Podcast #63 – The Plumber’s Up To 67 Coins

Welcome to the Stack Exchange Podcast Episode #63, recorded March 6, 2015 in front of a live-ish audience. Today’s podcast is brought to you by Cool Whip by Kraft Foods. A description for this result is not available because of this site’s robots.txt — learn more! Our hosts today are Joel Spolsky, David Fullerton, and Jay Hanlon… as usual.

So what’s new? David went to London. (We have an office there. It’s awesome and it has graffiti on the walls.) David flew out to meet the London marketing team, spend time with some of our European developers, and get knighted. Probably.

This story didn’t really go anywhere, so we’ll take an audience question and then move on to talking about review queues. Specifically: the Help & Improvement queue. (Let the record show that Joel asked for this feature approximately 700 years ago. [So did Jon Skeet. -Ed.])

The Help & Improvement queue (aka the helpers queue, aka the huggy queue) contains questions that were deemed “Should Be Improved” in the triage queue. The triage queue is working very well so far. (There are numbers with percentages and two decimals of accuracy, so they are obviously really good.) Instead of talking about it more, let’s just go check it out! Here’s the question Joel was working with.

Joel discusses some questions that got as much help as they deserved (if not more), including an example that got some helpful edits comments. But without better information from the askers, these questions were still never going to get good answers. User Lynn Crumbling has a new badge idea: Almost Famous — had a question closed by Joel.

After many tangents, here are the takeaways from our experience so far with the helpers queue: we need to think about how to better control what’s going into the queue, and we need to give the reviewers more ways to deal with questions that shouldn’t be in there.

Right! Let’s talk about closing. But first we get sidetracked and talk about moving datacenters and blogging about it. It’s a great post, especially if you’re into this kind of thing:

On top of NY-VM01&02 was 1 of the 1Gb FEXes and 1U of cable management. Luckily for us, everything is plugged into both FEXes and we could rip one out early. This means we could spin up the new VM infrastructure faster than we had planned. Yep, we’re already changing THE PLAN™. That’s how it goes.
(Oh, and the SRE team got snowed in and had to sleep in the datacenter. There’s that, too.)

But here’s the blog post we actually meant to talk about: My Love-Hate Relationship with Stack Overflow by Jason S. It inspired David to come back from vacation to rant about it in chat for an hour. He helpfully re-creates this rant (with help from Joel and Jay) live on the podcast!

So what came out of this discussion? We changed close vote aging, for one thing. Community Manager Jon Ericson‘s meta post thought experiment about close voting was another.

Thanks for listening to the Stack Exchange Podcast, brought to you by Cool Whip — a whipped topping, NOT whipped cream.

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