[Tutor] Civil discourse from a newbie's perspective

Francois Dion francois.dion at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 14:25:59 CEST 2012

On Mon, Oct 1, 2012 at 9:34 PM, boB Stepp <robertvstepp at gmail.com> wrote:
> However, I
> think that extra care may be needed in dealing with newbies who may
> only be taking a programming course using Python because of curriculum
> requirements.

A lot of questions seem to come from college students trying to get
the best grade they can for their assignments and once done with their
Python assignments might never go back to programming. Still, you are
correct in your statement, we are building goodwill for Python and its
community (user groups, forums, lists, conferences, teachers, students
etc) through this list, and it can positively influence people to
stick around (Python and CS) instead of abandoning the field of CS.
Programming with Python is fun! Well, it is supposed to be fun.
Communities for some other programming languages (not naming names)
are known to be very harsh on newcomers, while Python is known to have
a friendly community. We just have to continue mentoring and teaching
with that in mind.

Even worse would be the case of a young aficionado.  It is very hard
to infer the age of a person from a post. As Python is making inroads
in the K-12 sector and through inexpensive computing platforms such as
OLPC, the Raspberry Pi and the like, there is a potential to be
interacting with some very young programmers. I think right now the
bulk of them are sticking to forums (definitely the case with the
Raspberry Pi), but it is inevitable that the makeup of the readership
of this list will change. What will happen when a 9 year old kid who
loves computers is turned away by a cutting remark or heavy criticism?
Similarly, one should be considerate as to the language used.

I'll conclude with King Solomon's proverbial saying: "As apples of
gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it"

Thank you kindly,

Francois Dion
solarisdesktop.blogspot.com  -  raspberry-python.blogspot.com

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