One of Jeremy Smith’s friends say programming isn’t interesting, and its not where the “buzz” is. I say that programming is not meant to be interesting: it’s what you do with it that counts.
Someday I’ll sit down and put down all of my thoughts on how people choose their first programming language. I still think it really has nothing to do with how good that language is. It seems to me, in my very unscientific and unmethodical observations, that people either reach for the closest language (i.e. the one with installed tools or the one their buddies use) or the one that matches the lifestyle they want (i.e. “I want to be a hip web programmer with yellow tinted shades”).
Part of second group is the geeks on the bleeding edge who can’t commit to one (or even a handful of things). They are that fifth standard deviation (the one on the high side!). They are the people who have already abandoned the technologies that most people are just starting to use. I tend to think they use new things just because they like using new things. “Do something useful? Pshaw!”
The danger comes when the middle part of the curve chases that lead group, or when that lead group thinks the middle group should follow them. It’s okay that the alpha geeks are on the frontiers exploring new things and creating new technology: it’s a necessary part of the ecosystem. A lot of the times, however, I think their choices are motivated by the desire to learn and be different than create something, which is the flipped-around for the other group, who just try to make it through the day without breaking anything
So, let’s make it personal. It’s not the passive “programming is boring”, it’s “I’m bored with programming”. For a lot of people, programming is not the point, and it doesn’t have to be the source of passion.