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Zen and the art of ignoring XP

by DaWolf (Curate)
on May 12, 2005 at 02:57 UTC ( #456216=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I was wandering and wondering today on the monastery when I've realized something:

I've lost a XP point (thing that nowadays doesn't happen so often) and I've got momentaneously mad about it. That's when I've got this insight.

I mean, I'm 200+ points from "saint" (quotes here so religious people don't feel offended), and as far as I feel so proud of me to finally achieve the "saint" level, I don't feel like one. I have many MANY more things to learn with Perl before I can call myself one.

So I was thinking: "Ok, I'll be a saint in a couple of months/years and I'm sure I WILL brag about it, but this isn't really important". I mean, the important thing is that I'll code Perl better and better and I'll understand more of the language.

For me, as a self-made Perl programmer, that is more than I could ever ask, since I have an enormous respect for the monastery.

I just had to get that off my chest.

Long live the Perl Monks!

Regards,

Comment on Zen and the art of ignoring XP
Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on May 12, 2005 at 03:58 UTC
    Ok, I'll be a saint in a couple of months/years and I'm sure I WILL brag about it, but this isn't really important.

    Funny thing - every job interview and independent contractor discussion I've had over the past 4 years has, at one point, referenced the fact that I'm a saint on Perlmonks. For whatever reason, it's a good thing to have in your backpocket.


    • In general, if you think something isn't in Perl, try it out, because it usually is. :-)
    • "What is the sound of Perl? Is it not the sound of a wall that people have stopped banging their heads against?"
      Interviewer: "If we give you this project, you won't be spending all your time posting on perlmonks, will you?"

      Dragonchild: "No." <mumbles> I should really take that link to my XP off my resume... </mumbles>

      ;)

      --
      jpg
      Is it? Unless they go through all your nodes.. they have no idea how you attained sainthood. Or how long it took you... course, does it really matter? nah....

      But, anyways.. good to know ;>
Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by Tanktalus (Canon) on May 12, 2005 at 04:03 UTC

    I have no idea what you're talking about. XP is everything! It's your entire being and personality, your entire worth as a human being, and, more importantly, as a perl-programming geek, all boiled down to a simple, easy-to-grasp number!

    We need more! More levels! More achievements! More ways to pigeon-hole each other! Seeing "You have 1002197 points until level vroom" is not satisfaction enough!

    More stats - who are the top earners of the day, of the week, of the month, and of the year! Extra votes accorded to those! Extra infamy for those who are on the way down!

    Ahem. Sorry. :-)

Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by tlm (Prior) on May 12, 2005 at 05:29 UTC

    XP is paradoxical; everyone agrees that it is a pretty meaningless number,and yet (I am convinced of this) it is the key to the success of PM as a web-based community.

    For the thermodynamically inclined, I offer this analogy: XP is not a state variable like energy or entropy; it is more like heat or work, in that only the "local" changes in it are meaningful (in the way they affect behavior); the net global sum of these local changes, by itself, is meaningless.

    Or a more familiar analogy: XP fluctuations are the equivalent of the many smiles and frowns we get from people around us throughout the day; these gestures have an impact (often unconscious) on how we behave minute-to-minute and day-to-day, and in this respect they matter a great deal, but it would be foolish (or so I think anyway) to attach importance to some cumulative net number of smiles minus frowns that one has garnered through life, even if they were at all quantifiable.

    the lowliest monk

      Are you sure about that? Don't you think that the Monastery would work the same if we didn't have XP, only node reputation? (However, we need XP so that the Vote Fairy can work.)

      I always thought that the key of the success of PM is the Chatterbox, but I've never thought about what part the votes takes in it.

        Don't you think that the Monastery would work the same if we didn't have XP, only node reputation?

