Brian - Your half right. It is based on site participation, but not directly on your Java knowledge. However, I would imagine the more you post, the more your knowledge of Java will continue to grow. I believe you will become a Ranch Hand after your 31st post (which by the way, was just the other day for me!) Chris [This message has been edited by Chris Cingrani (edited January 19, 2001).]
To be a bartender, one must be able to pour a beer without spilling. Actually, the owners invite people who demonstrate a desire to help others on the site. Bartenders are forum moderators (I do JDBC) while sheriffs get to moderate everything. Sheriffs mostly do a lot of work around JavaRanch setting up the pages and providing content.
Replies count the same as posts on earning your "ranch hand" tag. Current bartenders will notice that somebody is being especially helpful and will nominate that person as a bartender. Other bartenders then check out that person's posts. If another bartender agrees, then sheriff Jim Yingst will give the nominee an invitation to be a bartender. We have had some people join the bartender ranks in other ways. Sometimes they come up with a great idea for a new forum and agree to do all the hard work to get that forum rolling. Sometimes, they compose new content for the static pages that we all agree is high quality stuff - it gets added to the ranch, and that person becomes a bartender. I guess the key is that we are all volunteers here. If you are caught in the act of helping out, we wanna take some barriers away!
Hopefully some day I will get to the point where I can be as helpful in Java to other people as the JavaRanch crew has been to me and can earn a bartender status. Until then, I'll just keep pourin' Shiner Bock for myself. And Paul, if you're ever in Texas, look me up and I'll gladly buy you a beer. If you've never had Shiner Bock, then you're in for a treat.
Brian, Most of the bartenders got where they are now cuz as greenhorns they were very helpful. Shiner Bock? I have to confess, I never developed a taste for alcohol. About once a year I'll try some sissy drink, but I usually never finish it.