If you’re studying programming now or planning to pursue a career in software development, chances are good that you’ve found your way to Stack Overflow for some help on occasion. Our main site is visited by more than 100 million developers and technologists each month, many of whom visit several times a week to find answers to their coding questions.
Stack Overflow has been around for nearly 15 years and has become an ever-evolving encyclopedia of knowledge created and curated by a community of technologists. We've always been focused on helping technologists learn, and this year, for the first time,we’re launching a program to work with university students on campuses.
Why are we launching this program?
We want to learn how you engage with our site, get your input on what we can improve, and work out how to evolve Stack Overflow as a learning tool for the next generation of technologists. We will also offer the opportunity to pursue interesting challenges and earn rewards.
To help us with this effort, we’re recruiting our first cohort of Student Ambassadors. These ambassadors will represent us on campus, partner with us to bring more of their classmates on board, and take a leadership role in completing challenges, earning rewards, and helping us plan what future semesters will look like. For this semester, we’re partnering with Major League Hacking (MLH), which has a terrific track record of working with students from a wide range of schools. For now, we are working just with schools that have an MLH presence, but will be exploring options for how to expand in the future.
So, what do I need to do as a Student Ambassador?
The basic ask of you is simple. Sign up to be a Student Ambassador, create a Stack Overflow account (if you don’t already have one), and help us host some free pizza nights on campus where students will learn about our platform. Really, it is that simple.
These events will be part of the MLH Pizza Fund. You can use the pizza nights for study sessions, project work, or hackathons—it’s up to you. For every student you recruit to attend the event or sign up for our public platform, we'll add on extra treats like soda and dessert.
Now, these pizza nights aren’t the only thing we’re doing this semester. If you want to go further, we’re partnering with MLH on three week-long hackathons. Teams that participate get to hear from our engineering staff and can earn rewards for completing various challenges. We're planning to give away lots of t-shirts and stickers, and for those feeling lucky, raffle off the chance to win your own copy of The Key.
OK, so you can earn pizza and snacks, you can take part in challenges, and you can learn from our engineers. What else can Student Ambassadors do with us this semester?
For teams that complete challenges during the hack weeks, we’ll shout you out on the Stack Overflow blog, podcast, and newsletter, which collectively reach over three million developers each month and will be featured for a day across every Stack Overflow Q&A page. If you can’t attend any of the three hack weeks but still want to take on a challenge, we’ll work with you to try and find a time for your team to participate this semester.
Oh, and one last thing. Students who join us will get access to an instance of Stack Overflow for Teams. Think of it like your own private Stack Overflow, a place to ask questions about this program, learn more about MLH or upcoming hackathons, or simply share knowledge with other students.
Thanks for taking the time to consider our Student Ambassador Program. For now, we’re working with schools that have an MLH presence on campus. If you have a campus club or are planning a hackathon that you think would be a good fit, please apply through the Student Ambassador website or email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll get in touch to discuss what’s possible in future semesters.