Sunday, July 21, 2024

Community Products Roadmap Update, July 2024

Programming LanguageCommunity Products Roadmap Update, July 2024

An update on recent launches and the upcoming roadmap.

Last quarter, I shared learnings from our generative AI exploration and how it shaped our point of view for the coming year. As we continue to explore ways in which AI/ML accelerates developer productivity, we remain committed to doing so thoughtfully and purposefully to support the core values of Stack Overflow: human connection, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

Our goals are focused on building and supporting a healthy ecosystem of active users and community contributors. Most visitors to Stack Overflow are trying to find a solution to their problem. How might we help them do that in a more productive and efficient way? Further, Stack Overflow’s growth is directly tied to community contribution. How might we make knowledge creation easier, more inclusive, and a more collaborative experience—all while maintaining a high bar for content quality? These are some of the questions we are asking ourselves as we make progress against our goals.

Before I cover what’s coming next, I want to celebrate some of the notable launches last quarter.

  • Staging Ground – A space to get feedback on questions before they’re posted. This sandbox environment is designed to connect new askers with experienced community members. Successful beta rounds showed promise that this feature set supported new askers and improved question quality. This feature is now generally available to new askers and eligible reviewers.
  • Stack Overflow Jobs – In partnership with Indeed, we launched a new version of Stack Overflow Jobs! This experiment is a dedicated space that puts thousands of highly-relevant tech jobs at the fingertips of developers and technologists. We look forward to understanding the value this brings the tech community over the course of this test.
  • Image Service Migration – We brought image hosting in-house. This was a multi-phased project that resulted in a seamless transition to a new image uploading service, migration of existing images to the new service, updated image uploaders and architecture, and URL conversions across millions of existing images.
  • The Annual Developer Survey – This year we asked familiar questions about your experience, but also had some new questions about what embedded programming technology you are using and what AI ethical responsibilities are most important to you. Data collection was just closed and our analysts are reviewing thousands of data points to uncover this year’s insights. Stay tuned!
  • Reducing sign-up friction – Our sign-up flows needed a tune-up. The sign-up experience was inconsistent across the network and generally outdated with unnecessary steps. We want to make joining the community easy! Last quarter we spent time running a series of optimization experiments and cutting unnecessary steps to smooth out the flow for new users, resulting in a boost in sign-ups across the network.
  • Community Asks Sprint – Giving back to the Community. We’re excited to have kicked off a quarterly event where we are giving back to our power user and moderator community. All of our Community Products teams are carving out a dedicated week to address small features requests, non-critical bugs, and general quality-of-life improvements. This quarter, our Community Management team led the charge in triaging and prioritizing issues. In future iterations, we hope to partner directly with community members on this process.
  • Scaling Staging Ground – Bringing Staging Ground to general availability was just the beginning. We’ve received insightful feedback and will be iterating on the experience to improve and scale the feature. Our end goal is to support all new questions through Staging Ground. Our immediate focus this quarter is to support Reviewers within Staging Ground—the folks volunteering their time to help new askers draft better questions. We are also looking at building in more objective and direct measures of quality for questions going through the Staging Ground, beyond proxy metrics such as question survivability and question success rates. Lastly, we will be working on new incentives to recognize and reward reviewer contributions, directly supporting our scaling efforts.
  • Improving Answering – We want to make it easier for answer seekers and knowledge experts to share the knowledge they have (and are gaining!). After all, every question that goes unanswered represents someone who still needs help. Our research and design team has been uncovering problems and pain points around answering. We believe that speeding up the answering process will create value across the community and close knowledge gaps, and we’re looking for ways to do this by dissecting the answer flow, understanding the context of answerers, and providing tools and experiences that support the process.
  • User Activation – Improving new user success. The vast majority of visitors to Stack Overflow are passive content consumers. Developers get stuck, they search the problem across the web, and land on a Q&A pair that helps them get unstuck (rinse and repeat as many times as needed). While this certainly is one way to find your solution, we believe we can increase user value by delivering a more personalized experience to users. Some components of this effort include optimizing sign-up flows, creating easier ways for users to interact with content that’s relevant to them, and creating a personalized homepage to help users onboard and discover relevant content.

As always, we’re excited to share learnings as we go and value your input along the way. If you’d like to provide your input, we invite you to join the conversation on,, or opt into our user research list.

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