        I can only guess. I think that the Monastery would be as great as it is now, if not better, if we had only node reps without individual XPs. That's consistent with my impression that the immediate effect of voting has a far greater impact on the quality of the whole "PM experience" than does its cumulative longitudinal effect on individual XPs. But if one got rid of node reps, even with a rockin' CB, I think that PM would not be that much better a Perl community than, say, comp.lang.perl.misc. (IMO, as an "internet community" PM blows clpm out of the water, no question; this is no comment on the intelligence, talent, and depth of knowledge one can find in clpm, which can be every bit as impressive as any found here, but rather on the ethos and mores of that community compared to PMs.)

        the lowliest monk

      tlm++!

      Couldn't agree more with you. Your analogies are perfect!

      I agree that XP is a very appealing feature of PM, but it's not the only key to the success of it (at least for me). Two of the things that I really enjoy here is the level of knowledge I often get and the number of questions that I haven't asked that are extremely useful for me (someone once noticed this too, a long time ago).

      Best regards,
Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by Forsaken (Friar) on May 12, 2005 at 05:47 UTC
    Quote:

    I mean, I'm 200+ points from "saint" (quotes here so religious people don't feel offended), and as far as I feel so proud of me to finally achieve the "saint" level, I don't feel like one. I have many MANY more things to learn with Perl before I can call myself one.

    Being but a mere humble Monk myself, I can't help but feel that the more time one spends in the monastery, even while gathering XP left and right, the more one becomes aware of how much one *doesn't* know about Perl. So, in that light, it seems to me the enlightenment we seek can only be found in pure humility before the great untamed universe of Perl :-) Besides, I'm sure that by the time one has achieved a level of competence in Perl that could be described as "mastery" Perl 6 will be unleashed on an unsuspecting audience and everyone can start from scratch again.

    Remember rule one...

Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by Animator (Hermit) on May 12, 2005 at 08:03 UTC

    I sure agree whit everyone else that XP is rather useless... for those intrested in it I post the reason why I believe that. (I decided to put it inside readmore-tags since the post is rather long and since I don't think many will be intrested in it)

      "There are people with more experience then me, who know less... (ofcourse not everyone). And the votes you get the highest XP on (or atleast in my experience) are the ones that get front-paged and are faq-like, or of which there is a good POD available (references for example)..."

      I totally agree with this.

      Look at my XP. I am still a beginner, having read the whole of Learning Perl twice and only doing the exercises up to chapter 8 so far (finding time is an issue). But I read a lot of Programming Perl, spend most days on here and read a lot on perldoc.

      I put my XP down to having raised a lot of interesting questions (most stupid, I might add) and making a lot of replies that help people out by way of pointing them to the right CPAN module or place on perldoc, or testing their code for them.

      That's why XP is just a number I guess!

      Walking the road to enlightenment... I found a penguin and a camel on the way.....
      Fancy a yourname@perl.me.uk? Just ask!!!
      So basiclly, one could be a "saint" without knowing a single bit of Perl (by replying to polls), does this make sense?

      Yes, because the XP doesn't represent your perl knowledge at all. If it represents anything it's probably your investment in this community.

      Another thing one can wonder about if XP represents how useful your reply was to the OP's question... My answer to that is no... I remember a thread about DBD::Proxy, there were a total of 4 replies, the total reputation was 7, does this mean the replies were bad?

      The OP can only cast one vote. The rating of a node represents "the usefulness" of the node to all of the monks. It might not even be a direct answer to the OP.

      Ofcourse one could say then don't botter to reply to questions that the general masses aren't intrested in, but then the OP isn't helped at all...

      I usually just answer the questions that I find interesting, or that have no (good) answers and I can answer reasonably quickly. My time is limited. XP isn't really a concern.

      The way XP is seen is bad...
      How is it seen?

      There are people with more experience then me, who know less... (ofcourse not everyone).
      See my point above. XP has nothing to do with knowledge.

      Should you be able to reach the highest level only by asking intresting questions?
      Definitely
      (questions that others might ask, and which probably are answerd in many FAQ's)
      FAQs are not interesting questions. All questions might be asked by others, that's not an indication of interestingness.

