I was looking through the Stack Exchange hottests questions and stumbled on one of the Programmers questions:
Because I'm reading Code Complete and I hoped to find another insightful post to help me decide when I should be doing this. Only to find an answer like:
If you don't comment the code as you write it chances are minimal that you will come back and do it later (let alone do it properly).`
Honestly? This answer only tells the OP he should do it, because else he has to come back and do it anyway. No explanation about how writing your code as pseudocode, which can be converted to comments might lead to fewer errors. Or how commenting what you write helps you think harder about the code you just wrote. Nothing.
Why does this answer have 25(!) upvotes? That's a lot of rep for something that doesn't answer the question and clearly doesn't teach anything to users who are interested in it.
Now if this were just incidental it wouldn't be a problem, but I stumble over your 'hot' questions a lot and more often than not I've come back disappointed. Don't believe me? Here's another example from the top 50 Laptop ergonomics: How do you position yourself when working on a laptop for long hours?
Normally, like I would if I was working on a desktop computer. Regular desk, a sturdy wooden chair (I don't like ergonomic chairs or anything of the kind) and a normal posture. Worked for me. YMMW though!`
Nothing about using an external keyboard, a mouse rather than a trackpad, using a laptop stand for a better viewing angle or height? There's a whole industry devoted to this and there's actual science behind the ergonomics, yet an answer that says: 'Worked for me' gets 5 upvotes.
Now I don't have a solution to offer, but as a fellow Stack Exchange user I think upvoting such answers is giving a bad example. Worst of all, legitimately interested users like myself are repelled from even looking at Programmer questions any more because of the bad experiences, which I hope isn't something we're striving here for.
Should we be rewarding poor quality answers like this?