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I was a music major in college before switching to CS, so that one is my favorite of his "classic" talks. I spent 10 years learning the violin, many of them knowing that I sounded completely terrible. I took that on with the expectation that developing a new skill takes many years of struggle, and Rich's comparisons have resonated with me as I've been learning Clojure. So I have to admit that it puzzles me sometimes how easy we sometimes try to make things for beginners, because I never expected this to be easy.

Asko Nōmm03:09:41

I say the easier we can make things the better. My wife is currently learning to become a software engineer and I think us already professionally hired seem to forget how much base knowledge one needs to know in order to do this as a job, even as a junior developer (it’s a mountain of knowledge!) so making things easier wherever we can should not be something to dismiss, but rather something to aspire to, in my opinion.


I could never disagree with that, and it's that compassion that bubbles up throughout all levels of the process. Perhaps I've already begun to lose perspective from being a beginner for too long, and would love to see so much effort put into teaching the kinds of things I'm currently struggling with, like, the slightly harder things.


I completely agree with the premise that not everything needs to be designed for beginners. But what’s funny and ironic, is that, at least in my opinion, Clojure is perhaps one of the BEST languages for beginners because it is so simple. I’ve been dealing with a number of iOS/Obj-C/Swift frameworks in the past weeks (like AVFoundation, etc) and I gotta say it’s a nightmare! There’s barely any engineering involved, it’s just that using the framework is the worst possible flavor of OOP: the framework effectively creates its own DSL out of the mutable states/configuration/composition of objects! What are the possible valid or desired states? Nobody knows! Since nothing is data driven, that’s not easy to lookup or understand at any level. And since there’s no REPL, you just gotta try to set/pray/compile and then repeat again.

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