|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
Re^2: People who write perl, Perl and PERLby g0n (Priest)
|on Nov 21, 2005 at 08:34 UTC||Need Help??|
My first response to your post as a lifelong antisocial non-joiner of things was unthinking disagreement, until I thought for a minute about my progress in Perl.
I had been using Perl for a couple of years before contributing to CPAN and then ending up a regular here, and I think my Perl (and programming knowledge generally) has shifted into a new (and much higher) gear since I started engaging with the community. Plus of course I now have a better idea of just how much more there is to know.
Engaging with the community is the difference between a programmer who blindly relies on the tools provided in the form of published modules, and hence works always within external constraints; and one who really knows that, if they find a bug or shortcoming in a CPAN module, they can fix it themselves. Put in vaguer but more general terms, the horizons of a community connected perl programmer are probably broader.
As an added bonus, it's probably fair to say that a perl-er who engages with the community is more likely to have a more realistic assessment of their own skill level than one who doesn't.
I'm not sure it's entirely true to say that one can't be 'into' Perl without engaging with the community, in the sense of being an enthusiast for the language, but it seems likely that one could reasonably expect higher standards from someone who does.
To address cogs point, sometimes it seems that monks make too much of the correct capitalisation of perl/Perl/PERL. Personally, I often miss out the initial capital when posting because I'm so used to typing:
"If there is such a phenomenon as absolute evil, it consists in treating another human being as a thing."
John Brunner, "The Shockwave Rider".