While I don’t agree with the overall conclusion, this essay points to a number of great resources and ties together a line of discussion about Lisp and Scheme very well. I agree with trying to make programming accessable to a larger audience (especially after hearing Doug Egelbart speak the other day), but the flip side of that is that a lot of the people programming are not really “computer folk”. It would be great to have someone interested in creating their own wep application be able to do so without being a programmer in the traditional sense, but once that’s possible people probably won’t start calling themselves programmers once we start using sufficiently abstracted tools.
So from that end I can see a lot of the points that Joel has made. Many current programmers exist in some kind of nether region. They’re not domain experts in any outside field, but they’re not equipped to solve the hard problems of computer science or engineering either. That’s just an artifact of the current state of the art of computer programming not being good enough that the average user can pick up the tools and do what they want. It’s my hope that we evolve away from the middleman programmers being necessary.