The term "newbie" is a modern variation of the phrase "new boy," which was historically used to describe someone just starting school or a new job. While "newbie" sounds like a derogatory term, it does not have strong negative connotations. After all, in the modern era, everyone is constantly learning new technologies. Everyone is a newbie in some area.
Even highly technical people may be considered newbies when learning new technologies. This is often the case when someone switches from one platform to another. For example, a person who has used an iPhone for many years may be an Android newbie if he or she buys a Google Pixel. A PC user might be considered an Apple newbie if he or she buys a Mac.
Newbie vs Noob
The term "noob" (or "n00b" in leetspeak) is a shortened version of "newbie." While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, "noob" is commonly used in online gaming. The term "noob" may be considered derogatory since it implies the user lacks the skill or competence to be competitive. For example, if one player dominates another in an online multiplayer game, he may call the other person a noob at the end of the match. Of course, this is poor netiquette and the best way to respond is to improve your gaming skills and beat the player the next time you play.
Updated: January 26, 2018