I want to setup a chatroom for online students learning HTML, CSS & JS (I encourage everyone learning programming to get a StackOverflow account for Q&A). Stack Overflow Chat is BRILLIANT. But unfortunatly new members can't participate right away. The ability to "talk" is only available once a member has 20+ reputation. Why?
"To reduce spambots" does not seem like a solid enough reason. Stack Overflow and Stack Overflow Chat have community driven moderation. Also all Stack Overflow registrations already make members jump through the "Spambot" filter hoops (e.g. email confirmations / CAPTCHAs).
We wouldn't/don't restrict the posting of Questions on Stack Overflow to 20+ reputation members... so why limit Chat? It's the "new" members/programmers that really need the ability to "talk" to other members. Many aren't ready to formulate a Question; or knowledgable enough to commit themselves to an Answer - so getting that 20+ reputation takes time.
Considering the cost on new users... is the restriction really necessary?