The wrong way to reach programmers

As I alluded to previously, if you are blogging to reach an audience that do not read blogs, then you’re doing it wrong I am sure there is a small percentage of programmers who want to be better at their profession but who do not know where to look, but these days this number must surely be approaching zero.  Those that will be inclined to search for good programming blogs have already done so.

Some programmers learn their craft in the approximate equivalent of a traditional trade-apprenticeship.  There is a risk though: the programmers may not be taking advice from the right channels.  In other words, the mentors in their programming journey are themselves, misled.  I do believe that as long as “students” still ask questions, they will continue to learn, despite the competence of their “mentors”. 

Despite this risk, verbal communication, feedback on progress and “learning by doing” appear to me to be the most powerful ways of learning technical skills.  At the other end of the effective learning scale, is “learning through cartoons”.  This approach may well work for young children, but I find the approach patronising!  I am wondering if there has been a sudden influx of cell-shading artists in the ranks of some of the bigger tech companies.  To be truthful, the cartoons are thinly veiled advertising for up-coming products or services, rather than an attempt at educating developers, but there is still an “undercurrent of teaching” and they are pitching to the technical end of the market. 

So far, I have only been exposed to two such cartoons.  I am fearful that they are the first of many…  The first was an introduction to the Google Chrome Web browser.  It was vaguely tolerable and not too condescending.

The second cartoon was from Microsoft.  Now I should point out that I am not a Microsoft basher.  No M$ abbreviations from me! :-) Despite a general interest in other technologies, it is programming on Microsoft Windows, that puts food on my table at the end of the day.   As a company, an IT leader and pretty much any other respect, Microsoft is not perfect, but nor is it clueless.  Which makes it harder for me to comprehend what were they thinking when they dreamed up “The Amazing Adventures of Kevlarr and the SDL.”   It really is head-shaking-ly terrible.

If you know of any other appallingly condescending cartoons for technical topics, please leave a comment.

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