But everyone's not a programmer

I love the Pragmatic Programmers, and their first book “From Journeyman to Master” is a must read for anyone doing any sort of development.

But their latest book “Learn To Program” is going a little overboard. Their blurb:

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to program computers, but couldn’t find a book that made sense. Maybe you’re already a programmer, and you’d like to help your spouse or partner see what you do. Or, perhaps you’d like to get your child started.

sings to the issues we deal with every day. You wouldn’t see these types of books in other professions like medical, engineering, or accounting because there are boards that prevent just any old person from practicing in those fields.

Not so in computing. But is this what we want to encourage? Anyone and everyone picking up software and just giving it a go?

And I understand everyone’s love of Ruby, but come on people. It’s just a language.

Can I see a show of hands from the people who believe that all of the problems in software development could be solved with the perfect language?

Software development is almost about anything but the actual software. Customers, QA, marketing, requirements, testing, end users, process, etc….

Do people really think this:

public static void main(String[] args) { System.out.println (“Hello World”); }

versus this:

puts “Hello World”

Will make everthing all better?

I understand the need to make our lives easier, but let’s temper the impact that we think some of these things will have.