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Education Programming

How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers 147

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the water-twice-a-day-plant-in-full-sunlight dept.
itwbennett writes "The MOOC (massive open online course) failure rate is notoriously high — only 1% of people who take the beginning computer science programming class, CS50, that Harvard offers over the EdX online platform complete it. A new effort in St. Louis called LaunchCode is changing that — and solving the city's programmer shortage. For the past several weeks, about 300 hardy souls have been gathering in a downtown St. Louis library to listen to the CS50 lectures and work together on the various programming problem sets. But the support offered by the all-volunteer run LaunchCode doesn't end with meet space. They're also doing an end-around on the traditional coder hiring process by pairing the students who complete the course with experienced programmers in one of more than a 100 tech companies who are looking for talent."
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How St. Louis Is Bootstrapping Hundreds of Programmers

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  • If you're going to co-op cyberpunk terms, at least get them right. It's Meat Space.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I imagine it's somewhat of a pun, because there are 300 people meeting to work on the course.

    • by Lije Baley (88936)

      Uh, sorry Mr. Kettle, it's co-opt, though I'm not quite certain that's what happened here.

  • I've wondered why more online educational institutions don't try something this, real groups that meet somewhere public to work through a course together.

    The aspect of being paired with a working programmer eventually is also a great advantage, but just having a group to work with would lead lot more people to have enough motivation to complete a class.

    • by Frobnicator (565869) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:29AM (#46464369) Journal

      I've wondered why more online educational institutions don't try something this, real groups that meet somewhere public to work through a course together. The aspect of being paired with a working programmer eventually is also a great advantage, but just having a group to work with would lead lot more people to have enough motivation to complete a class.

      Some schools do. Back in my academic days in the 1990s, my school (a state university) partnered with the local AFB for such things. Some of the people in the lab spent half their day working on fighter jet programs and other systems on the base. In exchange a lot of people got recruited by the base and by the base's contractors as civilian programmers before graduation.

      However, I note in the story that they businesses are looking for a specific class of programmers: The low-paid programmers who have enough background to be useful but not enough background to demand a high salary.

      Specifically the businesses are looking for people with one year of training on how to use the language. Those who graduate from the program will likely enjoy a few years on the job --- probably paid a living wage for those few years --- and then will be dumped when they start asking for professional wages.

      Contrary to what those business want you to believe, there is not a shortage of programmers. Instead, there is a mismatch between what the businesses want to pay versus what programmers believe they should earn. Skilled programmers provide valuable services, are very much white-collar workers, and are able to demand a high salary just like doctors, lawyers, pilots, architects, and other highly-trained, highly skilled professionals. Businesses who pay well have no difficulty finding skilled and talented programmers. Businesses who pay their programmers the same rate as their hourly call center workers, well, they get the quality they paid for.

      Software runs the world. I wouldn't want a minimum-wage physician, or a minimum-wage airline pilot, or a building designed by a minimum-wage architect. I similarly wouldn't trust custom-built software written by minimum-wage programmers.

      • yes but some of the H1B are near min wage and they are pushed to work long hours as fired = deported.

      • businesses are looking for a specific class of programmers: The low-paid programmers who have enough background to be useful but not enough background to demand a high salary.

        If this is what businesses need - then great, let's get more of these people in the workforce.

        I work at a different level of programming and industry experience, and I might demand 3x the salary that these guys do - but if we had 3 of these guys for every one of me, I wouldn't be wasting my time doing a lot of simple stuff that doesn't add as much value to the product as I could otherwise - the business as a whole would benefit by getting product to market faster, and they can still afford to pay my salary.

      • by TripleE78 (883800)

        THIS!!! Also, I imagine there's a shortage of professional programmers who want to live in St. Louis. Not saying it's a bad city or anything (any city with a great craft brewery and a hockey team can't be that bad), but it's also just not on the list of "sexy" cities for IT folks.

    • Agree!
      Or at least have the opportunity to organize your own meet-up at a convenient location, Or get a list of willing volunteers to help set up the meets and get local tech or other sector businesses involved in your general area. (Fair amount of the MOOC are not IT related!).

