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PerlMonks XP Value

by Velaki (Chaplain)
on Oct 09, 2006 at 11:09 UTC ( #577132=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Note:The following represents my personal opinion on the items discussed below:

Why are there experience points?
It's a method, adopted by Perl Monks, to measure the level of participation of a monk, and the quality/efficacy of that monk's write-ups.

Do XPs have any value?
  • Within Perl Monks, XPs serve to provide both a reward for participants, and a means by which one may gauge the relative expertise of a particular Monk in a quantitative way.

  • Outside Perl Monks, I have many times experienced employers using a person's Perl Monks rank/XP total as a fair rating of that person's overall Perl abilities/reputation, and have made hiring decisions based upon it, just as planetscape notes in his her observation.

Perl Monks is a reputable site of a wonderful mix of beginners and experienced Perl minds, alike. A person can peruse this site, ask questions, and even receive responses from the authors of the books they use to perform their daily Perl tasks. There is a plethora of people of varying experience here, and the major thing that unites this community is a love of programming and using Perl. After all, this is a volunteer endeavor. It is this very sense of a professional, voluteer community with expert knowledge, which has earned Perl Monks the excellent reputation it has. Given that positive aspect, there is value in being a member, as viewed not only be the Perl community, but the business world as well.

A Perl Monk is a special individual, and to those who need a Perl solution to their problem, this is the place; these, the people, to which many come. As for the wanton and reckless pursuit of XPs by any means as if Perl Monks were just another video game to be beaten, that behavior ought to be discouraged in the strictest of terms, since it ultimately affects the perceived reputation of the site.

The value of PerlMonks XPs are that they represent, in part, the quality of the site. This quality is often the benchmark for Perl excellence. Let's work to keep it that way.


Update: Corrected planetscape's gender in my post. { Sorry about that. }

"Perl. There is no substitute."

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: PerlMonks XP Value
by tinita (Parson) on Oct 09, 2006 at 11:30 UTC
    just a note: only looking at the XP does not mean much. if i were looking for the quality of a programmer i want to hire, i would look through their postings also.

    the recent discussion about plagiarism shows, however, that many people overestimate XP. you can gain lots of XP by just giving all your votes everyday.

    if employers are looking at perlmonks XP to estimate the quality of an applicant, it's at least nice that they know that exists, but they're using it wrongly.

      My opinion: Not wrongly.

      I've seen employers use it as a bar to determine whether they will go on to look at the applicants posts. No different from HR filtering resumes based on keywords and other criteria prior to reading the resume in depth.


      "Perl. There is no substitute."

        Please let me know who these employers are at some point. A swift check reveals that not only do I have more XP than audreyt, but I also have (at time of writing) a better average XP/post ratio than both her and timtoady. A fact which simultaneously I find both highly amusing and proof, if any were needed, that XP totals can be about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

        Emboldened by my new 'statistically proven so it must be true' credibility, I'd like to announce that I'm currently working on Perl 7, which will also have an 'early adopter' implementation similar to Pugs. It will be written in Ook, and will, of course, be optimized for RSI...

        If that doesn't have potential employers flocking, I don't know what will... ;-)

      if i were looking for the quality of a programmer i want to hire, i would look through their postings also.

      I agree with you in this matter.

      gain lots of XP by just giving all your votes everyday.

      My suggestion is, after reaching monk level, XP for daily login and giving all their allocated votes for the day should be stopped. But i am not sure what ll be the drawback, by doing so. By doing this an employer can now consider his XP and his/her postings if needed.


        In my case my XP just denotes that I've been around here forever. In comparison to the esteemed mindtrust around here I'm still an acolyte at best. The daily login and XP for voting is a small part of why I show up every (work) day, and I do learn a nugget here and there by doing so. I like the fact that my daily participation in the board is somewhat reflected, even if my contributions to the content have been minimal over the years.

Re: PerlMonks XP Value
by holli (Monsignor) on Oct 09, 2006 at 12:41 UTC
    ...just as planetscape notes in his observation.
    Beware! She is a dragon. And as everybody knows, dragon ladies don't like to be mistaken for dragon gents ;-)

    holli, /regexed monk/
Re: PerlMonks XP Value
by GrandFather (Sage) on Oct 09, 2006 at 23:15 UTC

    XP is a little like sitting exams - an indicator of something, but mostly an indicator of how good you are at playing the XP game or passing exams. Sure employers can use that as a indication of characteristics that may be of value to them, but the raw results don't mean so much - especially in the case of XP

    In my view XP is an excellent mechanism for regulating the quality of posts and general behaviour at PerlMonks. It provides subtle but useful feedback that indicates what the PerlMonks community likes and doesn't like.

    XP does not indicate anything about Perl expertise or general proramming ability, or even the ability to debate. It does indicate an ability to play the XP game and that may be related by second order effects to Perl expertise etc., but sure isn't what drives XP.

    XP is only loosely coupled to node reputation and voting patterns by intent. If you play the XP game well you involve yourself in all aspects of the PerlMonks community. A key to XP is participation. The reward is increased Perl knowledge, a feeling of community, warm fuzzies and meeting interesting people.

    XP isn't important for itself. The XP game may be important, but not for itself - it is an indicator of positive contribution to tyhe community. If participating in the community is seen as important then XP as an indicator of how well you play the XP game is a good indicator of that. All XP represents is some index of an individuals positive participation in the PerlMonks community.

    DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
Re: PerlMonks XP Value
by arkturuz (Curate) on Oct 09, 2006 at 14:35 UTC
    I wonder why the initial developers of this voting system didn't separate votes you get from other users voting for your posts, and your own points you get while voting for other posts. It seems to me that these two numbers are very different in their nature. The former is the quality of the material you write (and which could be, eventually, considered by third parties interested in one's abilities) while the latter means that you can recognize good post, but it doesn't prove your ability to write similar (or better) one.

    So, if anybody in the future seriously considers to change the XP or the voting system, I think this is the first direction to be examined.

      Perhaps the initial developers of this voting system have never believed that there was a strong correlation between XP and the quality of any given post.

        Whether the correlation exists or not I still think that these two numbers should/could be separated.
        Then, those interested in "how good the monk is in Perl" will care about the votes given to monk, and those interested in overall XP will see these votes and how the monk participates in voting other peoples posts.

        Personally, I think that nothing should change and the present system is good to me, but it still confuses too many people.

Re: PerlMonks XP Value
by tphyahoo (Vicar) on Oct 12, 2006 at 09:54 UTC
    Its primary value is to spur beginners on up the learning curve.

    I think once you get to a certain point the thrill of XP wears off, but then you stay involved with the community for other reasons: habit, personal connectsions, more subtle and wholesome factors.

    As others have mentioned, high xp could also put you in a more positive light to potential employers. It's a crude and naive metric, but still.

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