There’s now a #django-newbie chan on freenode

So, I’ve really just had it with the #django chan on freenode. I’ve gone there several times for help only to be treated like whale turd, essentially because I’m a newbie to django I suppose. They seem to have an issue with that there. It’s not that you can’t get answers there, mind you, it’s that the answers are served up cold and begrudgingly with generous side portions of arrogance and self-importance. This isn’t a judgment of every person on the chan — it’s the general take-away I’ve personally had.

However, I really like django :-)

So, rather than just whine and then sit idly by hoping things change, I started a chan for django newbies called, appropriately, #django-newbie on freenode. If you’re a newbie, come join in! If you’re not, come help the newbies find the docs they need to get where they want to go.

  • timothy

    cool, thanks. yeah the guys on there, especially Magnus are totally asses, which unfortunately represent the django community, which is AMAZING, poorly.

  • http://etank.wordpress.com Eric Lake

    I am very glad to see this new channel. Here is hoping that I can finally start making progress with django.

  • apollo13

    Actually Magnus is certainly no asshole, although he is getting angry if you don’t listen to him (which I most of the times understand). I think the biggest problem is that most of the newbies are coming from php and don’t read the docs and think they can prog in django without any knowledge of Python. Sry, but read the docs first and understand them, read them again and understand them, and if you still have questions ask in irc. We are not here to help you if you can’t read the fine manual on your own. Actually most of the question can be answered with an rtfm; and most tracebacks can be solved by just reading them (if you know a little bit of python). And Django with Python is nothing.

    sry if that was a little bit harsh, but it’s the truth…

  • apollo13

    gna, It should have been:
    And Django without Python is nothing.

  • http://dips.aluscio.us David K.

    Magus IS an ass. Though I’ve never interacted with him myself, I have watched several back-and-forth sessions between him and people who just need help. He treats them in ways I wouldn’t treat a dog.

    The Django channel is there to ask for assistance. If you’re too busy, impatient, personality-impaired or otherwise cranky to offer friendly help, you shouldn’t login. I seriously don’t understand this mantra from the open source community that the definition of “help” should be “RTFM, n00b!”.

    The Django channel is particularly critical right now, with the transition to 1.0. The online documentation is pretty decently updated, but sparse, and the Wiki is not always the best resource for the inexperienced. Personally I have relied heavily the book, “The Definitive Guide to Django”, and although it is a fabulous reference, there are enough changes in the versions to drive a Django-Newbie to unheard of levels of frustration. Is it really too much to ask that the people who claim they are there to help…actually BE helpful and not ass-hats?

    I think this new channel is a great idea, and I hope some knowledgeable people will volunteer time there to help all of us who are new to Django. Perhaps the choice of the two channels will offer friendly help to the newer folk, and a place to “geek-out” for the more seasoned developers.

  • http://www.aboutjustin.com Justin Bozonier

    I’ve had several issues myself in #django. I’m glad to see this channel spring up. Here’s hoping that it just becomes the new #django.

  • http://blog.clintecker.com Clint Ecker

    Magus is certainly not an ass.

    He is a saint considering the amount of time and effort he puts into helping people with their Django problems. He will correct you when you’re wrong and he’ll point out when you’re not listening to his instructions. He’s direct. Terse, maybe. I wouldn’t ever consider calling him an ass, though.

  • Steven

    Magus can sometimes be short, but he is probably the most valuable member of #django. He is almost always in the channel and his answers are always helpful. Magus has helped me many times in the past and it would be a damn shame for him to stop helping out in #django.

    I can understand his frustration with some users. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen users ask questions that can be easily answered with a quick google search or actually reading the docs.

    You aren’t treated poorly because you’re new, you just think you’re treated poorly because you’re told to read the docs. The docs are comprehensive and they exist for a reason.

  • alex

    I can confirm that Magnus IS an ass.

    I had an unpleasant experience with him just yesterday. As mentioned by David K., I had a transition to 1.0. question, and his quick and self-important (and ultimately WRONG answer) to my question made me take off, with no plan to come back. Some channels are much more inviting than others, so I’m looking forward to #django-newbie, thanks!

