Remembering significant minutiae

Today I reached a meaningless milestone.

My most popular post on StackOverflow, the leading Q&A site for programmers, earned its 500th vote*.

The post is short, and pretty hilariously insignificant. The question asks how to repeat a simple search-and-replace operation. My answer was essentially to add a single character, the letter “g”, to their code. See the full, embarrassingly simple answer here.

I wrote the answer on July 8, 2011, just over five and a half years ago. Since then, it has earned me 29.8% of my total StackOverflow reputation (the arbitrary currency one earns on the site for participation). 5036 reputation points out of my total 16,911 points, for this pitiful excuse for an answer.

Along with my second most popular post, it has contributed to me earning the coveted honor of being one of the “Top 1%” posters for all things JavaScript.

All of this for a language, JavaScript, which I despise, and spend significant effort avoiding, by way of my use of and contributions to the GopherJS project.

But the anecdote that makes me laugh the most is the job offer I got, specifically because of this answer.

Roughly 2 years ago, when things started going south in my long-held position at eFolder, I began looking for work, and indicated on my StackOverflow profile that I was looking for work. I still remember when I received the fateful phone call from the recruiter. I was in Houston, in my brother-in-law’s house.

“Jonathan! I saw your StackOverflow profile. You’re in the top 1% of JavaScript! That’s really impressive! We’d love to find a job for you.”

“Oh yeah. That’s only because of one silly answer that doesn’t really mean anything. I really don’t want a JavaScript job. You shouldn’t consider that statistic as meaningful of anything.”

“Mmmmhmmmm. Okay, so how about a job?”


Anyway, I was looking for work, and he was only a recruiter. So I humored him. And it did eventually lead to a job offer–which I ultimately rejected.

But today I was reminded of this story, when StackOverflow told me, yet again, that I had received another upvote on my silly answer. And I decided to share it.

*Technically, it received its 504th vote today, as it has now received 502 up votes and 2 downvotes, for a net score of 500.

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