      Also giving a pointer to the FAQ or the correct POD results in less Experience (or atleast as far as I can see) then given the full answer... but what is the most useful?
      Do both for maximum node-rep :-) Pointing to the docs is a good and quick way of answering a question. If you take the time to explain the problem in some more detail, that can be very useful too. See my point about "investment".

      And yes, the XP system is flawed, but then, we're dealing with people, so it won't ever be perfect. :-)

        How is it seen?

        Well, look at dragonchild's post:

        Funny thing - every job interview and independent contractor discussion I've had over the past 4 years has, at one point, referenced the fact that I'm a saint on Perlmonks.

        This indicates to me that people (or atleast some) see it as a representation of Perl knowledge, if not then why would they botter to refer to him being saint on Perlmionks at all? It would only mean he spent some (or maybe a lot) time on a website posting messages, maybe by asking questions, or posting to polls. (ofcourse a lot depends on the one doing the interview and the research that has been done, someone could easily look at his post and see, but I can't tell wheter or not that is done)

        And that's the same way I saw it when I first visit this site... Silly me though it would somehow indicate the knowledge of someone, ofcourse it didn't took long before I realized it doesn't.

        XP sure isn't about Perl knowdledge, but where is that explicitly stated on this site? Someone that is not a regular visitor here (maybe someone doing a job-interview) might not know that. Which would IMHO create an unbalance between people knowing perl (and helping at other places then this site (such as mailing lists, IRC, ...)) and someone in here asking questions, and getting XP for it...

        As in, who do you guess has a better starting position (at a job interview)? Someone helping out in other places, or a level 7 (for example) at PerlMonks? (how he got to that level is completly irrelevant ofcourse)

        (update, typos)

Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by cog (Parson) on May 12, 2005 at 09:48 UTC
    I mean, I'm 200+ points from "saint"

    As I've said before:

    XP is just a number... but of course people only realize that the moment they become Saints! It's called "enlightenment".

Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by artist (Parson) on May 12, 2005 at 17:43 UTC
    We should have methods defined for what to do with 'XP' and then don't do anything else with your XP. My favorite methods: Be happy if they like your nodes. Ignore if you get couple of '-' votes. Introspect little for more than 5 negative votes. Never lose your sleep over XP.

    --Artist
Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by exussum0 (Vicar) on May 12, 2005 at 18:27 UTC
    cog already said, rightfully, it's only a number. cog is right. But it's a reward as well. At some point, you'll realize, these numbers, ranks, salary (beyond comfort) are just numbers. Do the rewards they represent matter to you?

    Look at it this way. 3k points, you become a saint, then your name goes on a page of saints. 5 years of some language, 10 years of computing, then you become a good programmer, maybe architect quality.

    It's not what you put in, it's what you get out. The journey is sometimes more important.

    ----
    Give me strength for today.. I will not talk it away..
    Just for a moment.. It will burn through the clouds.. and shine down on me.

Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by TedPride (Priest) on May 13, 2005 at 01:21 UTC
    I take great pride in my Perl Monks ranking, and reference it often. Sure, I'm only a bishop (rank 8), and I know I will still be inferior to most of the saints here even after reaching saint, but each rank represents a significant amount of reading, voting, and posting, and is therefore an excellent measurement of commitment to Perl as a language and to programming in general. A saint has paid his dues, and proven himself at least capable, if not necessarily brilliant.
Re: Zen and the art of ignoring XP
by tcf03 (Deacon) on May 14, 2005 at 07:46 UTC
    This node along with On Quality seem to be thematic as of late. Just to add fuel to the fire, just as in ZMM, it could be said of Perl that Perl, not quality could be substituted for tao in the tao te ching. It seems a natual fit.

    Ted
    --
    "Men have become the tools of their tools."
      --Henry David Thoreau

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