  • http://www.sudovi.com lifewithryan

    Magus is NOT an ass. Magus can be abrasive at times and yes I feel that it gives a poor representation of the Python/Django community.

    The only real problem I have is that as newbies, we/they may read the documentation…thats always my first stop. The problem lies in the fact that newbies “don’t know what they don’t know” which renders search documentation practically useless.

    Magus has helped me numerous times, and yes made me feel like an idiot as well, but I think he’d even back me up on this, that now when i go in there, I’m much more prepared. When i get called out, I just let it roll off my back.

    I guess where some of the people fall short is that understanding that not all of the people asking for help in the channel are programmers. Many are from small-time shops with staff that has been “pushed into” being the I.T. guy, so they don’t have a real background in any serious language discipline NOR do they have knowledge of how to “behave” in IRC. Jumping on these people and making them feel stupid is certainly a good way to scare them off so they never come back and continue writing bad-code and thereby not showing the best of what Django can do.

    Does this make Magus and ass? Not in my book…here’s my best guess. He’s smart, and hes’ very busy with other things. He wants to promote Django but he doesn’t have time to explain the basics or do your project for you. He wants to help, but there are a lot of people to help. Therefore, he can be short and abrasive, especially when answering questions that can be found by a simple google search or in the docs. (Again, not knowing what you don’t know sort of hinders that search, but at least seem like you’ve made an attempt).

    No, Magus is not an ass. Does he put forth a good image for Django/Python…perhaps not always. Does he help out extremely…hell yes. Will I continue to stay in #django, for sure. Will i check out #django-newbies, probably so.

    He doesn’t have to be in there everyday helping people, he’s not getting paid, but he’s there…don’t chase him out…maybe we can convince everyone to meet half-way or something.

  • http://twitter.com/jjames Jeremy

    If you spend enough time in the channel it doesn’t take long to sympathize with the people who are willing to answer questions all day for whatever reason. I can tell you, as an avid lurker, that they aren’t hanging around in the channel stroking e-peens just waiting for a helpless noob to ridicule.

    There is little going on other than support. Sometimes it is having a bad day. Other times is thinks you should google search before asking for its time. Easily answered/figured questions clog channels and hinder others working out solutions they really can’t find anywhere else.

    Just for perspective though. The “ass” is currently on IRC helping people while you are calling someone and “ass” on an internet forum. Cheers.

  • m0j0

    For the record, I just want to say two things:

    First, I (the author of the post), never mentioned Magus, because he’s not the only person I’ve gotten an attitude from.

    Second, I didn’t start django-newbie to be a replacement for #django. It’s not even a new idea to have a -newbie chan. In time, people who have the patience to help the newbies will migrate there, and then everyone else can go to #django. There are probably django chans on other servers. There are at least 3 #python chans on different servers. There are also several mailing lists for python, one of which (python-tutorial) is basically a n00b mailing list. There’s nothing I’ve done that’s unusual, so I don’t see this as some kind of earth-shattering move.

    The issue some people seem to have is with my reasoning, but for every one of those people, there are 4 or 5 sitting in django-newbie that have told me they agreed and had similar experiences. Maybe the attrition rate attributable to bad experiences in #django will fall, and in the end, that’s good for Django.

    Finally, as a parting thought, it’s simply unacceptable to treat people in the way that I’ve been treated, and seen others treated, in #django. There is no excuse, and it’s just not defensible to make excuses for such behavior. Having knowledge is not a license to treat those who don’t badly. People like that are cancers to their community. The very community they’re trying to help grow, they’re also chasing people away from. It’s senseless to excuse that behavior because someone is “smart”.

  • http://uswaretech.com/ Shabda

    Let me just pitch in and say, Magus is totally awesome. I have been to #django many times, and always got Short, quick and correct answers from him, and I would always prefer that to Long, polite but wrong answers.

    That said #django-newbie should be a great addition to Django community.

  • http://www.omtv.cc omtv

    Now I have a place to ask questions! Thanks a lot~