Counterpoint: Ohloh tried to build a simple line counter. After 7 years even with community support they never really got it right.
Are you confident that the same programmers could have successfully built a line-counter if they built it using parser tools?
If someone is going to be offended that a potential employer asks them to reverse a linked list in an interview -- something that seems a bit trendy in the web world lately and several such articles have made the HN front page -- then look, that person does not really know how to program, so of course they think it's hard to do basic stuff. Such a person's opinion on how hard things are is not that relevant to how hard they are given a reasonable background education.
Probably this sounds snobby to some people, but look, programming well is a never-ending pursuit, you can spend your whole life getting better, but it won't help anyone advance if we all pretend that everyone is good already.
It took years and they never got it right. Partly because every technical decision was based on neato-tool-of-the-month in the early Ruby/Zed Shaw era. But mostly because it's hard.
Subtle details like "screw that, life's way too short" can conspire to make "easy" things hard.