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Parlez-vous Python?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the expanding-required-language-courses dept.

Python 164

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that the market for night classes and online instruction in programming and Web construction is booming, as those jumping on board say they are preparing for a future in which the Internet is the foundation for entertainment, education and nearly everything else. Knowing how the digital pieces fit together will be crucial to ensuring that they are not left in the dark ages. 'Inasmuch as you need to know how to read English, you need to have some understanding of the code that builds the Web,' says Sarah Henry, 39, an investment manager who took several classes, including some in HTML, the basic language of the Web, and WordPress, a blogging service. 'I'm not going to sit here and say that I can crank out a site today, but I can look at basic code and understand it. I understand how these languages function within the Internet.' The blooming interest in programming is part of a national trend of more people moving toward technical fields. 'To be successful in the modern world, regardless of your occupation, requires a fluency in computers,' says Peter Harsha. 'It is more than knowing how to use Word or Excel but how to use a computer to solve problems.' However seasoned programmers say learning how to adjust the layout of a Web page is one thing, but picking up the skills required to develop a sophisticated online service or mobile application is an entirely different challenge that cannot be acquired by casual use for a few hours at night and on the weekends."

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First post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499239)

Posted by firstpost.py

kevin bridges (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499295)

'Parlez-vous Français?'
-'erm, oui?!'
Je peux faire kaka dans le boulloir?'
-'erh, oui?!'
-'Who took a shite in the kettle?'

Re:kevin bridges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499633)

Actually, "I can do shite in the kettle?"

Lies! (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499303)

. 'To be successful in the modern world, regardless of your occupation, requires a fluency in computers,'

I believe I speak for every computer geek on the planet when I say "Ah! He's full of sh*t!" We've all done tech support. We've all been asked to fix the computer of our friend or family member. And we are STILL endlessly mystified as to how people can be so damn clueless. No. Being successful in the modern world doesn't depend on fluency in computers... it still depends on the same things that humanity has also (perhaps erroneously) placed value on: Who you know, how attractive you are, your personality, and in semi-rare cases, how good you are at what you do.

Re:Lies! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499451)

yes but don't forget, she says she has taken a wordpress class and "can understand the basic code of the internet" or somesuch. problem really seems to be that the masses out there seem to truly believe that swiping colourful icons around on a touchscreen is the same as understanding how computers work. they are literally so dumb that they don't even know what smart looks like.

Re:Lies! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499585)

Like people who don't punctuate a sentence or capitalize?

Re:Lies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499899)

I'm sorry I forgot about the Slashdot grammar Nazis. This is a stupid comment about syntax irrespective of semantics; it's not even correct, since there is obviously punctuation present, and the ultimate irony is your point is a sentence fragment.

Re:Lies! (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501097)

At least they know what a smartphone looks like.

Re:Lies! (2)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501377)

Sounds like another instance of the Dunning-Kruger Effect [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Lies! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499517)

I believe I speak for every computer geek on the planet when I say

You don't speak for me, because I think you are basically grandstanding and changing the subject. The assertion from the article that success requires computer skills doesn't rule out success also requiring other things. Get more training, especially in reading comprehension and rational analysis.

Re:Lies! (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499835)

But it doesn't require computer skills.

Re:Lies! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499881)

I believe I speak for every computer geek on the planet when I say

The assertion from the article that success requires computer skills doesn't rule out success also requiring other things.

So you think Warren Buffet fixes his own computers?

Does Mitt Romney code his own webpage?

Methinks your interpretation of "success" differs from the social norm...

Re:Lies! (2)

expatriot (903070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501343)

Most people in advanced economies are massively affected by HTML and programming languages. They correctly know that they can acomplish almost all they want from within Facebook or Twitter, but they might want to understand more. It doesn't mean that they will, necessarily, become professional application programmers or web designers.

There is alot space between knows nothing and full-time professional. There is also a range of incomes between the two. Actually some of the jobs that would benefit from some web-design knowledge and the ability to do simple programming pay more than being a full-time developer.

People are free to persue their own interests. I do however welcome the rise of free, but high quality, training and education on the web.

