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If this is in relation to http://vishnumenon.com/2013/01/21/im-35-months-old-and-i-mad... then I think you miss the point. I agree with the author of that and it is the most common sense post I've read, so far, regarding this issue. The reality is people posting their age doesn't simply mean "I am new at this. I know you guys aren't. I want you to check it out and give me encouragement and guidance." Simultaneously the people throwing out the "age is irrelevant" argument simply miss the point, also. I'm 19 and I've been programming for as long as I can remember starting with my shitty commodore64 hand-me-down. Along the years I have received much criticism and help and am immensely grateful to the people who took the time out to answer every question I had, trivial and otherwise - and believe me, there were plenty of them. However the idea of constructive criticism on HN, and sadly, in the hacker community at large is ironically more political than logical. "Criticism" seems to be code for "I'm smarter than you and I'll be damned if I don't make sure you know it." The hostility towards, not just kids, but people's projects in general borders on the pathological and that's what needs to be addressed. I wholeheartedly agree that kids who are building fun projects do need that nudge and that encouragement to go deeper down the rabbit hole, however we should indeed distinguish between encouragement and patting on the back. The problem is the risk of creating a Hollywoood mentality (Hollywood may be the bastion of acting but really most people are more attracted to the prospects of fame than actual acting). We need to give them encouragement that lets them enjoy the process, not just massaging their egos, and moreover we need to get them to enjoy constructive criticism and see it not as "boo-hoo they didn't like my stuff" but as "hmm I never thought about that." The reality is, the poisonous, know-it-all, thinly veiled political nature of our culture doesn't provide this.

That essay called mentioning age "manipulative," which is easily the most jackasstic thing I've seen on the subject. Whatever valid point might have been there was lost in the cold dismissiveness of the author's attitude.

So is your point that he was incorrect in stating that a lot of people post their age in order to get to the front page or that calling that action manipulative is wrong? The thesis of the post seemed to me to be if you make a product, focus on making the product better and everything else falls into place. Very fair bit of advice if you ask me. Furthermore, it states another related thing which is, how are you going to get any actual feedback when all the comments are either calling you an asshole or rallying around you, singing war cries. Now with regard to posting age, that's actually very variable why people do that, and from an objective standpoint I don't find anything wrong with that. However if what you're after is guidance then it's pretty obvious posting your age isn't going to get you much of that.

Calling that action manipulative is inherently hostile. That's counterproductive.

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