Fast-growing technical forum StackOverflow is launching a new service today called Careers 2.0, where programmers can build a resume out of the technical questions and answers they’ve contributed to the StackOverflow site. The service was unveiled at the Launch conference today in San Francisco.
It’s a great example of building value on top of passively collected data from another kind of activity. Millions of programmers visit and participate in StackOverflow forums to find and share free, community-vetted discussions about their technical challenges. Now the site will help them transform that activity into a resume that employers can find and evaluate. It’s free for job seekers; the cost for employers is $500 for one week of access or $5k for one year subscription, with a money back guarantee if an employer doesn’t find anyone to hire.
From New York based StackOverflow to the smaller but more hyped Quora to Facebook Connect and the soon-to-launch Locker Project, there are all kinds of companies working to create value on top of what’s called exhaust data. That term doesn’t feel like it does justice to peoples’ activities on Stack Overflow, but it does seem technically applicable.
When it comes to creating value, though, connecting employers with highly qualified technical candidates is one of the clearest examples of value this paradigm has created to date, outside of targeted advertising.
Stack Overflow is building out a network of community Q&A sites on a wide variety of topics. It’s not hard to imagine this same type of system being offered for types of work other than computer programming.
Also at Launch and addressing the need of finding qualified candidates, in this case consumer service providers, is another startup called Thumbtack. Presumably we’ll see many more services like these; as a growing number of people and businesses become quantified, the days of making business decisions on a short list of contrived recommendations and the pedigree of a resume will soon be surpassed.