Re:Lies! (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500217)

The assertion from the article that success requires computer skills doesn't rule out success also requiring other things.

That's a very good point. Necessary conditions are different from sufficient conditions. It's necessary to be female to give birth to a live child, but being a female doesn't guarantee birth of a live child.

Re:Lies! (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501217)

You are only correct if none of the computer-ignorant people the OP has come across were ever successful. If they were both ignorant about computers and successful, then success clearly does not require you not to be ignorant about computers.

Quite frankly I think the lot of you should "get more training" in choosing the right words for the situation. We all know success is difficult to define much less factor, so why are we pretending that computer skills or gregariousness or connections or what-have-you are "requirements?" All of those things can be--and have been--circumvented by extremely successful people.

Some things make success more attainable. Computer skills may or may not be in that category at this point in our society. That does not make them required.

In your case, I would highly suggest skipping the snarkiness if your own argument is not going to be perfect in turn.

Re:Lies! (1)

Pewpdaddy (1364159) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499525)

"Ah! He's full of sh*t!"

I'm hoping this was in the tone of George Carlin's stand up on this matter! I have to second this! Far too often when I "help" friends and family, it's because they can't follow the bloody prompts. Or be bothered to read the forms as they come across their screen. What's that you didn't want to install Fango Bango along with your "freeware"? Or heaven for bid they be sure that 1.) the machine is plugged in, or 2.) that the outlet it's in isn't also tied to a wall switch. Even at work it's very rare I have to think at all, simply due to how clueless my users are.

Re:Lies! (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499813)

Far too often when I "help" friends and family, it's because they can't follow the bloody prompts. Or be bothered to read the forms as they come across their screen.

Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/627/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Lies! (1)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500111)

Now if they could just learn to read and follow a flow chart...

Re:Lies! (2)

Mongo T. Oaf (2600419) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500253)

That might be a good idea. Instead of having a single window pop up with variable choices, have another one show where you are going in a flowchart. Two windows, one with choices, the other shows the flowchart. Good idea, maybe. It might confuse some people, like 95% of the users. Maybe in the far, far future, they could learn something. I think it might be that way someday, when Captain Kirk is around or even later.

Re:Lies! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499571)

Hahahahaha... you did read that shit.

captcha: stupid

Re:Lies! (3, Informative)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499873)

You seem to be forgetting that "fluency" on computers, in a modern work environment, pretty much means being able to remember your work PC's password and use a browser and MS Office.

Re:Lies! (1)

iamwahoo2 (594922) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500495)

he is exaggerating to emphasize the point. Don't read to much into it. I am sure that he did not mean that there are literally zero people in the world who will be successful without being "fluent" in computers.

Python? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499315)

I love Python as much as the next programmer, but how does this story relate?

Re:Python? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499643)

Like this I guess [djangoproject.com] .

Re:Python? (-1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500033)

Because real web developers use Python not PHP (it's for retards) and not ruby (it's for 'rockstar' douche bag 'developers').

Re:Python? (-1, Flamebait)

balbeir (557475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500417)

Because real web developers use Python not PHP (it's for retards) and not ruby (it's for 'rockstar' douche bag 'developers').

When it comes to sophistication: PHP < Python < Ruby

If you're doing Python you haven't been around long enough to appreciate the differences from Ruby.

If you have a degree in CS and are doing Python by choice you're shortchanging yourself.

"Doing Python you're shortchanging yourself" (2)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500895)

Could explain why using Python I'm shortchanging myself? I've used Python to create webapps, ETL pipelines in clusters, desktop applications, image processing applications, large dataset statistic analysis, system administration scripts, small one-off scripts, running MapReduce and even some silly 2d platformer games. Also, I know that it can be used for a fair amount of other things. What have you found that you couldn't do in Python that you could in Ruby, or that is much better in Ruby over Python?

Re:Python? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39501275)

And if you are using Ruby by choice you're a demented masochist.

