> > However, I don't question the plumber's competence, or
> indeed pretend to
> > anyone including myself that I can do a good job of it.
> The same should
> > apply to programming.  If I were to try my hand at
> re-plumbing my kitchen,
> > I know I'd make a god-awful mess, and I am intelligent enough to not
> > attempt it.  The great unwashed should approach programming
> the same way.

No, I disagree. This is like a mechanic saying "You really oughtn't to
change your own oil, oil is very important, if you get it wrong you could
really damage your engine, that sort of thing should be left to a qualified
mechanic". It's complete crap. Changing the oil in car is not that hard.
Until recently, most car owners would expect to do it themselves, along with
changing spark plugs and various other tasks.

Now, car makers are falling over themselves to make it harder and harder for
these dangerous amateurs to fiddle with the engine. The introduction of
specialised components (such as bolts that require wrench sockets only
available to authorised repair shops), and the removal of the necessary
documentation from the general public, and various warranty clauses in
insurance and guarantee documentation all contribute to this. Sound

Programming should be made accessible to the general public and the amateur.
The various "Programming Perl for Dummies" books are ultimately a GOOD
THING, because for every crap free perl script on the web there is a good
script that would never have been written if its author had not found it
possible to get into programming.

There is nothing wrong with bad programming. Sure, don't pay for it, sure
don't use it for anything important or anything that will affect other
people's lives. But lots of people get satisfaction and reward from making
bad programs, just like they get satisfaction from singing badly in the
shower, doing some bad gardening on a Sunday, and putting up a set of wonky
shelves. Let's have more people programming badly!

Expertism is a dangerous trend. A little knowledge is _not_ a dangerous
thing. The only dangerous thing is not knowing the _extent_ of your (little)

Here endeth the rant.

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