As an, um, elder (? I am 28) I am extremely happy to see not only more online communities (vs. the old BBSs I used to use), but also the local *UGs (LUGs, PUGs, SIGs, etc..) that crop up.
When I started with Perl back in '93/'94 there was mostly USENET and IRC. Now, there are also many mailing lists, websites such as this, the UGs, and other ways to quickly communicate with like-minded folks. Sort of like when I was a kid, I had a Big Wheel (and Green Machine!).. and nowadays these things are motorized (showing how things have changed)!
I wish more people would get involved with various sub-communities of the Perl community. Personally, I think there is only so much one can learn from book and tutorials. At some point it is beneficial for someone to venture out (online or not) and get involved. Not only can you meet some cool (and no-so-cool) people, but you learn a heck of a lot. Even after doing Perl for so long I still say "Oh cool! I never did it that way!" when seeing what some people write. I'll read threads here (and on mailing lists) where you _really_ see that TIMTOWTDI! It's cool to be able to do that, and you can't if you don't get involved in some way.
So, all you youngins out there.. get involved! Stay involved! And get others to be involved!
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