      I've tried a dozen or so different courses from different providers and I only can be bothered to go 1 or 2 days through the courses before giving up!
      I learn better in a group, actually interacting with other students and teachers rat

  • by Connie_Lingus (317691) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:01AM (#46463995) Homepage

    David Malan, who went to Harvard himself and is a rockstar teacher, teaches the course. I watched a couple of his lectures and found them interesting and engaging, even when he covers some basic concepts that I have long known. If I had him teaching me programming back in the day, I might have stuck with it and become a coder myself.

    i'm sure its just me, but isn't this possibly the dumbest excuse for not becoming a programmer around?

    almost all programmers i know who really add value to projects learned the stuff mostly on their own...teachers don't teach this stuff, the computer does. for the first six months almost everyone who is trying to write a program is going to be pounding their head on the desk.

    only through that struggle will you begin to grok it.

    i still thank my first Comp-Sci undergraduate teacher (FORTRAN for those interested) for issuing this offer to his students...

    "anyone interested in getting an A and skipping having to come to class, if you write a bowling league manager that does this, this, and that and have it done in 10 weeks, talk to me after class"

    I believe i was the only one who took him up on his offer, and to this day i'm thankful for him for the things i "learned" about PROFESSIONAL programming.

    • If only you had had someone to teach you sentence structure, capitalization and grammar.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Honest question: what is the point(s) of capitalization? Is it simply a line marker built into the writing system or is it completely superfluous?

        • Depends on if you can tell a period from a comma.

          Some fonts make it hard.

          Lots of older eyes make it harder.

        • by alen (225700)

          go type up 20 pages of whatever with no grammar, capitals, periods or anything and see how readable it is

        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Depends on the language, but in English it denotes the start of a sentence or a proper name. For the first usage, it's much like data formatting in computers: a stream of data has a header so you know what the following data is. A capital letter shows that a new sentence is starting, and the punctuation at the end of the previous sentence (if any) wasn't just a speck of dust or mistake. Most languages have a certain level of redundancy built-in, if you think about it, since speech (especially hearing it)

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Honest question: what is the point(s) of capitalization? Is it simply a line marker built into the writing system or is it completely superfluous?

          yeah why use periods or commas or any punctuation or capitalization at all i mean even someone with the most basic experience in english should be able to tell where one statement ends and another begins right so i like your idea lets go with it when do you want to start

      • yeah i dont know anythinga bout that stuff

        its just pure ignorance that i dont follow convention

      • by SpzToid (869795)

        Yo, wait Geezer. The Point was it was done in FORTRAN, back in the day, while you go on whining about, "sentence structure, capitalization and grammar".

        Do you think someone that could adhere to your standards of, "sentence structure, capitalization,[*] and grammar" could have made this FORTRAN achievement back in the day, and also make the point now for the Slashdot public to learn from?

        * The comma is my editorial contribution to your original text; should I have used [sic]? instead?.

        For a punctual citation

    • by gnupun (752725) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:25AM (#46464319)

      almost all programmers i know who really add value to projects learned the stuff mostly on their own...teachers don't teach this stuff, the computer does. for the first six months almost everyone who is trying to write a program is going to be pounding their head on the desk.

      only through that struggle will you begin to grok it.

      Exactly, you can't become a samurai sword wielding ninja by vegging out in front of a flash video showing ninjas fighting and an instructor explaining tricks and theory. You've also got to pick up a wooden stick and fight.

    • David Malan, who went to Harvard himself and is a rockstar teacher, teaches the course. I watched a couple of his lectures and found them interesting and engaging, even when he covers some basic concepts that I have long known. If I had him teaching me programming back in the day, I might have stuck with it and become a coder myself.

      i'm sure its just me, but isn't this possibly the dumbest excuse for not becoming a programmer around?

      almost all programmers i know who really add value to projects learned the stuff mostly on their own...teachers don't teach this stuff, the computer does.

      Yes, ok, most if not all good programmers learned a lot of what they know mostly on their own, I'll concede that, and I don't think any great coder hasn't learned mostly by doing.

      However, a great teacher who can make even mundane topics engaging, can develop a level of interest that makes that future coder actually want to put in the time and effort to learn to code, as opposed to just sitting there watching TV or whatnot.

