What matters more is the mistakes that people continue to make even after they are not novices.
Knowledge about students’ mistakes and the time taken
to fix errors is useful for many reasons. For example, Sadler
et al  suggest that understanding student misconceptions
is important to educator efficacy. Knowing which mistakes
novices are likely to make or finding challenging informs the
writing of instructional materials, such as textbooks, and
can help improve the design and impact of beginner’s IDEs
or other educatoinal programming tools.
In other words, yes, understanding what types of errors novice programmers make can be very interesting and useful.
I had my language-designer goggles on, but you and the paper are right that educator goggles matter too.