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I've seen a number of tutorials written by beginners for beginners, and I unfortunately have to tell you that I don't see them as being very valuable for other people.

The problems that each beginner has are different, because they relate to that person's background and misunderstandings. If you watch beginners learn a skill in class (any skill, any class), you'll often see two people next to each other getting opposite advice. That's because they are doing it differently.

Furthermore a beginner's advice is always somewhat dangerous because as a beginner you still don't know what you're doing wrong. It is therefore easy to offer well-intentioned but dangerously wrong advice. And even easier to offer bad examples of how to do things.

As an example, I'm in the process of learning how to play beach volleyball better. It is easy to find well-intentioned beginners who are willing to pass on tips. Easy - and useless. I far prefer getting advice from a course that I'm taking. Even though the instructors may have forgotten what is hard to learn, they know from experience what people usually need to hear. Furthermore they have the experience to see and tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Think of this another way. It is very difficult to learn to be better than your teacher. Why, then, would you want a beginner for a teacher?

But there is still value in the exercise. What you'll find is that trying to teach someone else something is a good way to force you to organize your thoughts and learn it better for yourself. You might mislead the other person and give them bad habits, but you'll likely learn something in the process. So at least try to put your thoughts down into a tutorial. Present it to some friends to keep yourself honest. Then put it aside and come back to it in a year or two. At this point you'll probably see my points - in the writing of it you learned something, but you were telling people to do things that you now know they shouldn't be doing.


In reply to Re: A tutorial for Perl to teach Beginners by tilly
in thread A tutorial for Perl to teach Beginners by theroninwins

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