The programming guild doesn’t want you to learn to code
Medieval guilds were associations of craftsmen who carefully protected who had could practice the craft. In the end, they faded away because (as Wikipedia describes), “the guilds negatively affected quality, skills, and innovation.” The economy grew after the guilds faded away.
The below linked article in TechCrunch is an example of programming craftsmen protecting their turf, the way that the guilds did hundreds of years ago. I have responded to some of these complaints before, like the one that suggested that people should just be users and not programmers. “You can’t do it as well as we can” and “you’ll just make a mess of it” are the kinds of complaints that professionals have made over the centuries to keep others from adopting their practice. Of course, both of those are correct statements, as they are true whenever you’re talking about learners. They are correctable problems.
The below quote is particularly aggravating because it says that programming is only right for a certain “type of person.” For the technology industry, that usually equates to privileged white or Asian males.
When has it ever worked to say, “You shouldn’t learn X” especially if X is valuable and useful?
Don’t get me wrong; I do believe that engineering and programming are important skills. But only in the right context, and only for the type of person willing to put in the necessary blood, sweat and tears to succeed. The same could be said of many other skills. I would no more urge everyone to learn to program than I would urge everyone to learn to plumb.