Another thing to bear in mind is that this almost harks back to how the Rails community was in 2004-2006. A ton of people blogging about the things they'd learnt and found out. Then they became experts, Twitter was born, and not so many people blog "hey, I learnt this about Rails!" anymore.. :-)
What I like most is the personal help. It promises not just a video but guidance to the best video based on where the "noob" is located... that's awesome.
I would say that "passively by dropping comments to the blog" feels like a low bar (but maybe I'm reading too literally?). The response rates to questions must be prompt – the difference between getting an answer in 30 seconds and 10 minutes is huge for me, and I've been writing software for 15 years. It's only worse for beginners.
For our students at Thinkful (http://www.thinkful.com/) getting human contact promptly is key... our students only like banging their heads against the wall for so many minutes before getting demotivated!
I think the there is a lot of learning involved when you are trying to figure out an answer. If things are answered very quickly they won't try at all and ask the person, even though the answer is very simple.
Quick response rates help people feel not alone. And that's really really important because alone is too close to helpless is too close to powerless is too close to giving up.
To develop independence you need a good teacher. That's one who helps you understand why the answer is the answer, rather than just gives you the answer. Teach a person to fish... basically.
Copy paste compile, a terrible way to "learn".
Coursera tries "peer learning"... commonly referred to in the forums as "the blind leading the blind."
At Thinkful we definitely see a benefits from both peers and experts...
For someone like me who is confident in their abilities of another MVC framework, how much of a learning curve is involved transitioning over to ROR (or any other MVC for that matter)? Has anyone switched from say Django, CakePHP or MVC4 over to Rails, or vice versa?
> For any common command you have which will add files, there is a command to in Rails to bring about that change and generate ALL THE RECOMMENDED files at once
Maybe I'm misinterpreting this, but it sounds an awful lot like Cake's bake functionality.
For you ROR guys, here's a short tutorial on baking with CakePHP.
* Should have had a female in the group
* The first guy isn't "learning to code", he's a programmer learning a new language/framework
Are you asking if other HNers are offended by it? Are you asking if other HNers think you should be offended by it? Are you seeking support for a community censure of people who use that language? Are you asking if you can go around calling anyone with less experience a "noob", without context? Are you asking if you can, in some context, write marketing copy that contains the word "noob", and has a desireable outcome? (My answers are "no", "no", "no", "no", and "yes", in case one of those was your question.)
I feel like your question is fundamentally confused, and it's the sort of confusion that leads other people to make snarky comments about "being PC", which drags down useful conversations about healthy community standards. Maybe I'm the confused one, though, so please help me to understand.
Whatever happened to the word "beginner"? (EDIT: Ha! They changed it to "beginner", and I didn't notice until I'd posted this.)
I suppose I should finish this post with, "NOW GET OFF MY LAWN".
What's the difference between "geek" and "nerd"? Ask five language communities, get five different answers. Or ten answers, if you ask the same five language communities again two years later.
When you use slang in a new speech community, you need to expect that to your listener, it probably doesn't mean what you think it means, especially in fine nuance like you're claiming exists between "newb" and "noob" (or "n00b" or "newbie" or "nooby" or "noobie" or ...)