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Re: PerlMonks for newbies?

by kdj (Pilgrim)
on Feb 09, 2009 at 16:06 UTC ( #742472=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to PerlMonks for newbies?

I think that a site such as you are suggesting presents a threat to PM. However much you intend for it to be newbie-based, it is unlikely to remain that way if it is successful. If the people who spend time there enjoy it, they probably won't leave simply because they have reached some arbitrary skill-level. Instead, experts will emerge over time, and the site will evolve. You could hardly kick your oldest and most-learned members out for beginning to discuss the higher level things they were interested in. And, as has been proven time and again, things grow of their own accord on the web (sometimes in spite of the creator's intentions).

Understandably, those who love this place would prefer not to have a potential rival that could ruin the very special atmosphere here. Initially, I was in the same boat. However, after reading the whole thread and thinking it over, I'm not worried about that anymore. This place isn't what it is because people don't have other options. So, I won't tell you what to do, but I will offer my perspective and why I would have chosen PM even if your site had existed when I started Perl not too long ago:

The first time I looked at Perl code was on the second day of my entry-level job out of college. That was about 10 months ago now. I still consider myself a beginner (because wow is there a lot to learn), but I've also moved a bit past the newbie stage. PerlMonks is in large part the reason for how far I have come. And were it more of a beginner-oriented site, I would never have learned as much.

There is no shortage of answers for 'silly noob' questions around here, and I've never gotten the feeling that the Monks are uncharitable or harsh to anyone who expresses a genuine want to learn. I lurked for months here before creating an account, and even having done so I don't exactly post much. But, I do prattle in the CB here and there, and mostly I read. A lot.

I read the nodes that I think I know the answer to, to see if I got it right. I read the nodes that are way over my head to see if I can find something new and useful to me (I often do). I read the... well, you get the point. I read it all, and I am often rewarded for doing so. Understanding much of it relies on some googling and a little head-scratching, but the important thing is that it spurs me to seek out knowledge I wouldn't have thought of or known to seek.

If I had started at the type of site you suggest, I would still be there. And while I would likely post more often and enjoy the satisfaction that would bring, my ultimate reason for visiting this type of site in the first place is selfish- I want to improve myself. If I can give back and help others that's wonderful, but first and foremost I want to be challenged and to learn new things. I feel that I'm a better Perl programmer as a result of coming to PM as a total newbie than I would have been if I had found a site tailored to my newbie-ness.


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