abandonedbywolves: Martini glass on blue background with the text "Abandoned by wolves, raised by bartenders" (Default)
[personal profile] abandonedbywolves posting in [community profile] perl
If a hypothetical person knew bugger all about computers, but was made curious by the way half of Dreamwidth seems to be involved in the programming side, where would you suggest that person begin?

I've Googled and found lots of resources, but because I know nothing I have no way to tell if they're good resources, so I'm looking for advice from actual people.

All suggestions welcome - online, books, or "Don't bother, go away and come back when you've learned [other language]".

Date: 2010-04-14 04:34 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: A guy looking ridiculous by doing a fashionable posing with a mouse, slinging the cord over his shoulders. (geek)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
Depends on your goal! Are you looking to join the programming side of Dreamwidth, or just learn programming in general?

Date: 2010-04-14 05:36 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: Dreamwidth: social content with dimension. (dreamwidth)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
I only ask because if you just want to program, there's [community profile] intro_to_cs, but it's in Python (which I kinda am partial to, to be honest), which would only gird you in a theoretical way for Dreamwidth coding.

And yes, you can TOTALLY join the programming side of Dreamwidth! It is okay to try things and fail at them; we aren't going to point and laugh at you or think you are a loser.

The Perl book we link newbs to is Picking Up Perl, because it's free and available. There's also O'Reilly's Learning Perl, if you can find it at your local library or want to get a book, but you don't have to. You could probably get an older edition for really cheap used. There is also this resource.

As for getting started on DW dev, first, you are going to want to get a Dreamhack and go over Dreamhack getting started. A Dreamhack is an installation of Dreamwidth that is your own sandbox to work in, so you don't have to try and manage it on your own (it can be frustrating and take resources you might not have, although you are welcome to try if you wish!) You are also going to want to sign up for an account at our Bugzilla, which is where we keep all of the tickets.

Then, you'll want to ask the devs for a "baby bug", which are bugs we give to new people! This bug may actually not involve Perl coding--some are HTML/CSS, some involve a system called BML or the translation system, some are Javascript, some are for the S2 style system! But, the people who suggests it to you will be able to guide you on how to go about it. I could give you one here, but it might be better to make a post about it in [site community profile] dw_dev_training or go onto IRC and ask in #dreamwidth-dev. The Dreamwidth channels are very, very effective teaching places where you can often receive instruction in real time (schedules permitting), but [site community profile] dw_dev_training will work, too.

Then, once you have a bug, you can assign it to yourself people will walk you through the process of submitting a patch. This process can be repeated until you become more and more confident about finding your own bugs you want to do and patching them!

Date: 2010-04-14 06:09 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: Dreamwidth: social content with dimension. (dreamwidth)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
Definitely read some if it makes you feel better! But don't get too caught up in feeling "confident" before making the next steps--there are plenty of people willing to guide you through them, and it's a great way to learn. For instance, I knew Perl before going in, but I still needed guidance, because starting out I didn't know where things were in the Dreamwidth code, or how to generate a patch--everyone needs some guidance when they first start!

Date: 2010-04-14 05:50 pm (UTC)
aedifica: Silhouette of a girl sitting at a computer (Girl at computer)
From: [personal profile] aedifica
That's very useful for me to read as well. Thanks!

Date: 2010-04-14 06:09 pm (UTC)
foxfirefey: A guy looking ridiculous by doing a fashionable posing with a mouse, slinging the cord over his shoulders. (geek)
From: [personal profile] foxfirefey
Glad I could help!

Date: 2010-04-14 10:54 pm (UTC)
kerravonsen: 9th Doctor wearing his headlamp: Technical wizard (technical-wiz)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
I can see you've already been advised, so all I'm going to say is AWESOME! Join, in, have fun.

Date: 2010-04-18 09:56 pm (UTC)
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
From: [personal profile] vlion
By the way, if you want to learn how to program, program. You have to practice it to be able to do it. Expect it to be frustrating. It'll take some time. That's OK, just keep pluggin'.

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