|No such thing as a small change|
Perl(Monks) Universityby InfiniteSilence (Curate)
|on Mar 24, 2011 at 16:17 UTC||Need Help??|
Origins of this idea
Today I ran across Oracle's 'university' and felt sticker shock at seeing some of the prices. So I asked myself, why doesn't Perl have this?The Idea
(Re)use the existing PerlMonks infrastructure to create an online Perl University where people pay small amounts for classes like the Oracle University with proceeds directed toward much-needed TPF projects.Expanding Upon this Idea
The University could charge something like $20 for a class and use the money (Perlmonks should take some money for hosting the solution; give some money to the instructor) to donate to the Perl Foundation for Perl projects and marketing.
Example curriculum: Classes could work backward from low-level C stuff in Perl 5-6 (400-500 level classes) then build everything back down to 100-200 level classes Which would be something like 'Perl 102: Migrating to Perl from Java/Smalltalk/C'.How/Why Could This Work (and how is this not like certification)?
To me there are two kinds of people in IT -- self starters and the rest of us. Those who seem to have excelled very far in Perl are clearly self starters. They read Perl core source code, write XS modules, contribute to CPAN, etc. etc. This type of person does very well in an unstructured environment. Hand them books, source code, and editor and a computer and they will largely teach themselves.
After spanning the web for discussions on Perl by non-Perl developers I have found a common thread -- there is a general dislike of Perl by the more non-self-starter crowd. Most, if not all, complaints I read about Perl had to do with a strong sense of confusion about how some facet of the language worked. I saw this as primarily an education problem, not always necessarily a problem with the language. What I consistently saw was that developers had started learning Perl and then simply stopped when confronting something confusing about it. When I compared their complaints against those working actively in Perl-based projects or CPAN modules I found that there were suitable workarounds in almost every case.
All this taken together leaves an opportunity for an 'hourglass' learning structure that could first incorporate the tools that are needed for a developer to become a self starter, then move toward a structured curriculum, and then back to unstructured 'projects' which would be collaborative and useful to the community as a whole. This structure is like a combination of existing online universities which use grades, quizzes, and other structured learning tools for the structured portion *and* a program that does not use any of these things, just peer evaluation, in the unstructured portions.Why with PerlMonks?
From posted responses I can see that some people are clearly self-starters and can contribute in areas in which they are clearly experts.
I look forward to your idea/comments/rants about thisReferences
1 A link on how to create an online school: http://www.ehow.com/how_5728361_create-online-school.html
Thanks to everyone who posted a question or reply thus far. I am drafting a more formalized proposal for this concept meant to define the organization and operational structure of this proposed university. My draft, at the time of this writing, is about 1/3 done. I expect I'll need about a week to write, revise, and publish it. I'll update this post with the online location when it is ready.
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