts to taking the best ideas they could from multiple different sites and putting them together in stackoverflow (and "using Google as our landing page" as a way to build traffic).

Thank you in advance for helping to get the word out.


Categories: QA/QE Best Practices