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Sentry Overflow

Posted on:February 3, 2024 at 04:46 PM

Just now, as I was searching for the Bash script syntax on how to check if a directory exists (for the 63rd time because I have the memory span of an agitated Chihuahua) I noticed something interesting. Sentry, the app monitoring company, had the top SERP spot.

Google Search results for "check if dir exists bash"

Technically SGE had the top result, and I do often try those answers, but Sentry caught my eye in this case because I had a hunch about what was going on.

I clicked that first result, Determine whether a directory exists in Bash, and it took me here:

Sentry's answer page

When I followed the breadcrumb back to Answers by Sentry my first reaction was “Holy shit! They have questions and answers for over 20 languages, frameworks, editors, etc. They’ve been at this a long time!” But then I expanded the Go section and saw only 3 questions. So either they just started building out their catalog or they’re only targeting some highly trafficked, basic questions.

Either way, it’s a clever move. From the banner on top of the answer page, you can clearly see that it’s a lead generation project.

I’ll leave you with a big-picture thought to ponder: Stack Overflow has clearly lost developer mindshare, the void from Stack Overflow’s demise has not yet entirely been filled by another player, and generative AI has made Q&A datasets much more valuable and useful.