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Re: Newbie madness, experienced ambiguity.

by scottstef (Curate)
on Mar 17, 2001 at 20:14 UTC ( #65150=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Newbie madness, experienced ambiguity.

/start sermon
I too have been around about a month. I agree that when you do post a ambigous node, all you receive is look at this node or this was brought up previosly here or merlyn's typical i did an article on this for (substitute any one of the magazines merlyn writes for here.) Perlmonks is an online community, they are here to HELP us newbies to write/learn perl. If you have ever been a member of the old usenets threads, you get rtfm if you are lucky (comments about your heritage/lifestyle/family if you aren't) if you ask that sort of a question there. At least here, you get the chapter and verse so you know where to start.

As a newbie, we are faced with a lot of challenges, learning syntax versus semantics. Perlmonks reminds me of a teacher (Thanks prof harley)i had for a class in o/s principles. The first day of class the teacher stated that her goal was for us to walk out of her class knowing one thing in regard to unix. That one thing was to learn how to use the documentation that already existed to solve our problems.
Computer Science/programming/system administration is all about one thing- being so lazy that you figure out how to use tools that you have to solve problems. I am a jr. sysadmin professionally, i am learning perl because I am so lazy that i hate having to go in each day and logg into all of the boxes i am responsible for and searching for anomolies. I heard that perl was a great sysadmin tool if i could harness its power. So i went out and bought the llama. Great book, taught me the basics. Read a column in Linux-mag. Merlyn mentioned this website in one of his columns. Checked the site- hey it seemed pretty cool. Looked in the chatterbox- see people's names, checked their bios really quick- hmmm all the people that were higher levels, noticed what they were saying, at least once a day someone that is at bishop level or above mentions going back in and reading the camel book. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh-ha (note to self get and READ camel book- note to self did get, am READING camel)

Learning to write code effectively is a matter of learning to use all of your tools effectively. Solving your own problems. Use perlmonks as a tool, not as a crutch. Use them to glean ideas rather than expecting them to write your code.
Learn to use the super search. I spent a whole day writing a stupid sniplet of code the copy bookmarks code that I posted here and couldn't get it to work from any directories above the one i was in. A few days later, i used super search and found exactly the IDENTICAL problem with an answer from vroom. The post was date december 2000. Why should people answer the same broad question twice- especially if it already exists? Show the member's here respect, that you value THEIR time. Do research into the problem, mention yes i looked at this problem, however:
1. My situation is different b/c why what you saw does'nt work due to yadda yadda yadda or
2. (or My personal favorite) I am an idiot and can't figure this out

Programmers like to be challenged, ask any one of the people that write code for a living why they work where they do and one of the top three answers will probably be for the challenge they face there. If you want their help, challenge them to HELP you do what you want done quicker, better, or more securely. The people here are here for one reason, to propagate the language of perl, extend it past it's limits, and most importantly, to teach us, how to teach ourselves.
/end sermon

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Re: Re: Newbie madness, experienced ambiguity.
by Chady (Priest) on Mar 17, 2001 at 21:30 UTC

    I remember reading something that resembles to this elsewhere

    Anyway.. I totally agree with you, but I think that bladx's point is that newbies come here often to ask questions and aren't usually interested in signing up... so they ask a quick question... this problem was solved (somehow) when Vroom added the line : "If you're new here please read Perl Monks Site FAQ" to the top of the SOPW page when you are not logged in... and many other similar notes.

    so I think that the prob is solved bladx.. you cannot expect to have someone here to guide the new comers more than that... and luckily, there is someone here to take care of the mess that happens.

    Chady |
      Chady, your interpretation of bladx's post is quite interesting.

      ... newbies come here often to ask questions and aren't usually interested in signing up

      I think that if that is the case, then we end up playing our part as the Wizard, while wide-eyed Dorothy newbies come and simply expect the easy answer on how to get home.

      My point is that I don't want to help newbies if they have no intention on being a part of the community. This may sound harsh, but what if Ovid or chromatic decided that they just needed to use this site when they had a quick one-off question? What if merlyn decided that this was just another leech of his time? The thing is that everyone involved has to contribute. I think that is why bladx seems to think those of us who would rather just give a terse answer to newbies are being rude. It's because you can't get something for nothing in a gift culture. Everyone has to give and everyone gets what they need. One-off newbies are treated as such because there is such a wealth of information if they'd only look at the map. And the map is posted at nearly every major street corner.

      ALL HAIL BRAK!!!

        I found that a very good way to put things.

        In a gift culture people participate by giving in one form or another. It is fun to answer questions. It is pleasant to get questions answered. It is satisfying both to go from asking to answering and doubly so to help others do likewise.

        But people who essentially say, Gimme! aren't as fun. If you clearly do not appreciate that you are asking for my time and energy, then I am not going to want to give you any. By default I assume that people do understand that this is a gift culture, I don't assume that people are thoughtless. But if they truly are, then no, I do not have to answer their questions. I am not paid, I have no obligation to answer questions...

        Bonjour Monkies ;-)

        tonight, while poppin' about the net lookin' for answers to my Q's, i ended up here once again - and this time, happening across these postings. I've been comin' here stealing your knowledge for quite awhile, but never bothered to join ('til now).

        i cannot say, i'm an expert at perl - but i've had quite some dealings w/computers for many yrs and often found myself, as that person, who your friends go to for techie solutions.

        i can sympathize w/everything everyone has been saying here. Computers is a really large subject and to outsiders (and even some of us insiders) can seem overwhelming. Most people do not have a clue, where even to go - let alone ~how~ to ask a question and it can be quite frustrating for both them (the wounded) and you (the doctor) to fix.

        that being said........ :-P

        there are a lot of people out there, who seem to believe, that they are entitled to help - "just 'cuz". They'd prefer you did the work for them and sometimes, won't even thank you for the minutes or hours or more, which you've spent trying to define and solve their problem.

        i've noticed in myself and my relationships w/people in these circumstances, that often this not only breeds a dependency (rather than them trying to learn - they just ask you), but it often denegrates into them expecting you to help... One can come to feel like their being used...

        well, you all here have helped more individuals than you know. PerlMonks has been written up in most of the perl-books i have and often cited at many other websites. There are many lurkers popping in and out (like me), who have found your discussions helpful and insightful through our own learning of language -

        so on behalf of all those anonymous monks out there - and for myself, as well, i'm just here to say ~

        thank you :-)

        tc, wolfi

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