Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to hit the daily reputation cap on Stackoverflow

About two weeks ago when I had the free time at work (yeah, it happens sometimes:)) I carried out some kind of an experiment. I wanted to check if it is too difficult to reach the maximum daily reputation on, the extremely popular a question-and-answer website about the programming related stuff. I think you at least heard about it, most probably you saw it many times in search results when googling some programming question:)

All things on site are around the reputation points. The more you'll earn - more cool you'll be:) You can earn point if you questions or/and answer will be voted up by other members of the site. According to FAQ "you can earn a maximum of 200 reputation per day (although accepted answers are immune to this limit)". So I wondered how hard it is.

Actually it is not. You just have to spend some time on it or to post few but very useful answers. I'll describe a couple of ways of the reputation earning I figured out.

Easy question - fast answer. Actually you can earn quite good amount of point answering the trivial questions that usually asked by newbies in some technologies. Such questions receive relatively many answers and to earn the most point you should post on of the first and most full answers. Be aware, for such type of questions first answers appears for about one minute or even sooner:) The best strategy is to post right but not well-explained answer, and then to expand answer by editing it. Anyway hurry up!)

Situation-specific questions. The bunch of questions are like "I did this, expected that, but I got...". Probably you will be able to answer such questions only if you encountered the same situation in the past. In other case you should spend the pretty much time to investigate it (unless you are the real guru:)), and I think you just will not want to do it (only if you are not an altruist). Anyway you will not receive too much points for your answer (if any), because most likely it will be not useful for most other site members. More specific question will be - less point you'll earn, it is straightforward I think.

Subjective questions. Some questions posted on the site cannot really have the right answer. Too subjective questions will be closed at all, but some of them will be not if the community will consider this question and answers to it as useful. In this case you earn reputation if you'll post your original opinion that will be appreciated by other members.

Questions. Your questions. Of course you can ask your own questions and earn points for that. As for me I'm only asking questions when I really need answer for them. IMO it is strange to make questions intentionally for earning points) But if you are fine with it, well...

So how went the experiment? On the first day I received 175 points, and on the second day - 237 points and my Mortarboard badge (remember that accepted answers are immune).

Try hard and maybe some day you will be such famous man as Jon Skeet! :)


  1. Wow, your tips looks very interesting and mature, since you did that and showed good results..

    I just added another TODO item: "Reach day max reputation on StackOverflow", but with priority of 5.

    And maybe long term item: "Be as famous as Jon Skeet" ? :)

  2. Forgot to mention, to be such famous as Jon Skeet you should write a number of programming books and articles as he did:)

  3. Hm.. then better start doing that now :)