You have to be careful not to be tricked by the tech world's April Fools' Day fabrications, but on Tuesday, one prank product became real.
It's been a joke in programming circles for years: Instead of writing your code from scratch, just head over to the Stack Overflow forums and copy the way another programmer already solved your problem. The meme is such a fixture that Stack Overflow turned it into an April Fools' Day prank this year, saying it would limit free access to its site unless people bought The Key, a device with buttons just copying and pasting.
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Enough people said they'd actually buy one that Stack Overflow, with help from keyboard aficionado Cassidy Williams and , designed one for real and began . A portion of the keyboard sales' proceeds will go to Digitalundivided, a nonprofit set up to help Black and Latinx women succeed as technology entrepreneurs.
Copying and pasting from Stack Overflow is in fact a widespread practice, as the company showed during the April Fools' event.
"One out of every four users who visits a Stack Overflow question copies something within five minutes of hitting the page. That adds up to 40,623,987 copies across 7,305,042 posts and comments between March 26th and April 9," Stack Overflow said in April. "Knowledge reuse isn't a bad thing -- it helps you learn, get working code faster, and reduces your frustration."