Miners know they have a significant problem when the canary they keep with them stops singing. Hobbyist/part-time programmers are our industry’s version of the canary, and they have stopped singing. People who program four to eight hours a week are being cut out of the picture because they can’t increase their skills as fast as technology changes. That’s a danger signal for the rest of us. We need to address the problems faced by these programmers before we lose their important domain expertise. But we also need to look at the increasing training demands, because it’s becoming difficult for any of us to remain competent with technology. —Kathleen Dollard —Save the Hobbyist Programmer (Visual Studio Magazine)
After this paragarph, Dollard sort of geeks out, focusing on the technology rather than the cultural significance of the practice of hobbyist programming. But alembic adds precisely the layer of context that I was hoping to find in the original article — here’s an example of a blogged version of an article being much better (for my purposes) than the original.