Technology is more complex now than ever. It seems like the diversity of topics a programmer, system administrator or IT professional must have some familiarity with grows exponentially. In the office it is all to common to hear someone say “Did you google it?” or “I found a post that looks like it might be related on google.” when trying to sort out complex technology issues.
Google is good, but real people working together, sharing their experience with each other and documenting the results for others to take advantage of works even better. Two sites that should be in every technologists bookmark list are stackoverflow and serverfault.
You can think of these sites as social networking communities with very focused areas of interest. Anyone can post a question to a site, anyone can provide an answer, and everyone votes on the best answers. Comments can be added to questions or answers, folks develop “street cred” by providing useful answers and eventually become recognized by their peers as knowledgeable on specific topics.
Stack Overflow is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for
programmers – regardless of platform or language. It’s 100% free, no
Server Fault is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for system
administrators and IT professionals – regardless of platform. It’s 100% free,
no registration required.