The web is a great place for programmers (from now on I’ll say programmer, referring to programmers and web developers). Programming is about working with computers, so we’re very likely to be web surfers. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for places that were interesting to me as a programmer. Here’s a summary of many sites out there with my comments. I’ve tried to be brief and objective. I’m not going to mention any general reference sites, as that information is extremely easy to find through a search engine. If you have any other sites to mention or things to add, please comment! :D
Alexa describes is as “A language-independent collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers. ” Stackoverflow (henceforth referred to as SO) is in my opinion the best place to go if you have programming questions. It has the most traffic out of all of the sites listed, average time to first answer is less than 10 minutes as opposed to over an hour, and it has many more helpful features that the other sites lack. SO is moderated by the community; the more answers you have that are voted up, the more privileges you get. This means SO has over 200+ moderators and counting, compared to other sites which may have almost 15 or 20. You can really gain a good “reputation” here more so than you can anywhere else. My favorite thing about it is that everything is voted on, so the first answer listed is the one that was voted most helpful by the community as opposed to whomever posted first. I love looking at their questions voted most interesting.
I definitely recommend SO if you have a programming question of any sort. But only a question that can be answered, not a discussion topic. A question like “Will java retain its spot as top programming language?” will get closed almost instantly on SO, whereas the other sites listed here embrace such questions. This makes them better for discussion, but worse for actual answerable questions. Also, I’ve noticed SO has much better searchability and a higher quality of questions.
Is definitely the best site for discussion/subjective questions about programming and hardware (and is a very common place for people to ask questions about homework, which is fine). It is second in traffic only to stackoverflow. If you want to help people with their code, this is one of the best places. However, as daniweb’s moderation pales in comparison to stackoverflow’s, and it has a much looser hold on the type of questions asked, there is a slightly larger percentage of questions that only involve the post dumping over 500 lines of code on you, and asking you to fix it (hopefully they’ll tell you what’s actually wrong, but not always). There are still plenty of good questions, but the ratio of good to bad is a little less favorable.
Web development sites
These sites are very good at what they do (client side, server side, other website topics), and are level with daniweb traffic-wise. If you’re not looking for software related development, these are more awesome places:
The best site for dev articles/tutorials on a variety of topics (a blog would be another good place).
Other programming and web development discussion sites
There’s many other programming discussion sites like daniweb, they all have less traffic and questions, but feel free to check them out. They all pretty much follow the same formula, and none really stand out all that much.
There are tons of sites that are specific to one language that are very good, but they’re so easy to find with a search engine I won’t list them here.
If you have any suggestions, please comment! :D