  • We are the 99% (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Evan Kent (3574545) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:02AM (#46464005)
    I'm one of those people who dropped it. Namely, because my IT classes (I was getting college credit for) picked up. I wouldn't discount a 1% completion rate as a sign of failure, or even one of difficulty. Hell, I'd go so far as to say that every person who signs up for it for any sort of personal growth is a success, even if most drop it later on.
    • Re:We are the 99% (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:13AM (#46464177)

      Good old economics kicks in.
      If you offer a class at too low of a price, failure or just quitting is an option when there is little to loose. So you take a few classes, it isn't your cup of tea you quit.

      If you drop a few grand down for a class, and it isn't your cup of tea, you will still stick threw it and get those credits, as you have already paid for it.

  • The plea began to hammer progressively louder upon the desk of the Unification Board, from all parts of a country ravaged by unemployment, and neither the pleaders nor the Board dared to add the dangerous words which the cry was implying: "Give us men of ability!"

    Why is it so hard to find talented people?

    • talented, cheap people.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      What I've always found interesting about these calls for "more XYZ workers" is that the people crying for more of these workers are themselves never willing to do those jobs. Instead, they're politicians, HR drones, etc.. If these jobs are so great, then why aren't they doing them? It smacks of disingenuity.

    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      Why is it so hard to find talented people?

      Because people with real programming degrees aren't willing to work for $25,000/yr.

    • The dirty little secret- it isn't hard at all if you are willing to compensate adequately (including, if necessary, training to create men of ability).

      • by Gothmolly (148874)

        Right - so whats the systemic problem? Under-educated politicians? A culture which dismisses individual achievement and hard science?

        • Right - so whats the systemic problem? Under-educated politicians? A culture which dismisses individual achievement and hard science?

          We have a political system beholden to an economic system that rewards and empowers sociopaths. New Jersey just outlawed direct sale of Tesla automobiles, to give just one example.

          ...and no power on Earth could tell whether their blankly indifferent eyes were shutters protecting hidden treasures at the bottom of shafts no longer to be mined, or were merely gaping holes of th

        • It's either the Peter Principle or the Dilbert Principle, depending on the business. Has almost nothing to do with government, and everything to do with either promoting people past their competency or hiring sociopaths who don't know the first thing about what a man with ability looks like because they have an MBA from Phoenix.

  • The point of MOOCs is that since they're free, those who enroll in them can pick and choose from what's there that interests them. Plenty of people enroll in a MOOC because they want a refresher on something, or to learn about just one aspect of what's covered, or just to see what it looks like. It's not failure when those people don't go through everything in the course.

  • by js3 (319268) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:14AM (#46464199)

    Where is this shortage or programmers problem coming from? Last I check there are lots and lots of them. If they are looking for good programmers, they wont solve it by offering one course...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The shortage is in cheap programmers.

    • by bobaferret (513897) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:32AM (#46464415)

      For one, this is the midwest. The pay isn't nearly as attractive as the coasts. And if you move away from the STL area it gets even worse. We have a very hard time down in Southern IL finding programmers. Everyone wants to go to the Valley, and make a fortune writing Games or Social apps. No one WANTS to come here and write court case management software. There's no glamour in it, and the pay is meh. We also want our applicants to have some programming experience when they show up; and NO, a quicksort algorithm you did in a CS class at the local university won't cut it. Plus we have to compete for hires with companies like Yahoo and Google for the decent folks coming out of school. In your mid 20's there are not a lot of kids looking to start families and live the quiet life around here. Local companies can't compete on Money, nor Ultra Urban lifestyles around here. So there's a shortage as far as we are concerned.

      • by js3 (319268) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:06PM (#46464811)

        So what you are telling me is there is a shortage because you aren't willing to market value for good programmers, but you won't take average programmers either. So what exactly is this supposed to solve? You'll just end up with a bunch of average programmers in the end anyway because the good programmers will be attracted away by market forces.

        Maybe what you need to do is increase the pay to make it a more attractive place to work.

        • There is a 57.67% cost of living difference between here and the west coast. What people see is that we offer $40K starting where as the coast will offer $63K. Yet, they are the same amount as far as cost of living goes.

