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I've personally experienced working with a junior dev who changed careers into development, had a desire to learn but just couldn't grasp the logical concept of development.

I've also seen self taught developers - mostly "database developers" - who had the aptitude to break problems down logically and get something working but their code was unmaintanable except by them (barely), didn't scale, and required manual intervention for failure cases.

On the other hand, I've known plenty of business analysts who spend most of their time documenting processing and working with customers who could easily move into development. They seem to have a natural aptitude when it comes to breaking problems down logically.

Some people just can't learn to code. Their mind doesn't operate that way. No one would ever say that why don't people learn how to sing or play sports because those can be high paying careers, because most people understand that not everyone has the natural talent to do so. Why does everyone think that anyone can learn how to be a developer?




> No one would ever say that why don't people learn how to sing or play sports because those can be high paying careers, because most people understand that not everyone has the natural talent to do so.

Almost anyone can learn how to play sports, or sing, or play instruments. It just takes time and determination. The ones that "make it big" also have luck on their side, but there are plenty of unknown people with equal skill.

Sure, legitimately dumb people will have trouble with knowledge work... but average intelligence is more than enough. The problem is that software is still a relatively new field and we haven't learned how to teach it yet.

I think we're still too focused on implementation details. Language is the medium for expressing ideas, incoherent or poorly developed ideas indicate someone that hasn't learned how to think about the domain yet. When mentoring students or doing code review for new hires, I've found tremendous value in focusing on questions and pointers to software/framework patterns instead of line-level errors. The little stuff matters, but those problems are often driven by higher level complexity.




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