Why can’t programmers agree on a god damn thing?

Programmers debate what language a beginner programmer should learn.  - Image from http://www.tntmagazine.com/media/News/World_news/ukraine_parliament_fight.jpg

Programmers debate what language a beginner programmer should learn.

Recently, I was talking to a girl one time about career and job skills and somehow the topic of programming came up.  She told me that she had “basic PHP” skills to which I asked “what the fuck does that even mean?”  Long story short, she didn’t know PHP.  But by the virtue of her attempting to bullshit the fact that she did know how to program, I think we can agree that knowing how to program is definitely a good thing.

Recently on Reddit, I saw a great response to the question How can a person with zero experience begin to learn basic programming? When I first read that response, I thought “wow, that’s a pretty solid, well thought out answer for the average person”.  What the rest of the internet thought was “everyone that is not me is an asshole and here is why”.  Why is it so god damn impossible for programmers to agree on how someone should learn how to program?

As a communications undergrad, I should know better than to make the following blanket statement, but it’s awesome from a utilitarian standpoint that most people in Canada speak English.  I mean, I can pretty much talk to anyone that I want.  I understand that compared to other languages, English is a grammatical nightmare but for the most part, we kind of get why English is kind of the dominant language around the world (if you want to argue that it should actually be mandarin or something, please never speak to me again).  From my not-really-that-educated point of view, I would say the English equivalents of the programming world are PHP and Javascript.  So it comes to no surprise that people fucking hate PHP and Javascript.

A very insightful user on reddit commented that “there are literally hundreds of different paths you can take to learn programming, a plethora of languages to choose from, and it’s unclear if any are better than the others, and everyone has a different opinion“.  This is definitely the crux of the problem and you might think that a sensible soul such as this one would then recommend some programming languages that will put someone on a well-tested, established path to becoming a programmer.  Instead, they suggest learning Flask, Mongo and Django which, even I have no idea what the fuck that is (and I’m the one researching this topic).

I understand that programming is difficult and is on the cutting edge of scientific progression and all that good stuff.  It’s not easy.  There’s a reason why developers get paid bucket loads of cash and have offices with original Q-bert machines and get shiatsu massages on demand.  But if you were a developer, wouldn’t you want to work in a world where your non-programming coworkers didn’t ask you stupid questions with stupid demands phrased in a stupid manner?

Maybe I’m just making excuses for myself for not being better at programming (I probably am) but it would be nice to a united front of programming where regular people can get good, concrete answers on what they should learn and how they should go about it.

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