          • You have to pay a premium to get people to live in a shithole. That's just a fact. (From Missouri, California for 25 years).

          • There is a 57.67% cost of living difference between here and the west coast. What people see is that we offer $40K starting where as the coast will offer $63K. Yet, they are the same amount as far as cost of living goes.

            Sounds like excuse-making to me.

            $40K/yr dries up PDQ when you've got a mortgage, car payment, and $70K worth of student loans to pay.

            Even in the Midwest. Hell, even in the rural Midwest.

            So, seems like you've got 2 choices here: Keep paying peanuts to hire monkeys and whine about it, or try something else and see if it makes a difference.

            • I said 40K starting. No Experience just a degree. At that point you are a monkey get over yourself. And the student loans suck. I think that's a very good point, you can't graduate from college with that much debt and take a job in rural America. Our clients (Courts) can't afford to pay more than they are. Hell they can't even pay their own staffs around here. It sucks from that point of view. What's happened around here, is that the cost of college has gotten so high because they have to pay competitivel

              • I said 40K starting.

                Point? Are you trying to imply that a person starting at that price won't be making it long? Because if your employers have the money to turn the $40K of every new hire into significantly more than $40K every single year, they can probably afford to start people at more than $40K.

                No Experience just a degree.

                Maybe that's part of your problem too - the insistence on applicants having a certain piece of very, very expensive paper. Not that you shouldn't look for degree'd candidates, but expect to pay a premium; they didn't get that piece

                • Around here 40K is good money, and yes if you're any good, you'll get bumped up fast, and if you have experience that's not where you'd start. That 40K is for someone with no experience. You know, someone fresh out of a diploma mill with no long term project management skills. How many people do you know who've come out of college thinking they're god's gift to programming yet can't function in a professional programming environment right off the bat. If you don't have any experience, you'd better have so

          • by g8oz (144003)

            >>There is a 57.67% cost of living difference between here and the west coast. What people see is that we offer $40K starting where as the coast will offer $63K. Yet, they are the same amount as far as cost of living goes.

            How is that rationalization working out for you?

        • I've seen many businesses that try to optimize by getting stellar programming talent at graduate teaching assistant prices.

          I've seen it work for them, once in awhile, but it's not a reliable game - it represents risk, like any other risk/reward business decision. Risk that you'll never get a star in the door, risk that you won't hang on to them when they realize they can do better elsewhere, risk that your product won't work as well as you need it to to sell it competitively because of the games you're pla

      • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:12PM (#46464881)

        So you want someone who is experienced, willing to work for dirt cheap in a boring shitty job, in a boring place, with no perks?

        Well shit, I want to marry a supermodel. Looks like there's a supermodel shortage too!

        Maybe I just run to Congress and demand that they start importing me some slave supermodels.

        • by Slugster (635830)

          So you want someone who is experienced, willing to work for dirt cheap in a boring shitty job, in a boring place, with no perks? ...

          This is really the problem with 'finding programmers in the St Louis area'..... --Or at least, it was ~10 years back when I tried getting into the field.
          The educational requirements and experience that companies wanted was way out of line with what they were willing to pay, and they were generally unwilling to allow any flexibility in either regard.

          The whole thing with the

          • The kind of experience most companies seem to be looking for is insane. We generally will take anyone with experience in writing or involved in decently large projects. If there in one of the main languages we use then that's great. But we always look for more than just a pile of completed homework assignments. With so much opportunity to write software out there in open source projects and what not, there is no reason for people to not have some experience. We don't require you know the problem space or an

      • By that argument, the onus is on the companies, rather than the individuals. As has been discussed, there is a massive supply of talent willing to work, but the companies that refuse to compete in the market are having a hard time. There are ways for companies in areas with low costs of living to compete -- they just don't want to. You said it yourself: you want experienced talent, but you aren't willing to pay for it. People can complain about a "bad economy" or "labor shortages" until the cows come ho

      • So if I understand your post correctly
        1. People don't want to live in the area your company is located in for the wages your company is offering.
        2. Your company only wants to hire top tier employees who can make substantially more at other companies.
        3. Your company doesn't want to train people.
        Sounds to me like your company should actually follow the standard BS management line of investing in employees instead of whining about a shortage of people. How about increasing your pay offerings and compensati
        • to address these:
          1. People don't want to live in this area period, wages have a lot less to do with it.
          2. I never said "top tier employees" all I said was more than a few homework assignments.
          3. We'll gladly train people who can show some aptitude or energy.

