Let's talk about how we teach new people to program.
There is a saying which I see getting thrown around frequently in the mailing lists and user groups for programming languages. Everyone knows the saying, and I used the latter half of it as the title for this post.
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you've fed him for life."
I have a problem with recruiters. Shocking, I know. If you ask around developers, recruiters quite often seem to be right near the top of the list for "things which tech would be far better without".
If you're a recruiter reading this, then please don't skip straight to posting angry diatribes in the comment section - I'm happy to explain where my problem comes from, and maybe even how to fix it. If you're not a recruiter, but have run into some of the same problems, then maybe you might even want to confirm that I'm not alone here.
Let's start with a short anecdote. I was recently contacted b…
I was going to buy a book online today. A once-off purchase on a whim. I didn't buy it because the company selling it wanted to "get to know me". This isn't a very interesting story, I know, but a point will be made.
The company insisted that I had to create an account (although it already had my shipping details) to make the purchase. It was vital that I didn't miss out on the features of an account; so vital that I couldn't give them money until I had done it. The company insisted that it needed to know my name, and my phone number, and my address, and my date of birth.
So I walked away.
There seems to be a trend among freelancers to complain loudly about the stupidity of their worst clients. It occasionally makes for amusing reading, but in principal, I don't think that's it's professional to do so. Even anonymous clients who, while not being named, still get shamed, deserve better. If you're doing this, and expecting to be treated like a professional, you should probably stop; as I have mentioned before, if the client relationship breaks down, then you are probably not communicating properly.
I generally try not to talk about my specific clients at all on this blog, not beca…
Which job? Well... most of them. At least, a very, very large number of them.
When people complain about PHP being a horrible language, not fit for human consumption, they will often talk about how the features of their favourite language are far more refined; have been designed with elegance in mind; are consistent and secure. And you know what? They're right.
But PHP is still a better tool.
When people write very long blog posts about the horror that is PHP, which lead to double-clawed hammers being created, then they're right.
But that double-clawed PHP hammer is still a better tool.
And it should…