Introducing The Overflow and Cassidy Williams

Today we’re launching The Overflow, a newsletter from Stack Overflow that brings together great questions from our community, news and articles from our blog, and awesome links from around the web. Our goal is to produce a collection of links about the world of software development that entertains, educates, and informs. It’s content by developers, for developers, and will start to arrive over the next few days. We’ll send a new issue out once every two weeks.

Helping us put The Overflow together is software engineer Cassidy Williams! She hails from Seattle and works at React Training by day and builds mechanical keyboards by night. You might recognize her from her funny dev videos she shares or from one of the many podcasts and conferences at which she’s spoken.

If you want to subscribe to The Overflow, log into your Stack Overflow account and head over to your email preferences. Folks who were already opted-in to receive occasional email from us about the company, community, new features and product will be opted-in, but of course, if you got the email and don’t feel like getting it again, you can head to your email preferences and opt out.

And now, a short intro note from Cassidy.
Keycaps are very fun and Cassidy probably has too many
I remember the first time I ever crafted something with code. I was 13 years old and I had heard my neighbor say, “Check out my website!” on my walk home from school. I had never heard of individuals having their own websites before, I thought it was only something companies could do. I rushed home and looked up everything I could about how to make my own websites. I had no idea that small interaction would change the course of my life.

Since then, programming has been a constant in my life. I studied CS at Iowa State University, graduating in 2014. I met my now-husband at a hackathon soon after that, and my sister is also a software engineer who graduated just after me! Between the three of us we’ve been able to work on some fun projects together, and it’s been a blast.

My actual work history has been a journey in itself. I worked in New York City for a few years, doing developer evangelism alongside my “day job” of software engineering for Venmo and Clarifai. At both companies, I was able to speak at conferences and meetups, attend hackathons, and work on the products themselves. After that, I moved out to Seattle for a change of scenery and to try out more engineering-oriented roles. I worked at a company called L4 Digital (now Globant) where I was working on client-facing projects, managing a few developers, and trying out the tech-lead thing.

I found that I was missing interacting with the dev community more, so I moved on to a role at Amazon where my (fancy) title was Head of Developer Voice Programs. I worked alongside developer evangelists and product teams to bring new features to the Alexa SDK, and I got to work with my sister, too! But I found that large companies weren’t really my cup of tea and ended up joining the team at CodePen. I’ve been an active user of CodePen for years and got to work with the small (eight person!) team to build new features, improve old ones, and convert the website to newer and newer technologies (you might recall my Apollo blog post a few weeks back).

But I found something was still missing. I wasn’t as involved with the developer community, and though I was speaking at some events, I wasn’t getting to interact with folks as much as I wanted to. So, very recently, I switched over to work with React Training! I now travel the country helping people learn how to write and integrate React into their code bases and contribute to open source to help others have better tools for their projects. Though it’s still early in my tenure here, I’ve already enjoyed so much getting to focus on teaching, working with developers, and working on tools that developers can use.

As you can imagine, one of the things that I’ve realized is really important to me in my career is the ability to give back to the tech community. I want to be able to help others learn and grow and feel included, whether it be by writing open source, donating to causes I care about, mentoring developers individually, teaching, blogging, writing tutorials, heck, even just answering questions on Stack Overflow (even if it’s my own). That led to my career changes, and that also led to joining forces with Stack Overflow on a new, exciting project.

Today, I’m helping Stack Overflow launch something very fun: a bi-weekly newsletter that we’re calling The Overflow. It’s part of the company’s overall effort to ramp up its focus on editorial content written by developers for developers, which was the number one request from our community in the 2019 Dev Survey.

You, too, can shape what the editorial content becomes! We want this content to come from our community. If you want to write for our blog, you can send us ideas for contributions at pitches@stackoverflow.com. The same is true for The Overflow! Send us your ideas for articles (or repos or other stuff) we should link to, even social media posts worth sharing, and we’ll consider making them part of our newsletter. If we do, you’ll get a shout out and appreciation for giving back to the tech community.

What are we going to focus on? We want a wide range of things to share, from thoughtful essays that might help a beginner just starting their software journeys to the really wonky stuff about app caching architecture that will appeal to some of the seasoned developers.

Not every piece we share needs to focus exclusively on programming or include code snippets. I’ll be throwing in plenty of links about mechanical keyboards and the discovery of nearby planets that seem like strong candidates for alien life. The world is your oyster. Also your newsletter content.

If you want to sign up for the The Overflow, you’ll need a Stack Overflow account. You can opt-in from your email preferences. If you’re already an SO user and aren’t interested in getting an AWESOME email from us every two weeks, no worries, you can easily un-opt-in (…opt-out? Leave? Escape? Ignore us entirely?) through your mail preferences.

We can’t wait to grow The Overflow alongside the community here. Come join us! Send feedback or ideas to theoverflow@stackoverflow.com

Author

Cassidy Williams
Instructor and developer at React Training
Hi there! My name is Cassidy and I'm an instructor and developer over at React Training. I'm also the director of outreach at cKeys, and enjoy building mechanical keyboards and playing music in my free time.

