Programmer's Hostility Towards Beginners

Joseph Bento joseph at
Sun Jul 6 19:50:16 CDT 2008

Hey guys,

In all the years I've worked in electronics, both a a career and as a  
hobby, I've never learned any programming languages.

I've started playing with PIC microcontrollers, and am attempting to  
learn some basics of assembly language and C.  I have a PicKit2  
programmer, and know how to burn the code into the chips.  I've also  
joined a few mail discussion lists catering to embedded C programming  
and assembly as used in the microcontrollers.

In recent posts to this programming forum, I've encountered something  
that I find most unfortunate.  This certainly doesn't speak for all,  
but is just a generalization from my own observations.  Professional  
programmers are rather hostile towards beginners.  If you can't  
understand the syntax of C or mnemonics used in assembly, you are  
perceived as an idiot.  I had replied to one individual in the list  
that also maintains a web page of projects, including the source  
code.  In writing, I stated that I was trying to learn, and received a  
rather curt  reply stating that it takes years to learn the ins and  
outs.  It felt Sort of like, go back to your little hobby world and  
leave the coding to professionals.

I hope this is an isolated incident.   There are some excellent books  
for self learning, though it is always helpful to have an expert peak  
at what you're doing and offer constructive criticism, rather than  

PICs look to be a lot of fun to use for projects, and what can be done  
with them is limited only by one's imagination.  It does take a bit of  
help to learn how to program them, however.

Wish there were some night classes at the local university to attend.

Joe, N6DGY
Pleasant Grove, Utah


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