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Though SO and Programmers are obviously two different subjects, someone who is an expert in one should also be an expert in the other. So why are their reputations kept separate? Similarly, though I don't participate too much in superuser.com, but at least my SO rights should help me have the same rights on superuser, no?

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    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Why should you have privileges on a site you don't participate? – yannis Jun 4 '15 at 18:05
  • @Yannis Because someone who knows how to program and doesn't spam SO, is going to have useful comments to add on programmers, as well. – clum Jun 4 '15 at 18:09
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    @clum there is a reason why I have this question set up as a template to auto-link in comments on Stack Overflow whenever someone recommends migrating crap to this site. Think about this when you read the answers to this meta question. – user22815 Jun 4 '15 at 18:18
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The direct answer to your title question is what Yannis said: If you don't participate on site X, you don't know enough about it to have all of the same privileges as you do on your favorite site. An especially common problem is people from site X misunderstanding the scope of site Y and voting to migrate things which Yers would instantly recognize as off-topic. There's a reason we have a chatbot to warn us about any SO comments that mention Programmers ("this is subjective, so it should be on PSE" is a surprisingly common comment on bad SO questions).

However, there is a toned-down version of what you're asking for in the form of the association bonus. If you have at least 200 reputation on any Stack Exchange site, then you automatically get a bonus 100 reputation on every new Stack Exchange site that you join. So once you reach 200 rep somewhere, you essentially gain the power to comment and upvote everywhere, but if you want to downvote, close vote or delete vote you still have to earn it. In my opinion this is a very reasonable compromise.

Also, there is a combined network reputation, but as far as I know it's only used by the chat system, so it doesn't really matter for your question.

  • I didn't know about the association bonus (I haven't made it to 200 on SO yet), that's actually what I had in mind. – clum Jun 4 '15 at 18:18
  • I don't think anyone does know about it until they hit 200, then one day they join another site, see the green +100 and go "How did I get 10 upvotes within the last 10 seconds?" – Ixrec Jun 4 '15 at 18:19
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    Additional info on the Stack Exchange association bonus can be found here. – Ana Jun 4 '15 at 20:47
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Knowing how to implement code may be different than being able to architect or design it.

In some sense, it's like saying, "why aren't construction workers able to be architects?"

Some construction workers could probably do better architecture work than most architects. Some architects probably could do better construction than most construction workers.

But just because someone is a construction worker doesn't mean they can design an efficient house (even if they can build it) and vice versa. Both jobs have different skills required.

It is true that they might often overlap, but it is not guaranteed.

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