Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow logo

Stack Overflow is a question-and-answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers. It is a privately-held website, the flagship site of the Stack Exchange Network, created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. It features questions and answers on a wide range of topics in computer programming.

Quick Fact


  • Ranked #198th worldwide
  • Active users 14 M
  • Type Discussion Networks
  • Launched date Sep 15, 2008
  • Employees 460
  • Headquarters 110 William St 28th Floor, New York City, U.S
  • Parent company Prosus (2021 - Present)


Joel Spolsky New Mexico


  • Brand value In 2020 $1.8 B
  • Revenue in 2020 $66 M
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A


A 2013 study has found that 75% of users only ask one question, 65% only answer one question, and only 8% of users answer more than 5 questions.

To empower a wider group of users to ask questions and then answer, Stack Overflow created a mentorship program resulting in users having a 50% increase in score on average. As of 2011, 92% of the questions were answered, in a median time of 11 minutes.

Since 2013, the Stack Exchange network software automatically deletes closed questions that meet certain criteria, including having no answers in a certain amount of time.

As of Aug 2012, 443,000 of the 1.3 million registered users had answered at least one question, and of those, approximately 6,000 (0.46% of the total user count) had earned a reputation score greater than 5000.

Reputation can be gained fastest by answering questions related to tags with lower expertise density, doing so promptly (in particular being the first one to answer a question), being active during off-peak hours, and contributing to diverse areas.

In 2016, 1.5 million posts were deleted, of which about 8% were deleted by moderators.


Digg’s FailureJoel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood present during the keynote demo.


Stack Overflow is written in C# using the ASP.NET MVC (Model–View–Controller) framework, and Microsoft SQL Server for the database, and the Dapper object-relational mapper used for data access.

Unregistered users have access to most of the site's functionality, while users who sign in can gain access to more functionality, such as asking or answering a question, establishing a profile, and being able to earn reputation to allow functionality like editing questions and answers without peer review or voting to close a question.


Stack Overflow won the 2020 Webby People's Voice Award for Community in the category Web. (The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet - The Internet's highest honor).

This followed the success of Tumblr and Petfinder in previous years.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

Jeff Atwood said: "I was quitting my job. I want to build stuff and talk about it. I have a little micro-ISV startup opportunity I'll be working on, a web property I'm building out with one of the above people. I'm not ready to announce the details yet, but when I do, you'll read about it here.

The "building stuff", as you helped us determine, is It's a small company Joel Spolsky and I are founding together."

Brief History


The website was created by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky.

Apr The name for the website was chosen by voting by readers of Coding Horror, Atwood's popular programming blog.
Jul Jeff Atwood sent out invitations encouraging his subscribers to take part in the private beta of the new website.
Sep Announced that the public beta version was in session.
May Announced that Stack Overflow had raised $6M in venture capital from a group of investors led by Union Square Ventures.
Aug 443,000 of the 1.3 million registered users had answered at least one question.

1.5 million posts were deleted, of which about 8% were deleted by moderators.


Stack Overflow named Prashanth Chandrasekar as its chief executive officer and Teresa Dietrich as its chief product officer.

May An update was deployed to Stack Overflow's development version.
May Stack Overflow won the 2020 Webby People's Voice Award for Community in the category Web.
Mar Matt Williams replaces Kevin Rose as CEO.
Jun Prosus, a Netherlands-based subsidiary of South African media company Naspers, announced a deal to acquire Stack Overflow for $1.8 billion.

Network Features

Stack Overflow is best known as a question-and-answer site for computer programmers.

The main Stack Overflow features are as follows:

Unlimited private questions and answers

Digg Newsrooms
																	Interface of unlimited private question and answer feature. (via

Team members can ask as many questions as they need, and unlike monolithic internal wikis, they can expect team members to offer answers relevant to their specific questions.

Intuitive archiving feature

Digg Newsrooms
																	Interface of the intuitive archiving feature. (via

Tags allow users to sort through questions and answers by topic in order to dig deeper into a subject of interest.

When an answer to a given question populates, the user will also see related questions and answers that could prove useful.

Member profiles

Digg Newsrooms
																	Interface of member profiles. (via

The Teams platform showcases each user’s specific skill set and topics about which they frequently answer questions so team members know whom to consult within their organization if they need further insight.

Seamless integration into the workflow

Digg Newsrooms
																	Interface of feature seamless integration into the workflow (via

Stack Overflow for Teams is on, already a popular daily destination for developers.

Furthermore, Teams integrate with existing tools like Slack, so Q&A fits easily into a team’s existing workflow and communication practices.


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