Agile and Stack Overflow: Not all that and a bag of chips.

“Agile methods, however, make sure that the programmer is not allowed to do programming or think too much about how to design or change a technical solution. Everything must be done fast, with only the next two weeks in mind, and you are not allowed to think about a solution, you must delegate thinking to other people. And you have a chain of people that delegate stuff from one to another in a complete mess in which hopefully nobody will ever take responsibility fully for anything.”

“While Stack Overflow solves the technical problem, it doesn’t solve the moral issue. Stack Overflow is like the dude gives you instructions on building a noose when you ask for advice on how not to fall on the floor from a chair. Very helpful and technically sound detail, but perhaps not your intention. However, Stack Overflow, like Javascript, is pushed automatically, as THE SOLUTION. I know places where people are systematically disallowed to think and forced to use Stack Overflow instead. Almost every web-development course starts with ‘the way people solve problems: they search for them on Stack Overflow’.”

Dorin Lazăr: The sorry state of the programming world as of the end of 2016 AD

The former I agree with, if only because I see it all the time. Agile is not the end all be all answer to Getting Things Done.

The latter, not so much. It’s a great point about the morality of using Stack Overflow, but ultimately, the responsibility lies on the person posting the question or searching for an answer on Stack Overflow, not the person answering the question. Not encountering Stack Overflow in search of answers is hard, which makes it appear as if its “THE SOLUTION.” I get that. But there is nothing that compels someone to use the answers found there, especially as presented. Any programmer has to view the answers on Stack Overflow through the lens of their own entire context, not just the focused question being asked. No one answering a question is going to have that lens, and Stack Overflow doesn’t make providing that lens an easy task.

I have found and received a lot of great answers on Stack Overflow over the years, and given a few answers myself. But I was never foolish enough to think that I could plug-and-play an answer found there, nor has it been the only source of answers to my questions. Anyone who thinks Stack Overflow answers are the only solution needs to level up their programming skills. Blindly accepting arbitrary advice from arbitrary people  is just a bad idea in any context, not just Stack Overflow.