Just Know English (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499333)

Really, programming languages come and go, but fundamentally it is English that is the universal language of the Internet and thus, the world.
If people just learn that, any programming language can be mastered. We have outsourced programming to all different countries, and the first requirement is not some computer language, but that they are proficient in English.

structure not code (2)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499339)

I don't think it's super important to know the lines of code, it's more important to know the structure of how content is distributed on the internet. If people want to expand their information age knowledge, they should look to understand the structure of the internet, protocols and server architecture and such. That's what laymen need in order to keep up.

You could learn to do apps just learning at night (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499369)

You can indeed learn to design mobile apps in just a few hours a night. It will just take a lot of nights. I imagine even a greenhorn could be designing decent apps within a year, just teaching themselves at night. It's really all about self-discipline and motivation there.

Re:You could learn to do apps just learning at nig (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501329)

I agree. I can't tell who's commenting there in TFS, but I'd say that the claim that one can't self teach development in their spare time is a needlessly snooty and intentionally disenfranchising attitude.

Hobbyist in all sorts of fields develop expert ability. I'd make the argument that computer culture, especially in the case of web dev is one place where this is outstandingly obvious.

Rails class in Brooklyn (0, Troll)

izzo nizzo (731042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499373)

Today is the last day to register for my beginner's Ruby and Rails class at 3rd Ward. It's five Tuesday nights from 7-10 beginning on April 3.

http://www.3rdward.com/3rdwardclasses/ruby-on-rails.html [3rdward.com]

It's very aggressively priced, at $295 for 15 instruction hours.

The focus of the class is on practical techniques for getting started with Rails and making the best use of your time and the newest, best tools. No computing experience is necessary. The instruction will focus on OSX, but a certain level of support for other OSes is available.

Re:Rails class in Brooklyn (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499455)

Modded Slashvertisement :)

Python != web (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499381)

At least not with the damned indenting rules.

Remember friends don't let beginner programmer pull their hair our on the braindead trainwreck of Python.
By they time they work out what bits don't work between Python 2 and 3, they finally move onto Perl or Ruby and realise how much better it could have been.

Re:Python != web (2)

defcon-11 (2181232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499721)

I love Python , so I'm going to give you some reasons to try it out. Once I got used to whitespace based blocks, I came to prefer it over braces. It's less typing, and if you ever have to deal with spaghetti code, mistakes are easier to spot, because the code is forced to be formatted correctly. The great things about python for both beginners and experts are that It's a true oo language, and it's very consistent. It uses prototype inheritance, is namespaced, and modules, classes, and functions are all first class objects. Operators are just syntactic sugar for method calls. All errors are expressed as exceptions. Datatypes have consistent interfaces: for example strings and lists shared the same interface because they're both sequences, and files and sockets share the same interface because they're both 'file like objects'. Unicode is a breeze. There are tons of libraries, and most are very high quality. Extending with C or C++ is easy.

Re:Python != web (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500103)

All errors are expressed as exceptions.

Thank you. Now I have two reasons never to touch Python.

Re:Python != web (1)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500771)

Why is that a bad thing? Also, he's incorrect, as there are two types of errors, syntax errors and exceptions.

Re:Python != web (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500415)

and if you ever have to deal with spaghetti code, mistakes are easier to spot, because the code is forced to be formatted correctly.

Unless someone switched from tabs to series of spaces halfway through coding... Seen that in my first big project in python which I had to extend.

what bothered me about that article (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499387)

were the replies underneath. the holier-than-thou pronouncements of arrogant assholes decrying the proliferation of code monkeys

hey, assholes: when someone tries to better themselves, and takes an interest in what you do, smile, and encourage them, or shut up. your ego needs a serious deflation when you adapt such an ivory tower attitude to people just earnestly interested in what you do. don't mock their enthusiasm, most of them might not amount to much real skill growth, but some will

i think more coders is a GOOD thing. a planet of coders: what we could do!

Re:what bothered me about that article (3, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499431)

i think more coders is a GOOD thing. a planet of coders: what we could do!

If I were acting as a rational self-interested economic actor, though, the last thing I'd want is more competition, because that reduces the value of my skillset.

Re:what bothered me about that article (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499581)

i think more coders is a GOOD thing. a planet of coders: what we could do!