          We do offer paid internships, we do work with the local schools etc. But you'd be a fool, unless you're a family guy looking for stability at a young age, to work for us if you can get Google or Yahoo or whatever on your resume. Rural america is the end

          • by greyparrot (895758) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:07PM (#46467779)
            I am gratified to hear you are willing to hire midlife people who are tired of the rat race. There is something to be said for programmers who understand how to understand your problem, figure out a solution in the language of your choice (and learn it if necessary), then explain what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. You will seldom get programmer/analysts from a quickie course in CS, and generally people need about 10 years in practice to have any idea what I am talking about. You should not be trying to compete with Silicon Valley for the cream of the young programmers. Even if you could afford them, and you can't, they would not be happy with you. The country is full of unemployed middle-aged and older programmers. You have to be willing to pay them a bit more than entry level, but of course there is value in these people.
    • by b1tbkt (756288)
      You're failing to grasp the inference. There is a serious shortage of *good and cheap* programmers. The more you put into the marketplace, the cheaper they get. St. Louis is a great place with lots of potential but the tech environment around here is still somewhat dictated by the interests of large conservative companies (this is changing but not quick enough) who insist that all employees have a minimum of a bachelor's degree for the privilege of obtaining a $12/hr coding job - even for those who have 5+
  • There has always been and will always be a shortage of good programmers. It's the way the art is .
    • by non0score (890022)
      It's not the way the "art" is. It's poor teaching and a lack of will to learn. Sure, maybe not everyone can become an excellent programmer without putting in at least 15 years, but almost everyone can be a good programmer with a good few years of learning/training. And no, college doesn't teach you everything you need to know to be a good programmer.
      • IMHO i'm trying to make the point which you are so very precisely missing.
        • by non0score (890022)
          Your point being that it's an "art", implying not everyone can be good at it, implying people good at the art is few and far between, implying there's a shortage? If so, yes, I get that, and my point is that it isn't as much of an art as people want to say it is. If not, perhaps you can clarify your point and be less of an ass about it.
          • Sire, The fact that you accept it's an art vindicates most of what I had to say . And shortage is after all a matter of perspective . There aint any shortage of artists is there?
            • by non0score (890022)
              Did I imply or accept programming as solely an art? Is there a line in the sand dividing what're traditionally considered art and non-art disciplines? I believe the answer to both is "no". I'm not sure what's been vindicated.
      • Most people couldn't be a programmer, good or bad, with infinite effort.

        Because they have no interest or talent for it.

        I can spot the future programmers in a group of 10 year olds by watching them play. The potential future programmers are the ones working the puzzles/rubik's cubes/chinese block puzzles etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I took Jennifer Widom's SQL course out of Stanford a couple years ago, just as a refresher (and to see if I could "hang" in a world class instutition). I found the class rewarding.

    At its peak we had 120k students. Now consider 1% of 120,000 is still 1200 students; far more than she could teach in a year at a school like Stanford.

    Yeah with MOOCs, like everything else accedemic, you get out of it what you put in. At least in these cases, they let us, the prospective student decide if we should be there, inste

    • Just like real college, many will fail and few will succeed.

      Except in real college, even the ones who have no clue what they're doing often succeed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @11:22AM (#46464277)

    These efforts aren't solving the programmer shortage, they are simply mills churning out unqualified candidates (only ~1% of which will get a job and %1 of those becoming a solid developer) in order to deflate wages for everyone else.

    There is another program that is ramping up called CodeRed [coderededucation.com], which helps high-schools introduce a series of courses that will supposedly get high-school graduates entry level jobs from $45-60K.

    I'm not too worried as ITT / Pheonix / have tried to do this for years with little success (and several lawsuits for promising things they cannot deliver). You'll get the same result [slashdot.org] out of these programs.

    As an aside, I just wish the developer community had the political awareness to see these things for what they really are. Maybe it's industry maturity or the aggregate political / sociological leanings, but you don't see this kind of crap from Doctors, Lawyers, etc.

