New to Drupal? A word from the wise: Never say newbie! | Pixel Clever

I have nothing against new Drupal users on Drupal.org, even the most advanced Drupal developers were new to Drupal at one point or another, but I have seen a pattern among certain new users that drives me crazy. In fact it drove me crazy back even when I was new to Drupal myself: the abuse of the term newbie.
Ok I admit that that sounds like a pretty weird thing to say, but I have a well formulated psychological analysis to back me up. Hear me out people.

So many times on issue queues or in forums I have seen users introduce themselves timidly as a newbie before presenting their question. Sometimes their questions are perfectly valid and aren’t really “Newbie” questions at all, but the by introducing themselves as newbies right off the bat they influence the way I read their post, and whether they know it or not, it doesn’t influence it in a good direction.

Why? You ask. Why would announcing one’s self as a newbie have a negative impact on the reception of your post? I’ll tell you why:

Most of the time when people call themselves a newbie it is to protect themselves from receiving a curt response from the module maintainer or whoever is being addressed, or in order to attain their sympathy. It’s kind of like dogs who take the strategy of playing submissive in order to avoid trouble. I guess there isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with that approach if that’s what flips your noodle, but the problem is that many will use this to avoid taking responsibility.

By taking responsibility I am referring to making every reasonable effort to educate yourself before trying to appeal for help. Read the documentation! If you haven’t even read the documentation and you are posting a question about how to use a module the problem isn’t that you are new, the problem is that you are LAZY, and putting the newbie disclaimer before a post does not negate that fact.

No one is born a Drupal developer; no one is born a programmer, or a themer. Those of us that made it past the novice stage are the ones that took it upon themselves to study the online documentation for Drupal, to buy and read books on Drupal, to study the source code, etc… There is a learning curve, no way around it. That curve is overcome only when you make friends with Google and start reading.

I guess the essence of what I am getting at is that when someone calls themselves a newbie it comes across as saying “Please have pity on me. Come hold my hand and walk me through this step by step for free. I am incapable of learning this without your merciful guidance.” That approach bugs me, and I’m not the only one.

If you have made every reasonable effort, if you have read the documentation, looked through the issue queues, Googled every reasonable word combination related to your question and you still can’t find an answer by all means post the question, but don’t use the term newbie. It’s really not necessary. If you did the things I just mentioned and you still haven’t found an answer then chances are your question is perfectly valid, and you should have enough self respect to let your question stand on its own without a disclaimer. But hey, that’s just my opinion.