This comic created by the Abstruse Goose is one of my all time favorites.
It embodies my frustration at people who think that all becoming a software programmer involves is learning a little computer syntax , reading a few books and typing out a lot of code.
The books that claim you can “Teach Yourself” X in Y “days/hours” etc are written by charlatans out to make a quick buck (I think sometimes it is the publishers that foist such titles on the authors in the hope to sell a few more copies). All they do is frustrate the people who are genuinely trying to learn software programming and provide PHB types with ammunition – after all if programming can be learned in X time then any schmuck who can read and knows a bit of typing should be able to become a programmer, at least by 2X the time.
Interestingly, no one writes a book on “Teaching Yourself” building a bridge or a skyscraper in X days – after all building construction is a popular metaphor in software engineering. The presence of these books are IMO a symptom of the ignorance that people have about what it takes to write solid software.
As this post points out – it can take up to ten years for an artist, researcher or a sportsman to be considered a master in his or her field. Software programming is no different.