Edwin Fine wrote:
> First, *my* definition of "newbie" just for this post:
> 
> A person who is generally inexperienced in computer programming, and 
> specifically inexperienced in Ruby programming.
> 
> Therefore, when mentioning newbies in this post, I do not refer to 
> people who are already adept at programming in another language but just 
> don't know Ruby. I believe most of such people would not hesitate to 
> post to a forum, and would not really want or need a mentor. They would 
> also hopefully know how to ask questions in a clear way.
> 
> I mentor developers as part of my job. Based on experience, I would say 
> that newbies as defined above should execute the following algorithm 
> (which contains polite versions of RTFM and STFW) to get maximum benefit 
> from a mentor:
> 
> newbie.read_the_manual or
> newbie.search_the_web or
> newbie.read_ruby_books or
> newbie.ask_mentor or
> newbie.post_to_ruby_forum # Last resort
> 
> It is unfortunately not rare to encounter people who will not exhaust 
> all other self-help possibilities before asking others for help. I will 
> not opine on why this is so. However, IMHO, help is given freely and 
> happily when the helpee has demonstrated sufficient gumption, and 
> consideration for other people's time, to try to find the solution using 
> the above algorithm.


That's my point: for specific questions a newbie should exhaust as many 
possibilities of solving a problem before asking to a mentor. However, 
for the learning process of any people, a good technique is to learn 
from other people's problems, hence the communities. I believe in 
collaborative learning.

I agree with Aur, it can be possible to do this system and benefit the 
community by doing it an open process, with browsable search and so 
-which yields to a forum-. Or, extending the process and adopt a newbie 
for a long time, would better make a course or a tutorial.

In short, I can see the benefits of this by changing the learning 
process of the newbie in question. However, it would hurt the community 
learning process. As a shy newbie myself, I can say I've learnt a lot if 
things -that are not in any manual or book- by searching and posting, 
and more important, by looking at other people's learning processes.

Ruben.

-- 
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