min read

How to source tech talent on Stack Overflow

With 18 million developers and rich technology skills information based on Q&A's, Stack Overflow is a must for sourcing tech talent.

July 25, 2021
Yuma Heymans
December 18, 2021

Searching engineering talent on Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a question and answer website for engineers. On the platform users vote questions and answers up or down similar to Reddit. Users can earn reputation points and "badges" by giving valuable answers that get upvoted. Their reputation, score and technology tags can be important indicators of the technologies the user is most skilled in and in which ones they are interested in learning more.

Key facts

  • Engineer profiles
  • 18 million total users
  • Up to date tech skills data based on tech Q&A activity


You can really deep dive into the people you want to learn more about on Stack Overflow. Because of the Questions & Answers (Q&A) set up, the information about the candidate is often up to date based on the latest technologies they are skilled in or interested in. Most of the information like top technology tags, reputation, badges and scores are based on actual activity rather than own input which makes the information very reliable from a sourcing perspective.

A: Reputation of user which is earned by posting questions and answers which get upvoted
B: About section (free text)
C: Answers, questions and people reached
D: Location, links to socials and contact info
E: Earned badges for posting questions and answers
F: Top tech tags assigned related to the posted questions and answers
G: Score (the sum of all values of upvotes minus the downvotes) and the amount of posts
H: Titles of the top posts (questions and answers)

How to search Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow used to offer licenses for recruiters to source directly on Stack Overflow. They stopped offering this option to focus on job advertisements on the platform. But there are still plenty of ways to search Stack Overflow for talented engineers.

Stack Overflow user search

Search for technology tags in Stack Overflow to find questions, answers and users.

Optionally rank the search results by votes.

Google search (X-ray) Stack Overflow users

X-ray Stack Overflow by searching user profiles in Google with operators and keywords to filter for profiles.

For example search for Java developers in Germany:

site:stackoverflow.com/users java "germany"-"0 * reputation"><i class=

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