Front page | perl.beginners |
Postings from April 2011
Re: Nature of this list
From: Brian F. Yulga
April 19, 2011 19:35
Re: Nature of this list
Message ID: 4DAE460F.email@example.com
Randal L. Schwartz wrote:
> If they don't have a thick skin already, they'd better get one soon, or
> they'll be useless as an advanced programmer. Without thick skin, they
> won't be able to submit their code for review regardless of how much
> their ego is invested in it.
I've been following this list for a few months now, and I've posted a
handful of times (both for questions and possible solutions). The first
time I ventured some guesses in unknown territory, I got struck down
pretty fast. It does kind of suck to spend some time thinking about how
things work, post an idea, and then read a "you're completely
wrong"-style, blunt reply.
I can see how some newbies could get scared away by this atmosphere, and
indeed I have thought twice before posting questions or replying too
quickly. But, I have accepted it almost like a "Perl initiation"
trial. I figure, if I stick with it long enough, I can be helped past
the "newbie level" of Perl understanding.
Indeed, this list has been an amazing resource for me. Since I'm
learning Perl on my own, this list is like a virtual classroom. I enjoy
seeing variations on a theme (good and bad), even after a question has
been answered, because it gives me insight on how to think about these
problems in different ways. If I have to thicken my skin a bit to
accept criticism of my code, it's worth it for the knowledge and
As a side note, I must confess a slight sense of awe (and much
appreciation), that the authors of modules I've used, and even author of
two BOOKS I am learning from, are willing to take any amount of time to
answer our beginner questions. When I first decided to tackle Perl, I
did not expect to have such "live" expert advice readily available.
Since this is a community effort, and the experts aren't getting
monetarily compensated for their contributions here, I can understand
the tendency toward blunt responses. But it is commendable that some
contributors (Shlomi, et.al.) are trying to make the community a little
more friendly to newcomers.
To be perfectly honest, I'm glad that both camps exist here. It helps
in my Perl education, but also prepares me for the "real world". I'd
much rather have my code ripped apart here on this list, rather than
later when it is my entry-level IT job on the line during a code
review. I may as well be humbled early on!
On the flip side, for the "hobbyist" programmer, without some
hand-holding, they might bail and switch to an "easier" (or more trendy)
language to learn (I don't dare give names ;-)
I guess this community has to decide if it wants the list to cater to
beginning IT professionals, amateur programming hobbyists, or both.
From my newbie perspective, I think this list does a pretty good job
with both overall. Even in the context of the current debate, I feel
the viewpoints people have contributed to the list are all insightful,
and not excessively negative in tone. Shall we all say "bygones" and
move on? ;-)