    I also wish we didn't devalue education by stating this is all it takes, but, hey call that the Holiday Inn effect [wikipedia.org].

    • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:51PM (#46465313)

      IT / tech needs apprenticeships and CS is not = IT.

      Both IT tech work and programming some kind of trades / apprenticeship system.

      The older college system is to much of a one size fits all and at times can be theory loaded / has lot's of skill gaps.

      Some of the theory is nice to have but others is only really useful for very low level OS stuff that most programmers witting code should have to deal with much less wire there own systems bypassing the build in os ones.

      Also with IT / desktop / sever / networking is more hands on and the over load of theory is bad as well doing stuff out a book without being in real settings that can be quite a bit off of what the book says.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    if there's a shortage of programmers in St. Louis, does that mean there is a surplus of businesses ready to hire programmers in St. Louis?
    (I'm happy where I'm at now, but this would have been good to know two months ago.)

  • It's STL (Score:3, Informative)

    by SecuritySimian (1150141) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @12:09PM (#46464851)

    Most of the tech companies in the area treat programmers/developers (and IT as a whole) as a fossil fuel, to be immediately burned for their energy and quickly forgotten. Attitudes are slowly changing and quality of life is improving at a glacial pace. Still, it's a hard market to thrive in-- long hours, pay that is commonly bottom 25% of national medians, and special types of business people that can only be the result of inbreeding. Expect to be worked like a rented mule, especially in the health care sector.

    STL does have its gems (Enterprise RAC, Savvis, Panera, MasterCard etc.), but they're pretty difficult to get in to with all of the competition.

    • by pforhan (182787)

      Yeah -- *none* of those are the gems. I'd try Square or Riot, or even Monsanto if you can get over their general evilness. I didn't mind BJC Healthcare, either. And keep in mind that while pay is lower than other places, so are all the living expenses.

  • Essentially doubled the number of people who had ever passed that course- versus 50 years of the slow way.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I took an edX course as part of a mandatory computer engineering course at SJSU and it was terrible. The entire thing was like a marketing ploy designed to boost the reputation of the instructor that spearheaded it. In the end, we had to have many extra sessions of traditional lecture to get the kind of real learning you can only get in a classroom, because the videos and online components were worthless.

    I love technology, but the intersection of education and technology has always been forced with a very h

  • You could go further with this idea. Maybe have an expert in the topic present to help people. You could even gather a bunch of meetups for different courses under one organization. Provide equipment, develop new courses, etc. You could call it I don't know a college maybe?

  • Manage your expectations. If the MOOC is truly massive, one percent is good.
    If you have one class of 30 students and 2/3rds actually graduate, you get 20 graduates.
    If you have 3000 students in a MOOC and "only" 1% completes, you get 30 graduates.

    If you can't understand that difference in percentages, it's not worth talking about cost-effectiveness.
    But having an experienced mentor is definitely an improvement for any kind of training.
  • Why are these folks bothering. They will get hired by some company and that company will outsource the development work to India or some other country that they can pay the folks a dime on the dollar to do the same work. Why is there a shortage? So many companies sucking up the H1-B visas and outsourcing. Get a grip....

  • Given the low entry barrier as compared to traditional higher education systems, the surprise isn't the failure rate, but the success rate. Given the low cost per student of providing the course, even at a 1% success rate I expect that the cost per successful student is much better than the traditional systems, though I don't actually have numbers to back that up.
  • Coders code because there is something about it that they love. I am not sure if it is passion/curiosity/interest or what. But when we have a free moment after school or after work or after the kids go to bed, we think of something to code or we work on something we want to code.

    I believe that anyone can learn to write code in 6 months. But they can't become a quality Software Developer in that time. They aren't going to become experts in 5 years like those who have passion for it.

    Why won't they become expe

  • I really wonder if programmer shortages really exist or if it just a ploy by employers to undercut the worth of people who are already writing code? This is quite distinct from the facile discussion about "coder" vs "computer scientist" or "designer" and all the complexity of skills needed. Clearly there is a big difference from writing some static language with few abstractions, even coding HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and Haskal or Python. It may be that maintaining legacy code such as FORTRAN and COBOL is

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