If I were acting as a rational self-interested economic actor, though, the last thing I'd want is more competition, because that reduces the value of my skillset.

Yet another example of confusing training and education. I took a civil war history class at college (mumble) decades ago and it was an education because it gave me a lot to think about, practice at thinking, practice at reasoning... No-one, not myself or anyone else, is under the illusion that it gave me the training necessary to be a trained history professor, or that I'm impacting the technical achievement levels of the history prof job market.

As training, a middle aged investment manager taking intro web classes is probably completely useless. As education, its priceless.

Often training and education seem overlapping, but the older I get, the further apart I see them. I'm not entirely certain we even have a "education" system, it just seems to accidentally happen sometimes, to some people.

Re:what bothered me about that article (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499875)

Somebody with an educational understanding of my field can masquerade as somebody with the training and experience to do the job. Ergo, he appears to be a competitor to the manager who wants to keep his labor costs down, regardless of what that does to quality. For the obligatory car analogy, a Yugo can kinda sorta do the same job as a Toyota, so somebody who doesn't understand cars could easily confuse the two and thus set their price expectations for the Toyota based on the price of the Yugo.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500017)

Yeah but all managers know, or know of, another manager who got in big trouble for bringing in a con artist, so its a heck of a lot safer to hire someone who's done the work before. Hence the intense fixation some places have in hiring people with previous experience in the exact skillset.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500003)

Eh, knowing how to change a tire doesn't mean you never need a mechanic.

Specialists will always be needed no matter how much having some basic skill becomes a given.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500261)

If I were acting as a rational self-interested economic actor, though, the last thing I'd want is more competition, because that reduces the value of my skillset.

But in practice, competition is generally good for markets, because it encourages the competitors to strive for excellence/innovation, and the best performers can charge more money for their goods/services.

Whenever someone says they'd like to do what I do, I always encourage them. If there's actually so little work out there that I can handle it all by myself, I worry that I'm in an unhealthy/moribund market.

The only catch being, if they honestly want to compete with me, they have to either be at least as good as me, or else charge a lot less. It's called "paying your dues."

On the other hand, if my skillset was so commoditized that anyone could walk in off the street and do the same thing, reducing my own value, then I'd figure it was time to step up my game.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39500301)

If the code monkeys are well trained enough to take your job then YOU should think about getting more training. The reality is, someone who is learning the basics is probably doing so to improve their own skill set so they can be more valuable in their field, not change fields and take your job.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499461)

i think more coders is a GOOD thing. a planet of coders: what we could do!

I think most people would prefer more good coders. A lot of people who program suck at it, or just don't understand it at the level they need to because they've gone to school and had their head filled with computer science classes and not much real world. To be a good coder you need to be good at things besides programming.

It has nothing to do with ego, and a lot to do with the fact that the best programmers are often busy fixing the mistakes of other, less-capable programmers. Believe me, when you wait 6 months for someone to design a database for you that tracks your software deployments and when it finally arrives it has a 64k record limit, you're going to be in a very unpleasant mood. A lot of programmers simply can't look ahead and see the big picture -- how their software is going to interact with the larger ecosystem/infrastructure is it being placed into.

Re:what bothered me about that article (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499555)

A lot of people who program suck at it

Yep. And every one of them ends up on my team at some point.

Re:what bothered me about that article (4, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499491)

I haven't read the comments but in my experience random folks learning just enough HTML and PHP to be dangerous is not a good thing.

It's a great example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, they know a little and are ignorant of what they don't know. Then real developers have to come in and clean up their mess (which is often more work than just building it from scratch).

Re:what bothered me about that article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499735)

Then real developers have to come in and clean up their mess (which is often more work than just building it from scratch).

Yeah, but there's good money to be made there ;)

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500269)

Not in my experience. The horrible code being written in the first place means that it was written for someone who wasn't willing to pay enough money to hire someone who actually knew how to do it right.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500065)

they know a little and are ignorant of what they don't know.

While not a coder (I know I can't code), I recently said the opposite of what you said in an interview. I told them I know what I know but I also know what I don't know.

