First of all we'll mention what sets DIC apart. DIC has the best tutorial and code snippet submission feature of just about any site. I haven't seen many others with this feature. The badges are very cool, as they indicate your progression. We have a top rate central moderating staff which does a wonderful job.
Worth checking out:
stackoverflow My favorite site next to dreamincode. I strongly reccomend you check this one out. The site has a very refined reputation system. Ever post you make can either be voted up or down, giving or taking reputation from you. SO is run by the community, you are not appointed by the webmaster as a moderator, if you have enough reputation, you have access to moderation tools (hence there are over 100 mods when this site has about 10). The more rep you have, the more you can do.
SO is not forum based like all of the other sites here. In these sites, you ask a question in a forum, and users browsing that forum see you question. In SO, you ask a question and give it up to 5 tags. Users can search by tags, see the newest questions, and view questions many ways. This provides a lot of flexibility, and makes the site easier to use. If you have a question about your windows vista app gui, tag your question windows, windows vista, C#, .net3.0, gui (or pick different tags).
SO is very new, currently less than a year old, but it has exploded in popularity. It has many new ideas, and most of the suggestions people make for other programming sites are already implemented here. (allows editing of posts forever, you can separately make answers and comments, question posters can mark accepted answers, answers can by up and downvoted, etc.) Another difference with SO is that it has less emphasis on user profiles. There's no signatures or messaging.
My unofficial tests have shown that SO has the most questions and posts per day than any other site, also the fastest responses. Don't worry about how many users a site has, what really matters is how much activity in questions and answers is on the site. I don't mean to squash smaller sites, but its a lot nicer when your questions get answered faster and you have more questions to answer. here's this same question answered on stack overflow
SO is actually part of a trilogy of websites, all using the exact same design, but about different topics. SO if for programming help, serverfault for " people who manage or maintain computers in a professional capacity. If you are in charge of servers, networks, or many desktop PCs (other than your own), then ask your questions here." and superuser, (coming soon) for absolutely anything else related to computers.
daniweb about the same size as dreamincode, broad topics, not just programming and web dev, but many other computer issues. Worth checking out. here is this question asked on daniweb. daniweb and devshed are both very widely scoped, including questions on software development, web development, computer hardware, operating systems, etc.
codeproject 6 million members, 5.4 million more than closest competitor. I think their forums are a little messed up, but CP has tons of features about programming besides the forums, including dev articles and competitions.
devshed little smaller than the others, but I do like their weekly email industry newsletter. [a sample] You can sign up for it when you sign up for the website.
Average sites, nothing special:
bytes.com medium sized
codingforums.com much smaller than the others, same idea.
codecall same comments as codingforums, small, nothing great.
wrox programmer to programmer Wrox publisher's help website, goes with their books.
codeguru: based on submitting articles, not forums.
The sites listed in "worth checking out" are very general and have forums for everything. But you can always find sites on more specific issues. Here are some webdev only sites:
Web dev sites:
good: web developer.com
digital point not great, lots of emphasis on search engines.
There are many sites that are specifically directed at one language. Tons of these sites exist, though they are usually smaller but have more focused scope. I will only list a few here as they are extremely easy to find through search engines
java: sun forums
C# C# friends
PHP php freaks
This post has been edited by crazyjugglerdrummer: 14 July 2009 - 01:37 PM