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Joel on Software

Server Fault now in public beta

by Joel Spolsky
Friday, May 29, 2009

Server Fault is now in public beta!

When Jeff Atwood and I launched Stack Overflow last fall, we really wanted it to be a site for and by programmers. But the engine behind the site, the Q&A engine with voting, editing, and tagging, could obviously be used in a lot of other professions.

The first field we picked is close to our heart: system and network administration; as programmers, we often end up doing system administration ourselves. And it’s the perfect domain for a Q&A engine... there are a million detailed problems that depend highly on lore to get right. There’s no way to accidentally discover aspnet_regiis.exe -I until someone shows you the trick. How much time have you wasted trying to figure out which process is holding a file open preventing you from deleting an otherwise empty directory? Can you use dd to clone a disk drive?

Thus, Server Fault. If you already have a Stack Overflow account, you’re all set up, although your reputation score, badges, and favorite tags are separate. It has all the great features from Stack Overflow which I talked about at Google last month (video).

Jeff: “I am sorry to inform you that you may be a system administrator or IT professional.”


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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