Stack Overflow, the uber-popular software developers’ Q&A site created by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood in 2008, now has a sister site called Server Fault. This new site, designed with the needs of system administrators in mind, uses the same engine that Stack Overflow does for voting, editing, and tagging.
We heard about Spolsky and Atwood’s plan to launch an I.T.- themed site back in January of this year, but it wasn’t until the end of May – only days ago – that the site actually went live for the public to use.
Already, the site has engaged some well-known members of the I.T. Professional community, including Thomas A. Limoncelli, the author of several system administration books including April Fools’ Day RFCs.
As Joel Spolsky explained in a recent blog post, the Q&A engine behind Stack Overflow could easily be applied to create sites for other professions and the first one that came to mind was system administration – an obvious choice, since as programmers, they often end up doing a lot of sysadmin work themselves.
Joel writes, “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.”
The two sites are linked on the back-end, so if you already have an account over at Stack Overflow, you can use it to sign into Server Fault. However, your reputation, badges, and favorite tags are kept separate between the sites. Also like Stack Overflow, Server Fault is 100% free to use, a welcome change for system admins getting scammed by other sites that use google-cloaking techniques to lure you in then offer the answer to you for a fee. You don’t even have to register to use it – that’s an option if you want to “collect karma and win valuable flair,” but it’s not required.