I wasn't trying to be snarky. I was being honest about the limits of what I know. That said, since I know what I don't know, I make sure to learn or at least understand what I don't know so my knowledge continues to increase and (hopefully) help me become more desirable.

As to the job, I don't hold out hope for a second interview or a job offer for various reasons (both theirs and mine). At least I got more experience!

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500215)

learning just enough HTML and PHP to be dangerous is not a good thing

"Smattering", at least to my non-natively listening ears, somehow indicates the danger (think along the pictures of 'maluma' and 'takete').

CC.

Re:what bothered me about that article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499637)

>

i think more coders is a GOOD thing. a planet of coders: what we could do!

We could ALL be outsourced to India together! Oh Joy! Supply and demand, baby.

Won't happen though. Life isn't a fucking fairytale. Oh the hypocrisy of calling others' statements "the holier-than-thou pronouncements of arrogant assholes decrying the proliferation of code monkeys" while making your own. Shithead!

Re:what bothered me about that article (2, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499657)

i think more coders is a GOOD thing. a planet of coders: what we could do!

Over my 25+ years as a system programmer/admin on just about every Unix (and, sigh, Windows) platform known, I've seen, and fixed, a LOT of code of questionable quality and shudder at your thought. I'm sure a "planet of coders" would bring forth some sort of Apocalypse. Hopefully, I'll be dead by then.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39500573)

If taken to the most hyperbolic (hyperolific, hyperboleme? not sure what to use here) extreme, sure. I assume that people hiring coders would be able to tell the difference between myself, who just recently figured out Linux enough to use it, and you who is the almighty God of all things coding. I am learning because I'm interested. It will never be a job. A planet of people learning, FOR THE SAKE OF LEARNING, isn't a bad thing, IMHO.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500899)

That's exactly what the Unix greybeards said when Linux just got started: "Hundreds of amateur coders can never lead to a good thing".

And yet here we are, in 2012, and proprietary Unix is for all practical purposes dead.

Mart

Re:what bothered me about that article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499761)

A planet of coders? What could we do? Burn the rest of the fossil fuels processing infinite loops that leak personal data all over the internet.

I wish the government would keep stupid casual coders off the internet in the same way that they prevent people from building cars made out of exploding pottery.

Re:what bothered me about that article (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500057)

So long as they're learning to write code properly and we don't get a flood of even more PHP developers.

Re:what bothered me about that article (4, Insightful)

boristdog (133725) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500985)

True, but my RWOME (real-world old man experience) tells me that only about 10 to 15% of the populace has the ability to really understand basic logic, troubleshooting and decision structures. To us, coding and debugging is easy and natural, to most people it is a bunch of weird magic.

I have many intelligent friends who have taken classes on programming, classes on various aspects of computers, classes on networks, databases, etc. and they just don't "get it." They don't think like we do. Conversely, we don't think like they do. But then a world full of nothing but people like us would drive us all mad. That's the beauty of how we all get along.

And of course, the reason why we can make some good scratch doing easy crap like this.

I call b.s. (2)

AttyBobDobalina (2525082) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499401)

I know plenty of successful professionals who have trouble figuring out their Blackberry. Computer technical proficiency may be helpful in a number of fields, but "web construction" is hardly the economic cure-all.

Where are these people? (5, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499405)

Is there a boom? I've never met these people. The Internet doesn't seem to me to be any different from any other technology. When it is all the rage people are interested, but it then becomes commonplace and is taken for granted. The vast majority of people are content to know precisely zilch about how it works or what's going on inside.

How does an automatic transmission work? How does a television work? Hell, how does lever work? Hardly anybody out there walking around gives a flying fart about understanding those things.

I find it funny that this article is running now, when the "social network" is taking over how we use the Internet. Why would you create your own homepage or blog? You can just sign up for a Facebook or Linked-In, etc. Why would anybody other than professional devs look at code?

Re:Where are these people? (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499733)

I've never met these people.

