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Just a day or two ago, James Bach showed up on the site. This name, along with names like Joel S, Alan Page, Lisa Crispin, etc, are all well known names and recognized experts in the field of software testing. It seems odd that they would have to go through the same reputation earning pattern on the site.

  • How would you propose to authenticate a recognized expert? I could change my display name to "D Knuth" as easily as anyone else. – user246 May 26 '11 at 16:40
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Completely disagree. The reputation and badges are merely an indicator of your ability to provide expert answers. The reputation and badges are what make people recognized experts on this site.

Furthermore, what criteria would there be for 'recognized expert'? How much reputation is their expert status worth? Or with the badge route, would there be a corresponding silver badge for "Domain Level Demi-god" and a bronze badge for "Domain Level Mortal"? And how do we know their expert status outside this site would translate into the ability to read individual questions and help solve people's problems?

As a final point, I don't think it's odd at all. Consider Alan (I hope he doesn't feel awkward by me doing this) - he has the highest rep-per-answer ratio of any of the top 10 users, ahead of the second highest by over half-again. I think this speaks for itself for the quality of his insight. (I should also note that he has 0 questions asked, unlike the rest of the top 10. This further inflates the other rankings, and underscores the post-quality.)

It is quite obvious by reading the posts of high caliber authors that they're experienced and willing to share it. I think we should simply let those posts speak for themselves. They will accrue reputation and badges in due time as they post excellent posts. I suspect there are few people here for rep and badges - we're here for learning about better ways to engage in software quality assurance (teaching or being taught, we can learn through both.)

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    Well reasoned answer, actually...just because they are experts doesn't mean that they can answer questions... and the rather subjective "expert" moniker does make it hard to classify. Would like to hear other opinions. – TristaanOgre May 23 '11 at 20:38
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    It all boils down to me not being an expert in SQA, but rather an expert in shooting down peoples' dreams. This merely happens to be a useful quality in SQA. ;-) – corsiKa May 23 '11 at 20:47
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    I'm with glowcoder on this one. Let people earn respect by answering questions and being helpful members of the community. – Alan May 24 '11 at 0:43
  • Completely agree with this, their contributions will speak for themselves adding in a bonus also cheapens what anyone else here would earn by following the same process. As they impart their knowledge it will earn them the reputation, let the answers speak for themselves. – MichaelF May 24 '11 at 16:10
  • I agree with glowcoder ... If you look at James Bach's response to my question about the new ISO standard sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/750/…, he has nine up votes to a posting his opinion about how he hates standards. He does not answer the question at all. So no, definitely not they need to earn it like everyone else. – Bruce McLeod May 26 '11 at 8:37
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"It seems odd that they would have to go through the same reputation earning pattern on the site."

Why does it seem odd?

The reputation earning mechanism here is for this site, it has nothing to do with a reputation earned elsewhere.

I'd assume that recognized experts in the field of software testing might choose to come here and contribute, and earn whatever reputation points/badges come their way just like everyone else. No need for special treatment, and no different than all the other "slightly less recognized" experts that I see posting here.

  • "Why does it seem odd?" Well, as mentioned below, based upon the reaction of James Bach showing up, it was almost a forgone conclusion that any answer he gave was going to be THE answer to the question. Name recognition and notoriety play into that. That said, other points made about earning reputation for THIS SITE are well put and make sense in the context. – TristaanOgre May 25 '11 at 19:45
  • Reputation is earned by demonstrating expertise. There is nothing offensive or disrespectful about that. – user246 May 26 '11 at 16:37
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    "it was almost a forgone conclusion that any answer he gave was going to be THE answer to the question. " Hmm... that would worry me if it actually comes to pass. I'd hate for this forum to become nothing more than an idol-worshipping site for celebrity testers' posts to get auto-accepted. Let's value the answer more than the reputation? – Joe Strazzere May 27 '11 at 12:10
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As I understand it, the recognized experts in the field will build reputation here very quickly by the quality of their responses, so, no, I don't think there needs to be an automatic reputation boost for the experts. So far what I've seen is that the responses the top figures in the field are giving typically are more accurate and thorough than anything I could do (my only real basis for comparison here).

  • And yet, as evidenced to the comments to one of James responses (sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/750/…), simply the fact that it is him, automatically the answer is given massive amounts of credibility. If the user has a recognized name and that the indentity can be confirmed, I think they should get an automatic "We already know you're good" bonus... perhaps simply as a Gold badge that states "Domain Level Deity" or some such thing. – TristaanOgre May 23 '11 at 19:04
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I am sure if you post this question to "recognized experts", they themselves would not agree to it.

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