in reply to Difference in self v/s instructor based Perl training
I've always felt that the best part of being an autodidact is that I can control what I learn and when I learn.
It varies depending on someone's personality, but I personally have a hard to being forced to follow a certain path to learning something. Having someone tell me that I do this, and then this, and then this, followed by that, and this and that, etc... that never works for me.
I get distracted along the way and come up with ideas for other things and then branch off and learn something else along the way.
So while someone is teaching *at* me and hoping that I get to some endpoint that they want me to find, I'm off on my own learning things off of that path and not necessarily reaching the endpoint that they had in mind in the time frame that they had in mind.
As a result, I skipped a lot of classes in college and didn't do very well in certain classes - some teachers will see that someone learns a certain way and can do that on their own and learn well - some others flail around on their own and won't seek things out.
If you are the type of person that can visualize what you want to do and then can figure out the steps to get to that path, and if you don't know the steps, figure out what it takes to get from point A to point B - then you can do very well with books and the net (the net is pretty much an ideal collective of teachers in itself - assuming you can find sources that you trust) and doing it yourself that way.
On the other hand, if you are the type of person that knows there is an endpoint, but has no clue where to even start, let alone the steps between - then a teacher is a key part in being shown what those steps are and then ideally you pick up on how those steps were decided upon.
A good teacher will teach you how to figure this out on your own - a bad teacher will just show you each step and basically how it is done. The latter option there is much easier to "teach" and requires less time/effort from the teacher - but the former is a much more effective method, although it is harder on the teacher.
Just like that saying "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime."
(or the varient I prefer, "Build a man a fire, he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.")
There are some odd things afoot now, in the Villa Straylight.