Try night classes at your local uni or college. Stuffed full of people learning Japanese for the F of it, learning civil war history for the F of it, and according to this article, at least some are learning basic html (and python?) for the F of it. This works for Vo Tech too, I am very handy with the lathe and mill, but I'm the worlds shittiest welder and I'd love to take some vo tech welding classes, not because I wanna get a new job at about 1/3 my current pay spending 40 hrs/wk welding, but because I like playing with fire and melting metal together and generally Fing around with stuff like that.

Hardly anybody out there walking around

Walk around somewhere else. You're not going to find interesting people at the local sports bar, or at the water cooler talking about the latest survivor episode, or walking around the mall. Sry about that. I once had a kind-of relationship with a chick who's idea of a hobby or interest was sun tanning, drinking, and watching tv, glad I ran like hell from that.

Re:Where are these people? (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500797)

You're not going to find interesting people at the local sports bar, or at the water cooler talking about the latest survivor episode, or walking around the mall.

Those are the places where you find the vast majority of people. I'm glad you agree with me.

Re:Where are these people? (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500245)

Why would anybody other than professional devs look at code?

Maybe after having been caught in a marketing trap?

CC.

Web != Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499435)

"The NY Times reports that the market for night classes and online instruction in programming and Web construction is booming, as those jumping on board say they are preparing for a future in which the Internet is the foundation for entertainment, education and nearly everything else. Knowing how the digital pieces fit together will be crucial to ensuring that they are not left in the dark ages. 'Inasmuch as you need to know how to read English, you need to have some understanding of the code that builds the Web' ...

Emphasis added to show their complete failure to understand that the Internet is so much more than the Web.

Waste of time (4, Insightful)

marcovje (205102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499437)

The real waste of time is having to hear sales pitches from people like this that don't realize that the problem isn't in the tooling, but in the problem to solve

Milking the gullible (2, Interesting)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499489)

From the article:

[an investment manager] took several classes, including some in HTML, the basic language of the Web, and WordPress. (...) She paid around $200 and saw it as an investment in her future.

This sort of courses are a form of scam that preys on gullible people, who have heard some news how some guy put up a website that he later sold for millions and now they want a piece of that pie. Yet, the hard truth is that those courses are in themselves useless and a waste of money. Sure, learning something is way better than not learning anything at all. Yet, who exactly believes that those gullible clients, like an investment banker with a course in HTML and WordPress, have all the technical know-how needed to put together a new facebook or twitter? They don't. They can't even put up a hello world app together, because they aren't even taught any programming language. These courses are good enough to put up a site on geocities, complete with an animated GIF informing that the site is "under construction", and to register a blog in WordPress.org. Yet, you think you are learning to program? Sorry to dissapoint you, but you aren't.

Re:Milking the gullible (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499869)

a waste of money

There's really no such thing as a waste, there's just good prices and bad prices.

At around a tenth the price, she would be getting a fair deal for what she got. The adjunct prof probably only got $500 or so for teaching the whole semester... Somebody in the educational-industrial complex is skimming a lot of money off in these situations.

I'd trade her an hour of personal hands on computational tutoring for an hour of personal hands on investment and accounting tutoring, but I'm thinking $200 might be a bit inflated for both her and myself (could I get more than $200/hr for some of the craziest stuff I've ever done? Yeah, but the craziest stuff I've ever done is infinitely beyond walking a noob thru signing up for a wordpress blog, and I bet she could say the same thing about giving me tutoring in structuring options purchases...).

Re:Milking the gullible (1)

zildgulf (1116981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500739)

Why do investment managers need to know how to code HTML? With Facebook and LinkedIn why would the average Joe need a web page?

Re:Milking the gullible (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501271)

More importantly, why aren't they taking advantage of the free offerings out there, that actual help one learn to code? Codecademy's Year of Code is an excellent resource, and I believe far more valuable a learning tool for someone looking to develop a skill or a hobby, or just learn for learning's sake, than an expensive class in how to use a WYSIWYG blog editor.

Maybe I'm missing something?

Lot to learn (1)

Art3x (973401) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499501)

From the article:

Seasoned programmers say learning how to adjust the layout of a Web page is one thing, but picking up the skills required to develop a sophisticated online service or mobile application is an entirely different challenge. That is the kind of technical education that cannot be acquired by casual use for a few hours at night and on the weekends, they say.

