Stack Overflow (credit image/Pixabay/StartupStockPhotos)Overflow Offline was unveiled by Stack Overflow, the world’s largest technology Q&A community. Stack Overflow says Overflow Offline is an essential resource for coders without an internet connection. It enables coding in areas where internet access is scarce or non-existent – even the South Pole.

The initiative brings the ability to learn and write code to the justice system and difficult to reach parts of the globe. It has been developed alongside such organisations as Unlocked Labs, The Last Mile, Bard Prison Initiative, and Code 4000.

When you have a problem, you cannot simply go to the internet and search for help“, said Neil Barnby, an instructional officer with Code4000. An organisation that trains prisoners in coding in HMP Holme House, HMP Wandsworth, and HMP Humber.

This is a huge disadvantage for the Code4000 students. However, Stack Overflow offline allows them to search the resource for possible solutions. This means they become more independent in finding their own solution. It also gets them familiar with the resources they will eventually use when they are released. It also means they can work more efficiently on the commercial work they undertake to develop their portfolios,” adds Barnby.

Stack Overflow available offline

(credit image/LinkedIn/Yannick Nkengne)
Yannick Nkengne, an ed-tech entrepreneur and founder of the company Eduairbox.

In the world of science, Stack Overflow is used offline in locations like The Ice Cube Lab. A remote research station at the South Pole that studies the universe by observing neutrinos. “We constantly work on scripts, a lot of Python code, for instance. We use Puppet down there. So, every time we need to make a major change on the cluster, there’s always something that doesn’t work. That’s when Stack Overflow comes in handy,” says Ralf Auer, the Ice Cube Data Centre Manager.

A third use case for Overflow Offline is for students studying at schools where internet access isn’t consistent. Or for those who might not have internet access to help with homework when they are done with class.

Cameroon has a population of 27 million. The Internet coverage rate in Cameroon is 34%, or 9.15 million people have access to the Internet,” says Yannick Nkengne, an ed-tech entrepreneur and founder of the company Eduairbox. “In the education sector, free Wi-Fi on university campuses in Cameroon is expensive for administrations. Almost no campuses in Cameroon have free Wi-Fi for students. Students pay for internet packages via their smartphones to connect to their laptops. The price of effective packages for research is expensive for the majority of students.”

With our solution, students can download content from the EduAirbox to read at home off our network. Their browser uses Web Storage (IndexedDB) technology to store data.”

Stack Overflow sees its product launch as the jumping-off point for Overflow Offline. As the company learns from its partners and users, they plan to improve the dataset. Stack Overflow says it will become more accessible to more organisations and provides resources to those learning to code or building with software.

Enterprise Times: What this means for business.

This is an interesting initiative from Stack Overflow. The project enables coding – both learning and writing – in places with little or no internet connectivity. As a result, it gives the opportunity to code to students in Cameroon, scientists at the South Pole, and to incarcerated people in the UK and the USA. Stack Overflow is the largest technology question and answer community and is visited by more than 100 million people every month. This makes it one of the most popular websites in the world. Stack Overflow is supporting communities around the globe to develop technology through collective knowledge. For coders without an internet connection, an offline dataset such as Stack Overflow provides an essential toolset for developers.


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