You guys know how StackOverflow works. Same thing for your company issues. This just got me way more excited than it probably should have.
So... it’s a mashup of Trello and a Wiki?
I can see this being particularly useful for bigger teams with more mature products. In all the smaller startups I've worked in, I've found it difficult to maintain and up-to-date internal wiki (which it sounds like this replaces).
I'm curious what type of companies and use cases you're seeing so far, @spolksy and @willcole?
@spolsky @willcole @rrhoover The big problem with a wiki is that you have to tell people to "write documentation" which is homework they don't want to do. They either write too little (because it's homework) or too much (because they don't know when to stop or what information needs to be included) and then the Wiki is a useless artifact which rots quickly.
Whereas, with Q&A, you only have to "document" or write things because one of your teammates has an immediate question and an immediate need -- and then you stop writing the minute they say "OK, I get it!" So now you've created exactly the right amount of documentation, and it's stored in a Question / Answer format which is perfect for searching later.
I think that even smaller companies (5-25 developers) have a lot of Q&A going on in chat and email, where it's lost to posterity. So at least if you direct your Q&A through Stack Overflow for Teams, it'll be there forever. Our own internal Team already has hundreds of questions that have become invaluable to new developers.
@spolksy @rrhoover Also, for big teams who want more control (on prem self hosted), we have Stack Overflow Enterprise (https://stackoverflow.com/enterprise).
The risk for small teams is that things happen infrequently (even if important) and no one notices. We're making sure this works for small teams by integrating Teams notifications with the SO Public system, and we support tag watching (email and Slack notifications). Additionally you can @mention team members to direct questions to an individual, something that wouldn't work on the public site and helps small teams stay more connected.
Seems cool but I feel that SO should also have a 1 free plan (with upgrade) for really small teams (like Slacks)
@stermi I was thinking about this, too, but I think the true value of this private SO for Teams is for larger teams. For a team of 10, I think a well-curated Wiki still makes the most sense. But for large development groups and organizations, like an Amazon, this can be extremely valuable.
@joshuapinter if it's a team of developers I cannot see a better tool than SO (every dev is used and know SO). It also would be cool (I didn't read all the features) if I can create an internal question that is also posted on SO and the answer (approved on SO) would be also added on my private SO
@stermi Up to 10 users it's a flat $10/mo. The $5/user/mo only kicks in after that.
@stermi I think going with one of the open source SO clones would be a better choice for small teams. The thing is, very few of these clones actually support the 'teams' functionality, i.e. an isolated space for questions and answers. Scoold is one of them (https://scoold.com).
https://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/questions ? would have a benefit of integrating into an existing wiki / KB... no?
Yeah, I was thinking this is a direct competition to Atlassian Answers (or any number of StackExchange clones). What kind of integration do you see? We already use Atlassian products in-house (JIRA, Confluence, etc), so I'm not sure how this would work. I certainly like StackExchange's interface better, but we already pay for Atlassian products...
@sunk818 if you invested in Atlassian Confluence already - especially for on-prem installations - the Questions plugin has some pro's : people will use the same markup, same userbase, @-mention people, link to other internal pages, etc.
We've been using this in the beta and it's been the best thing ever--I cannot overstate how immediately and dramatically it changed how knowledge is shared and memorialized among our engineering team. It works for both small teams (5-10) and large ones (hundreds). I'm thinking of rolling it out to the whole company if we can find a good way to separate different types of knowledge (technical v non-technical, etc.)
Every CTO I've shown this to has also understood the value of the product immediately. It's far better than a wiki, which takes time to write, makes guesses about what people will need to know, and gets stale over time. This stays as up-to-date, relevant, and useful as the regular Stack Overflow, without any extra effort. The only tough part here is to get people out of the habit of asking in Slack and instead get them to ask in Stack Overflow--but that's not too difficult to solve since most developers are used to asking in Stack Overflow anyway. And, if you wanted to take it a step farther and be really clever, you could write a slackbot to recognize questions and encourage the person to move it to Stack Overflow instead.
(Also, just from a vanity perspective, it is incredibly cool to see WayUp's logo inside Stack Overflow itself.)
@jdotjdotf Glad you're having a good experience with Teams at WayUp. A couple of notes:
1. You can have multiple teams, and have individuals be members of multiple teams.
2. Hear you on Slack. We're working on more integrations to migrate question content from chat products to create Q&A artifacts on Teams.
3. We've had a surprising number of teams report back to us that they've invited PMs, designers, marketing etc... into their teams to great success.
@willcole I have no doubt you could get marketing, design in there with no problem. I have a separate use case I'm thinking about where you'd need to limit who has access to certain information that would be present—but multiple teams might be the answer there. Happy to discuss if you're interested to hear about it
@jdotjdotf Hey! It's really cool to see that you're thinking about rolling a Q&A-like knowledge base for your entire company, not just development. I've been working on something that does exactly that! Would love to have a chat sometime to understand your specific needs. Would you be up for that? Thanks!
I think this is a really smart move and is solving a real problem! Many companies I have worked for before were trying to solve this exact problem internally, by rolling out things their own. It's a common hackweek project, let's just put it that way :). Awesome job and can't wait to try it
Although I love this and a great idea coming from already tried and tested, StackOverflow, I think this a bit expensive for early stage companies. Here's a cheaper alternative: use Discourse for the same purpose! 🎉
@willcole @jdotjdotf Is it possible to have people from external teams to answer specific questions, too? For example, if my company uses Internet Explorer (lol!) and someone has a highly specific question about how to do something super cool with it (lol lol!), can I have some Microsoft employee answering that very question (based on the tag linked with the question or something)? There are probably better examples for this though.
@jdotjdotf @mxmzb Not unless you invite that Microsoft employee into the general team. There are no per tag permissions at this time.
We're going to trial Stack Overflow for Teams for a few weeks to see how we get on. However, there is a concern that we'll effectively be creating multiple 'sources of truth' since we have developer documentation in a VSTS wiki and business documentation inside of SharePoint. A team member commented that we'd probably need to periodically copy accepted answers to Wiki format to keep the Wiki as the SSOT. I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.
Also, is there an ability to have an area where customers can ask questions about our product without them being able to see the company's internal questions and answers?