February 17th, 2017 I left Stack Overflow. I remain a moderator on Skeptics where I was elected, but beyond that I am no longer working or managing any other community in the network.

We parted ways very amicably, with lots of support, love and a few tears. I will miss them all terribly.

I joined the company in 2013, almost 4 years ago. At the time I believe we were less than 100 people. We had two development teams of about 10 elements, one was the “careers” team, focusing on monetisation and the other was the “core” team, focusing on the community and the Q&A sites.

Stack Oveflow in 2013

I was part of the latter, and contributed various pieces to the software we all enjoy on Stack Overflow: the help center, localization, a few moderator and community management tools, a release candidate for a new home page and many other minor features.

At the time we were focused on expanding our communities, by adding more topics and more languages for Stack Overflow. We wanted to be as inclusive as possible and benefit as many people as possible.

Four years down the road, Stack Overflow doubled in size and trebled in traffic, and much of that focus has changed. The company decided to focus on the admiral site and started to concentrate more on creating a viable business to ensure that they can serve developers indefinitely, without having to rely on further funding rounds. Absolutely legitimate and understandable.

Stack Overflow in 2017

This meant, of course, focusing our work to be almost exclusively on features like Jobs, Developer Story, Data Science, Ads. It meant that features like new navigation had to be postponed, that cool features like documentation will take longer to be enabled network wide, and are available only on the main site.

In 2008 I had joined Stack Overflow to help other developers. In 2011 I had stepped up as a community moderator to help the Skeptics community. In 2013 I had joined the company to improve the lives of our users directly, but by 2017 I found myself able only to help them indirectly, by benefiting the company that was benefiting them.

It is no one's fault, really, and it could probably not be prevented. Stack Overflow and I had parallel trajectories for four great years, but it was now time to part ways.

TL;DR: I wish the best of luck to the company. They have a great team and I am sure they will succeed.

As for me, I am taking a quick break while I find the best way I can contribute and do my part in a different way.

So long Stackers!

PS: If you want to hire an awesome hacker I might just know one.


A software engineer & Stack Overflow alumnus in London. I write about software development, coding, architecture and team leadership. I also speak at conferences worldwide.

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Gleanings

You Are Not Google
Ozan Onay • Jun 07, 2017

Software engineers go crazy for the most ridiculous things. We like to think that we’re hyper-rational, but when we have to choose a technology, we end up in a kind of frenzy 

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