Welcome to Stack Exchange Podcast #62, recorded live on January 20th–with a live studio audience (kinda)!. Today’s podcast was brought to you by the American Venture Capital Association. With you today are our hosts Jay Hanlon, David Fullerton, and Joel Spolsky.
Let’s jump right in: we made a big announcement! Andreessen Horowitz has invested a pile of money in our little company so we can improve our ‘programmer forums’. Precisely none of the pile of money is going into Jay’s raise, but one of those dollars is going to SomeKittens.
So, the (forty) million dollar question: how are we going to use this money?
We intend to (continue) spending money on Stack Overflow Careers. Our goal is to get every programmer a better job, and we want to do that without selling crazy-takeover-animated-bonzaibuddy-ads that feel like reading a newspaper on the subway (according to Joel), so we’re getting money from investors instead.
You can get a Careers profile here. We filter the applications to make sure only real programmers end up with profiles on Careers.
Time to take some questions from the peanut gallery!
- How will this [investment news] affect the sites?
Not one bit!
Well, a few bits. This cash will allow us to hire more designers, so more sites can graduate and get beautiful site designs. We’ll get to hire more people to hit more of our goals at the same time. For example, one of the things we’re actively working on now is improving search on Q&A sites.
Have we mentioned lately that we’re hiring? Our most urgent need is for product managers, and you can apply for that job even if you’ve never had ‘product manager’ in your job title before.
- Will there be someone to represent the rage quitters?
Yes. You’re hired. Thanks for volunteering.
- Would you consider being an intermediary, putting a “Buy This Person’s Time” on their profile page or answers?
No! (Sorry, Brent.)
- Has the Stack Overflow design update changed user behavior?
We’ve noticed a big uptick in the number of people complaining about how blue and cream go together. We’ve also gotten a lot of constructive feedback on meta that we’ve used to inform tweaks (but it’s really hard to distinguish those from comments about how people’s cheese has been moved).
- Can you comment on whether SO rep is useful to a job search?
Lots of employers out there don’t know what Stack Overflow is, but Joel is going to use some of those 40 million dollars to educate them. But from our perspective, posting on Stack Overflow is more like blogging in that it can tell you a lot about a programmer and how they interact with the developer community. Stack Overflow reputation alone doesn’t always tell you about the second half of “smart and gets things done”.
- Will you be making a Windows Phone app?
Not for the foreseeable future. This question makes our mobile lead sad.
- Are there any plans to add a chat feature to the mobile application?
(Mobile lead Kasra just dropped dead.) We may add chat to the mobile app yet, but it’s not in our 2015 plan.
- Are we going to ever allow wildcards in searches? Currently in chat it just nulls the search.
Chat search is weird and backwards, but actual site search allows a certain amount of wildcards. This will get a better response if you post it on Meta and our search devs can actually respond!
- What happened to the videos idea?
We first thought about Stack Overflow TV a while back. We hope to expand into areas of developer learning beyond questions and answers someday, and SOTV is one of those ideas. It will essentially be a YouTube channel with little introductory videos on topics in programming. The idea has hit some snags, but it’s still on our radar.
- Do you have any plans to run hackathons to promote local user groups?
Yes! On a small scale, we make our office space available to local user groups who need a place to meet.
And we’re out of questions. So what else is going on these days? Hats! And some new sites. How about new features? We’re experimenting with a new triage queue to help sort questions into “hopeless and needs to be burninated” and “could be passable with some editing” buckets. Things in the triage queue won’t show up on the homepage until they’ve been approved. Here are the details.
Thanks for wasting an hour on the Stack Exchange Podcast Episode #62, brought to you by the American Venture Capital Association.