I have to agree. I've been making web apps full-time for seven years, and I'm still learning. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, Apache, Linux, all the different browser quirks. . . . it's a lot to learn.

Coding is the cool thing to do (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499527)

While I commend many of these folks for tackling coding, I doubt many will stick with it. Chances are they like the many people I know who simply follow the latest "in" thing. Those books on coding will soon end up in the garage next to:
The golf clubs (everyone wanted to be the next Tiger Woods)
The homebrew kit (Fight the tasteless "macrobrews" sold by big breweries)
The boxes of trading statements (why work when you can sit at home and daytrade?)
X-sports gear (Xtreme s8ing, Xtreme sking, Xtreme chess....)
Tools (Flip houses for fun and profit)
The chihuahua cage (Paris Hilton has a chihuahua. You want to be like Paris Hilton right?)
Exercise equipment (Tai-Bo, Pilates, or whatever is in this week)

In one year, the same people will be blowing their cash on the latest "cool" hobby.

same thing happened in 1990s (2)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499537)

When "English majors" were turning into web-designers. I wonder how many survived into the 2000s?

Re:same thing happened in 1990s (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39500109)

In 1998 I was a paper MCSE with an Accounting degree working as a waiter/bartender, now I'm a Java developer working as a Senior software engineer for a major ecommerce company. The last time I was unemployed was in 1999 when I was laid off by my first IT job at a dot com. Within three months I found a better job (where I transitioned from sys admin to developer), which I left a couple of years ago for my current position. However, I know that my experience isn't typical, I wonder myself how common of a situation it is to be without an IT degree, perhaps I'll start asking that question to the recruiters who call.

Re:same thing happened in 1990s (2)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501191)

In 2006 I was working part-time at Wal*Mart and not making the rent. I had gone to two semesters of college, and both times had to drop out due to unforeseen circumstances compounded with no safety net (no family or friends to borrow money from, basically). I was given a chance as a Perl developer a few months later, and now make six figures and own my own business.

Of course, I had been fiddling around with Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl, HTML, and JavaScript since 1999, afraid to take the plunge and turn "something I love" into "something I do for a living." Lesson learned: Turn what you love into a living, despite what anybody says to the contrary.

During the short time I was a hiring manager, I looked for those without degrees and with good, broad technical knowledge. Not only do they underrate themselves salary-wise (which was necessary for we offered little), but they tend to know how to learn, which is the most important thing.

Re:same thing happened in 1990s (3, Interesting)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500383)

When "English majors" were turning into web-designers. I wonder how many survived into the 2000s?

At least one.

I spent a lot of nights and weekends learning over the last 19 years. Currently employed as a senior software developer, back on web apps the last couple of years, after a few years doing other sorts of programming. And I don't suck. (If I do say so myself.)

But then, I treated my college education as an education, not as job training. I learned how to think, and I learned how to learn. I received my degree in English the same year NCSA Mosaic was released, and spent the next 5 years learning (on my own) before I turned pro in the web development field.

It's really a matter of being smart and working hard. I can learn anything I want to learn, so long as the information is available.

HTML (0)

HeckRuler (1369601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499609)

says Sarah Henry, 39, an investment manager who took several classes, including some in HTML, the basic language of the Web,

I'm a professional software engineer, and I don't know a 401k from a bond, but I just have to say that is so damn cute. She's learning HTML. ooooOOOOOoooo HyperText Markup Language! It's the BASIC LANGUAGE OF THE INTERNET you know. She can't make a site, but she can understand how the language functions in the Internet.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
Oh. Man. I'm sorry. I know I'm being an ass here. But that's just SO ADORABLE! For some inexplicable reason I feel the need to haze some pre-froshes.
Sigh, oh, I know I know. Everyone has to start somewhere. It's just the widdle bitty baby steps made by other professionals into my field are HILARIOUS!

Re:HTML (1)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500139)

For some inexplicable reason I feel the need to haze some pre-froshes.

Delete your System32 folder. Speeds things up immensely.

