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I want to answer difficult questions that arised by other developers in sites like StackOverflow, I am in a doubt to how much amount of knowledge needed for me to answer/ go into a discussion with the programmers there !!!

I am currently 1.2 yrs experienced

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If you know the answer to a question, what it would be a problem to answer it? –  user2567 Nov 26 '10 at 19:30
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@Pierre, perhaps insufficient experience to be certain the answer is right? –  user1249 Nov 26 '10 at 19:36
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I try not to answer questions I don't know the answer for sure ;) –  user2567 Nov 26 '10 at 19:38
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I have ~20 years of experience, but I got most reputation on SO with stuff I've learned in the last 12 months. Because most question concern new stuff. –  user281377 Nov 26 '10 at 19:49
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If you refresh the question list aggressively enough, soon enough you'll find that elusive question that is dead simple but not yet answered. Like this one I caught: stackoverflow.com/questions/4252983/… –  Carson63000 Nov 27 '10 at 0:47
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you know a good answer (not necessarily the best, but it must be good) then please do write an answer. Several things may then happen:

  • Your answer is downvoted to minus infinity. Ok, bad answer. Learn why if there is comments or create a new question asking why this is a bad answer if you can't guess.
  • Your answer gets some upvotes. Great. The answer is good. Read the other answers to see what your peers have thought in the same situation, and learn!
  • Your answer generates comments. Great. The comments reveal what others think of your solution, which may be good or bad. Take special note of the comments with high upvotes, and learn from it all.
  • Your answer gets accepted. Great! Congratulations! You did it! Learn from the other answers, and on to the next question.

Please note that you should take time to craft your answer well. Code should be runnable (or marked as untested). Your English should be good and well-mannered. Explain the why's in addition to the how's shown by the code. One-liners rarely get accepted, when there is an answer saying the same thing but better.

We are all craftsmen, being proud of what we do. Feel free to do the same :)

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+1 for the overall good advice. I'd add that if your answer is downvoted to infinity you'd be better off deleting it at around -3 and you could earn the Peer Pressure badge: programmers.stackexchange.com/badges/20/peer-pressure –  Gary Rowe Nov 26 '10 at 21:07
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If you can answer the question and have a fair bit of confidence in your answer, then that's all it takes would be my answer. Thus, it is a matter of having both technical know-how and confidence to make the post.

Just don't forget that a lot of people with really high reputations on those sites took some time to build that reputation and so it may take a year or two to get the reputation up by answering questions well enough for them to get up voted. Just remember to be respectful of people posting questions and be careful on giving smart alec answers as those can sometimes get down voted or deleted I'd imagine if they are sufficiently hostile.

Lastly, do be aware of how well you can type sentences as this can be another matter as sometimes it can be hard to decipher what was posted if the sentences seem to follow a haphazard logic.

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If you know the answer, then answer it.

Programming is one of those jobs where you have to always be learning in order to keep up with it. Because of this, you don't necessarily need a lot of experience to be able to understand a language or technology well. It does help, but it is not required.

And don't forget, 30 years programming could just mean one year of experience repeated 30 times

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