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Getting Your Tech Questions Answered

While perusing my daily Google Alerts I found this heading:

"Do newer versions of SQL Server support read consistency equivalent to Oracle?"

I was surprised to see this question was asked--and answered quite ably--in LinkedIn.com Answers. I don't use LinkedIn as much as I should (not enough hours in the day), so I was unaware of this service. Of course, there are many like it (including Yahoo! and "expert" services, where answers cost you money), but I was struck by the quality of the answers on LinkedIn.

A database expert named Victor (DBA and developer) provided the "best" answer to that question: "Yes." But the original poster had included a second part to his question:

"I have no experience with SQL Server and have only read in various forums that 'writers block readers and readers block writers.' Is that true? Or is it true just for older versions and not 2008?"

To this, Victor supplied a detailed, well-written explanation full of links for further information. I'm pretty sure you couldn't find a better answer on those pay-as-you-go "expert" services. LinkedIn also provided four or five other answers, some from DBAs, providing information and links to follow for further details (and of course, the mandatory MySQL shill).

I decided to try out LinkedIn Answers and asked a question to get info for an article I'm researching (topic categories, such as "software development," help target your query). I almost immediately got some great stuff.

So I'm sold. I know there are myriad support sites, forums, groups and such all over the Web, but if you haven't tried it, you should think about LinkedIn Answers the next time you need a tech question answered. I don't know where these guys find the time, but there are plenty of experts out there willing to help you out.

What's your experience with LinkedIn Answers? What other sources do you use to get answers to your dev questions? We'd love to share. Comment here or send me an e-mail.

Posted by David Ramel on 06/02/2010 at 1:15 PM


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