IMO: Hashnode > Stack Overflow

Sure, sure, sure... we've all found various answers on Stack Overflow for this and that - but mainly via Google Search. However, over the last few years, it's become over-moderated with almost any result either being a debate or cut short. Having dedicated time to answering questions, many contributors even found themselves banned from six months of asking questions themselves if a few were never answered.

I dislike the feel of something like that and consider it a toxic environment - where questions should be asked, friendly debates should be had, and the experience of others should focus on positive growth as opposed to having the doors slammed shut on you during a conversation.

Social Media, as a whole, has a habit of taking the personality away from the user. You either become part of them, or you don't exist.

Hashnode seems different.

As far as I know, it's a small team, working to create a profitable business model off the love of what they do. And, lucky for me, they do the two things that I enjoy most outside of my friends and family... design and development, which arguably are similar to an inseparable couple.

Those two industries have become the most exploited over the years - but that's because they've become more than important. In an uncompromising age of technological growth - they've become necessary.

I feel Hashnode fills that neutral zone between over advertised "social veils" and a true community that looks and feels as current trends dictate. My personal opinion, for now, is that it takes the good and discards the bad.

Reminiscent of the old community forums and discussion groups, it's basically an enhanced version with a few things that helps remind it's users that their finger is on the pulse of our industry. It asks for your Stories and Links - and sure, that can be considered free content aggregation - but the AMAs have been outstanding so far, and there seems to be an overall goal of accomplishing something they feel they would like to see delivered to the end-user with the intention of positive growth.

Even though I look at many things through a magnifying glass (or, in fact, the modern equivalent of thick eye glasses), I've yet to see any disappointing flaws in Hashnode and look forwarding to helping it grow onward and upward through honest conversations and an ongoing interest in how it will evolve from this point on.

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Todd's photo

I love Hashnode and I also love StackExchange (not just SO, many of the other sites are great and also a bit more forgiving, FYI). I don't feel there is a fair comparison between the two at this point.

Hashnode is what I would call a "true question and answer _community _there for the users."

StackOverflow is actually an objective library in disguise as a Q&A site. In other words, StackOverflow questions are not to cater to the asker, but rather, to contribute to the overall library of knowledge on the site as a whole. The problem is, there isn't explained well and thus newbies go on there thinking they can ask questions and get answers, like the site claims. The reality is, you need to search like mad and if you have any question that has not been answered and would contribute to the overall knowledge on the site, as well as asked in a thorough manner, then your "question" stands a chance there.

If you don't believe me, check out the many questions which are answered by the asker themselves. SO is totally cool with you going on there, finding a question that nobody has answered yet, asking it, and then giving an almost academic-like answer. They love that over there. This illustrates precisely my point above.

That said though, we can't discount the power of SO because as you know, 99% of problems have already been solved and the way in which to solve them is freely available online thanks to SO. On average, the technical nature of questions on SO is also much more advanced than on this site so far. I would like to see this change a bit though, and see more technical and thought-out questions and answers here because I firmly believe that we can have a community of extremely strong technical prowess but also one where we can be friendly and sometimes even subjective with one another. Cheers.

Steven Ventimiglia's photo

Creative Technologist & Sr. Front-End Developer

The title was purposely placed on this story to encourage the opinions of others, so I consider that a great response.

Stack Overflow has been utilized as a resource of mine for a while, and so have community forums in general. Being someone who started building their web-based skill set pre-Google (Yahoo!, DMOZ, Altavista and AllTheWeb) - I spent a lot of my time on a community called WebmasterWorld. I still visit them on occasion.

Communities are the heart of any type of social property. Even though the search engines can lead us to many choices, there are a few that have become authorities. Stack Overflow is one of them (along with ServerFault, etc.)

However, I was raised with the understanding that, if a question has not been truly answered - find the answer.

I contribute as much as possible on SO, and have received some nice feedback on the few answers I have given. However, a colleague of mine, who is actually a Professor, has recently deleted their account after giving over 3000. The reason he explained to me was that it's become truly "overflowing" with incorrect answers and the inability to ask that question again in a different way.

From my perspective - this is a very kind person, and for him to say something negative about anything, it's got to be something we need to pay attention to. Politics or religion? Those thoughts are kept to himself. Methods of productivity? He'll give and take in a 50/50 fashion, always welcoming people to make him question his own logic.

In my experience, many of the correct answers on SO required me to read the twenty that came before it - some that would have actually presented critical issues. So, the idea of someone; 1) Asking a question, 2) Accepting an answer, 3) Only to have a more effective answer given without as many "upvotes"(because it's at the top of the list) is fairly dysfunctional for what's considered an authoritative resource. There is also no "defensive action" allowed by anyone who seems to be able to throw a fork into the majority - which prevents the possibility of a better solution.

This is why I try to encourage communities, such as Hashnode, to grow. Also, why I value your comment - which is something I would have never received on Stack Overflow.

Have a beer... on me. ;)

Todd's photo

Software Security TechLead

The other issue I've seen a lot of lately on SO is that the people doing the "flagging" are just plain wrong. So in other words, there's so many people who have higher "reputation" built up, that the quality bar on the flagging has gone way down and almost defeats the purpose of it. The way I know this is because I see over and over people arguing in the comments amongst themselves about whether something has been flagged as a duplicate properly, closed properly, etc... For example, 5 people will flag a question as a duplicate of another question without looking and it's actually not a duplicate because the other question is about a slightly different topic. Then, a more senior member will come and post a comment about it being a "wrong duplicate" and etc...

This is a major issue with SO and it *is* affecting the quality.

Last but not least, there are many trash comments out there. For example, people will spend the energy to sometimes answer the question or answer the question and leave an insult in the comments, but not actually post "an answer." This is silly because let's say you ask a question that I consider to be stupid. Now, I leave a rude remark in the comments insulting you for asking it and then answer it. Well, I myself have now just created more "duplicate data" in the database, so thus I am guilty of what it is I'm accusing *you* of.

Sidhant Panda's photo

Very true. Its so difficult to participate on SO, you need points to comment on answers, or points for your upvote to be counted.

SO and Hashnode have thus become kind of complementary for me. I come here for thoughts and inspirations. This is the human side of development. And SO I feel is the strict elder sibling who reprimands you for not knowing something and you have to prove yourself in order to play with their friends.

All that said, my learning wouldn't have been possible without SO at all. Hence it is just a go to reference place now. I do not participate there, not because I don't want to, but because they've just made it so difficult.

Kudos to the Hashnode team for making this such a wonderful place, for anyone to participate without any hesitations 👏

10Q's photo

I just joined Hashnode because of StackOverflow. SO is a good reference, but not a good community.

I started wondering if there was a more friendly community for programmers where you could ask any kind of question. I didn't find one in the Stack Exchange, but happened on Hashnode. Hopefully Hashnode remains friendly.

Steven Ventimiglia's photo

Creative Technologist & Sr. Front-End Developer

I've been on here for a little less than a month at the time of this post, and it seems like a very well-grounded community.

Stack Overflow may be a good reference for some, but the search results are tarnished at this point. 10291092 ways to do the one thing you need to, with no one agreeing - or even worse - ignoring the fact that other people do things in different ways. Once you make a serious issue even more serious, the response is usually, "Oh, well you should have done this instead...", which in my mind makes them something that needs to be blocked, like I currently do.

I literally have filtered searches using, "search_term -stackoverflow". The answers I now receive are so much more effective, and much more community-based with way less ego.