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Stack Exchange provides a plethora of question and answer websites each targeted at a specific domain. It originally started with three technology focused sites, Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and Super User. The network has since expanded to 114 different sites (as of February 2014).

I have been a member of the network for over three years. My interest has grown and shrunk over the years. At first I was excited to answer questions and I had a few successes, but mostly duds. Then I transitioned to janitorial duty, flagging questions which should be removed. The reasons vary, usually duplicates, nonsensical, or wrong site. I faired much better here as every one of my flags was marked as helpful and the corresponding question was closed/migrated. Eventually I grew bored and focused on writing software.

Throughout the development process I would consistently run across Stack Overflow answers in my searches. I would upvote the most helpful answers, but otherwise passively benefited from other's work. So far none of my experiences have deterred me from future participation, but they also have not motivated me to contribute more.

On July 20th 2013 I asked a question that would result in my first truly satisfying experience with Stack Exchange. I was installing arch linux on an old netbook that as lying around the house. The goal was to use it for note taking and text editing. I decided to avoid X and GUIs since the limited use case and minimal performance led to poor experiences in the past. The problem was that I have been accustomed to custom key mappings, specifically with the caps lock key as discussed by Steve Losh.

After exploring the obvious solutions - console keymaps, loadkeys, showkey - I was stuck. I could change caps lock to either escape or control, but not both. I asked some of my coworkers and they also had no suggestions, so I went to Stack Exchange. Immediately the post was edited for grammar and tags. There were even some questions about my setup and to better understand my needs. But after two days the comments stopped with no answer in sight. So I gave up and just carried around my heavy Mac Book Pro

Then, on January 27th another user had the exact same problem and placed a bounty on my question. This activity spurred others to dig deeper for a solution, including writing a program - keymod - to experiment with remappings. The keymod program is a fascinating solution - intercepting key press events and rewriting or forwarding to the kernel. But that is not the point. I downloaded and tested keymod. It solved my problem perfectly.

So after six months I had a solution and my first satisfying experience with Stack Exchange.