misskat: Dreamsheep in the snow, with MissKat on top and Minion #2 underneath (Dreamwidth Minion #2)
[personal profile] misskat posting in [community profile] zero2perl
Hi! I'm Kat, and I'm running this show at the moment while the other teachers are working on various projects. Should be fun!

A bit about me: I'm the user and developer documentation and support staff-y person here on Dreamwidth. I don't code, but I really want to learn... and there's no group better to learn Perl from than DW devs.

Before you can do any coding, or just about anything else, you'll need to do some prep work. Due to mundane commitments, it will likely be a bit before the actual lessons will start, but take a few minutes now to get stuff set up so that you're ready to go later!

Resources:
The text we'll be using (probably) is Beginning Perl, by Simon Cozens. It's available in .pdf form here, via perl.org for free. It's also available in dead-tree format via Amazon.. Either should be fine. This book has been selected because, well, it's available for free online, and that lowers the barrier to entry.

The Dreamwidth Wiki is a font of information on all things Dreamwidth. I encourage everyone to head over there and poke around for a bit to get a feel for Dreamwidth's development culture. Once you've done that, go look at the Getting Started area. Specifically, you should check out the Developer Getting Started page, and the Beginning Dev Checklist, and the links contained therein. There's a lot of information there, so it's ok if you can only take it in small doses.

Go get yourself set up with a Dreamhack. These are hosted development environments that Dreamwidth provides for you to, again, lower the barrier to entry for new developers. In short, we know that our code is unwieldy, and it's a right pain in the butt to get running on your own... so we do it for you. It's your own little version of Dreamwidth, where you can poke at things without any chance of causing irreparable damage to the actual site. I encourage you to get that form submitted ASAP so that Sophie, our resident Dreamhack coordinator, has time to get everyone taken care of.

There's a step in setting up your Dreamhack that requires you to have GitHub set up. Sophie's got more info on the specifics, so just be aware of that.

For communication purposes, we'll be primarily using this community. However, it can sometimes be useful to have real-time chat capabilities. For this, Dreamwidth uses IRC. The Wiki has instructions on how to get connected. The relevant channels are #dreamwidth-dev (for help with stuff) and #dreamwidth (for help and social stuff, if you're inclined). You don't have to do IRC, but it is an excellent resource. Well, the people on it are excellent resources.

I strongly encourage everyone to track this community. You should definitely ticky the box to be notified if there's a new entry posted, and (depending on your email volume preferences) possibly consider subscribing to all comments too. If you're not able to do this due to your current paid account status (aka you don't have one and you're full on notifs), PM me and I'll fix that.

Get your CLA filled out and sent in. Dreamwidth can't use anything you write without the CLA signed and filed. Do that now so you don't have to do it later.

Finally, please take a few minutes and go read Denise's slides on Impostor Syndrome. Impostor syndrome is when you live in fear of the day when everyone's going to find out that you actually have NO idea what you're doing. It's a nasty thing, and it's incredibly difficult to combat effectively. The thing that works the best, imho, is recognizing your negative self-talk, and trying to not do that.

To this end, anyone caught saying something like "I'm so stupid," or "I suck at this," or even "I am not smart enough to do this" will be immediately bombarded with encouraging .gifs by yours truly. Also: you're not stupid (this stuff is confusing!), you don't suck at this (everything that's new has a learning curve), and you're using Dreamwidth, so you must be pretty smart! <3

a penguin saying postive things

I know there's a lot of stuff there, so take your time as you work through. If you have any questions, feedback, or anything else, please comment or catch me on IRC!

EXCELSIOR.
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