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Comments

  1. I like the name of the newsletter! And mechanical keyboards!

    Is there an RSS feed for the newsletter?

  2. please make an rss available for this as i have no time to dig out emails…

    1. Ben Popper says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. We are planning to publish The Overflow to the blog each week and will create an RSS feed for it.

  3. Marcus Downing says:

    Seconded. RSS is a much nicer mechanism for this than email.

    1. Ben Popper says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. We are planning to publish The Overflow to the blog each week and will create an RSS feed for it.

  4. Second to RSS feed

    1. Ben Popper says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. We are planning to publish The Overflow to the blog each week and will create an RSS feed for it.

  5. yes RSS needed – cant add to feedly – only one for the comments

    1. Ben Popper says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. We are planning to publish The Overflow to the blog each week and will create an RSS feed for it.

  6. Will the newsletter be made available on a web page as well? I don’t want to subscribe because I already have too many emails, and I want an URL as a reference.

    1. Ben Popper says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. We are planning to publish The Overflow to the blog each week and will create an RSS feed for it.

  7. preciousbetine says:

    Mechanical keyboards! Are there even automatic ones?

  8. I do not read and unsubscribe from 100% of newsletters I receive. That number has now become 99.9%. I like it.

  9. I’m seeing a lot of comments about RSS > Email, which is great, but I personally like the idea of getting this as an email. Please when you implement RSS don’t remove the Email function, maybe just don’t make it a default.

    1. Ben Popper says:

      We will keep both email and web/RSS versions.

  10. rick jerrity says:

    I have a minor suggestion. If you’re planning to public The Overflow to the blog each week anyways, then creating an RSS feed for it after the fact would be pretty awesome! Just a suggestion!

  11. Thanks but when is SO going to start being serious about people down-voting questions without reading and understanding them?

    Or these marking them as duplicated, also withouth properly understand what was asked.

    SO is getting worse and worse and hate and bias is making it next to impossible to use as active user. Better alternatives are very much needed.

  12. I clicked on “Edit email settings” in the e-mail, and get “Page not found”. Shame.

  13. Newsletters should be opt-in not opt-out. I didn’t consent to being auto-subscribed to it. Didn’t expect StackOverflow of all companies resorting to these tactics.

  14. Scott Hannen says:

    It’s not clear – has this already been published, or is it something that’s coming later? It’s not in my email and there’s no link. My email preferences say that I’m opted in. If there’s not a link to the newsletter then the rest of the communication should be clearer. Right now it’s muddy.

  15. from the EU with love says:

    I live in the EU (drum-roll) 🙂

    #1 Are you auto enrolling existing SO users to receive this newsletter? I started receiving this newsletter but I don’t recall signing up. I know it’s easy to unsubscribe which is OK for CAN-SPAM but the point is I didn’t consent.

    #2 If the answer to the above is “Yes”, did you use Legitimate Interest as your legal basis with regards to GDPR? After reading the newsletter I would argue that it is not covered by an existing relationship (product announcement, transactional email), contractual or otherwise, or in my interest for processing my personal data for auto-enrolment.

    I’m not trolling – I don’t want my beloved SO becoming part of a GDPR storm. We know mistakes have been made in the past regarding emails but the stakes have been raised.

    1. Same here, I’ve submitted a complaint to the ICO in the UK.

  16. Wonderful news, thanks Cassidy!

  17. It always amazes me how peoples perception is changing, when model is changed and money is involved. Let me give you an example. About 2 years ago, I asked a question on Stackoverflow how can I incorporate a Javascript app within WordPress site. I was voted down, because I did not post an example. How can I post an example, if I don’t know where to start!
    Now, if I pay $5 per month, or more, I can ask unlimited amount of questions, and all will be answered, everything is sweet, and perfect. Don’t you think it is little bit shallow, to change whole approach, because it is suddenly paid for? Was everybody born with a knowledge of programming, or they also had a period of not knowing where to start? I may be stupid. I don’t know…
    We are all human, and we all go through the phases, yet we forget, that there was a time, when we did not know, even how to ask the question, mind submitting the code….
    Leave this comment or delete, it doesn’t matter…

  18. SET THE DEFAULT TO OFF. I don’t want to come back to my user profile to turn off an ever-increasing, default-“opted-in” set of toggles that will otherwise fill my inbox with unsolicited messages.

    SET THE DEFAULT TO OFF.

  19. RSS

    Newsletters are email junk mail.

  20. I received the first newsletter at the address associated with my primary SO account. This should be opt in, not opt out. I will not unsubscribe; I will simply report it as spam. I hope you get blacklisted by all the major webmail hosts.

  21. “Thanks for the suggestion. We are planning to publish The Overflow to the blog each week and will create an RSS feed for it.”

    Gotta love automated replies, eh?

  22. SE killed off the last round of blogs. Why start it all over again?

  23. John Hascall says:

    Hey, has anyone heard about this RSS thing?

    Seriously though, Go Cyclones!

  24. SET THE DEFAULT TO OFF. I don’t want to come back to my user profile to turn off an ever-increasing, default-“opted-in” set of toggles that will otherwise fill my inbox with unsolicited messages.

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