Stack Overflow, the platform for developers and programmers, is reducing its workforce by about 28% due to the growing popularity of AI chatbots. The CEO of Stack Overflow, Prashanth Chandrasekar, made this announcement on October 16, attributing the decision to the challenges posed by macroeconomic pressures affecting the entire tech industry.
Chandrasekar mentioned that the company is focused on achieving profitability and continuing to innovate its products. He added, “This year, we took various measures to control our spending.”
Stack Overflow, a 15-year-old forum for tech-related questions and answers, saw its workforce double to 540 employees in 2022. The recent layoffs will affect approximately 150 employees.
In August, Stack Overflow noted a slight decline in web traffic compared to 2022, with an average drop of 5%. The company acknowledged that this decline could be attributed to developers exploring GPT-4 after its release in March. Stack Overflow also anticipated that generative AI, like GPT-4, might lead to fluctuations in traditional traffic and engagement in the coming months.
Some tech publications, such as Ars Technica, have linked the rise of AI chatbots to reduced traffic and usage on traditional knowledge-sharing platforms like forums. AI chatbots can offer more specific and immediate assistance compared to older forum posts. They can even help correct code, provide optimization tips, and explain the functionality of each code line.
Notably, Stack Overflow is working on its own AI solution called “Overflow AI,” which was announced in July. The objective is to introduce new features that harness the collective knowledge of the Stack Overflow community to power AI solutions that offer personalized and reliable assistance to developers. Chandrasekar emphasized this goal in his statement.