Among the keynote speakers that were a part of the WeAreDevelopers conference was the man every developer in the world should send his thanks. Joel Spolsky is the author of many successful projects, but the one that the developers are most familiar with is Stack Overflow.
Stack Overflow was created when Joel and his team got tired of waiting for someone else to create a popular, free service, where new developers and professionals alike could ask and answer questions that got them stuck in their developing experience. An obvious tool to create, they were surprised that no one jumped at the opportunity earlier. So they decided to create the virtual developer Mecca that we know today.
“I never do a show of hands for: “Who uses Stack Overflow?” anymore. Everyone just laughs”.
S.O. has become so mainstream and useful, that even here at Web Factory we heard a joke once “Stack Overflow is down, everyone go home”.
Joel did a kind of a stand up comedy, where the main star was the number one S.O. user – Jon Skeet. Jon has answered so many questions in his years of activity on S.O. that he has acquired the status of a legend, and rightfully so. Averaging 10 answers a day, we are questioning if he is really human and believe he can actually divide by zero.
Joel did some math with Jon’s statistics. With nearly 35,000 questions answered and around 240 million developers reached with those, Joel assumes that each answer saved some developer about half an hour in research. Estimating that there are 20 million developers in the world, Jon Skeet has saved about 5 hours for each and every one of them, single handedly propelling the tech world 5 hours into the future.
It was a great closing talk for the congress, everyone felt inspired, and a part of a greater community. Afterwards, the congress crew gave us a farewell that we will not soon forget. Hope to see you all next year.
P.S. I managed to get a selfie with Joel, but I am so bad at taking selfies that I’m reluctant to share it. You’ll just have to take my word for it.