Here we go again (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499611)

Smells like the height of the dot-com bubble when everybody and their brother read an HTML book and called themselves a programmer.

Re:Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499771)

Another "whatever happened to..." [lauralemay.com] moment...

Oh God, managers who can read code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499615)

Sarah Henry, 39, an investment manager who took several classes, including some in HTML, the basic language of the Web, and WordPress, a blogging service. 'I'm not going to sit here and say that I can crank out a site today, but I can look at basic code and understand it. I understand how these languages function within the Internet.'

That may be, but I'm still not letting you anywhere near my code.

CAPTCHA: afraid

weird (1)

Diabolus777 (663144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499689)

I keep reading that the IT field is going to face a shorting of ressources soon, because enlisting rates and numbers keep dwindling in the universities and colleges.

Re:weird (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39499983)

I keep reading that the IT field is going to face a shorting of ressources soon, because enlisting rates and numbers keep dwindling in the universities and colleges.

You only hear that garbage from managers trying to outsource or lower salaries, never from un/under/employed IT workers.

I'm sure my boss would agree there is a staggering shortage of veteran IT personnel with 31 years of general experience in computing, LAN/WAN telecom background, 19 years of linux experience since the SLS days, senior level routing and switching skills, electrical engineering microwave RF skills and experience, BS in CS in the hardcore curriculum track (compilers and shit track, not the "web designer" or "IT" track) who is willing to accept $20K/yr. Apparently he found at least one moron willing to do it for what I'm actually getting paid (that moron being me) but there's a real shortage of people willing to do my job for a tiny little fraction of my wage.

Re:weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39500385)

go into wielding, you will make more money !

Re:weird (1)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500517)

go into wielding, you will make more money !

Great! Wait, what will I be wielding?

For the majority... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39499781)

It is just word and excel. Don't flatter yourself.

I was expecting an article about Python. (1)

boxxertrumps (1124859) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500059)

How is this about Python again?

Re:I was expecting an article about Python. (3, Funny)

codepunk (167897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39501147)

Simply because python is so damn cool it should be in the title of all articles no matter what the content is.

1999? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39500237)

Bettering yourself? Learning something new? All good.

Still, this reminds me too much of 1999 (or so), when you kept hearing about people who "went from serving Java to writing Java" ... in 21 days!

There's a risk, as always, that real skills will be devalued. Can't you just hear some HR idiot or non-technical C-level type saying "WTF? Why should we value those skills when they can be learned in 21 days? Offshore it!"

reminds me (1)

codepunk (167897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500265)

Reminds me of a fresh out of college student I interviewed recently.
Me, what do you like to do?
I like web programming in dreamweaver.
Me, like java script, php etc?
I like making web pages with dreamweaver.
Me, do you program?
Sure html and that kind of thing.
Me, what is usually the first tag in a basic html document?
Blank Stare

Re:reminds me (2)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500603)

Pssst, the answer is <!DOCTYPE html>.

nice flame (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500395)

I am rather surprised that this has not caused a massive abuse of the poor - what was it - investment manager. Apparently /. got older and does not get excited this much these days and the superfluous interest in things roughly associated with internet (what is internet???) are rather welcome. OTOH hand I find this a rather interesting that excell programming (among other such things) is so lowly rated - I know a few that earn a decent living out of programming massive system run as excel macros.

Re:nice flame (2)

iceaxe (18903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500627)

... massive system run as excel macros.

I think I just had an aneurysm.

Re:nice flame (2)

codepunk (167897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500633)

Excel hatred comes from the poor bastards that have to mop up the mess when a massive system run as excel macros goes to hell.

Excel is a fine tool as long as it is used within it's practical limits.

Turnabout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39500437)

I can't wait until the Indians start outsourcing development to the US and get a taste of their own medicine. It will be glorious!

Markup language =/= Programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39500637)

She is not fluent in anything other than spending money. HTML is NOT programming.

Repeat: Markup language is NOT programming

Aha... (1)

krept (697623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39500809)

Welcome to 1995.

Computers, programming... BAH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39501157)

I wanna know who's gonna fix the damn toilet... Who still knows how to properly fry an egg?

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