Now isn’t that absurd?  Learn how to program in 7 days.  Learn how to program what?  Your VCR?  You’ve seen the books that claim to be able to teach you how to program in a matter of days.  Personally, I’m on the 10-year plan.  Learn how to program in 10 years.  I’m on year number 7, and the more I have learned from the start, the more I learn how much I don’t know.  Really, it’s absurd to even think you can learn how to program in a complete year.  After a year, you may be able to write code that performs a certain task, but do you really know how to program?  Look back on your first year of programming and the quality of code you produced after 1 year.  A WHOLE year of programming.  That’s a long time.  Is it really?  I bet that a lot of you shudder and the work you did after your first year of programming.  I’m on year number 7, and I think I’m on track to know how to program in 10 years.  3 more years to go.  7 years has given me time to learn several languages and actually learn from some mistakes.  Most of all, it’s given me time to learn about maintainability and not just the development phase of a project.

When I talk about programming, it doesn’t matter if it’s .Net or whatever.  Programming is programming.  Every language and platform has function constructs, decision structures, looping constructs, etc.  Programming is programming.  I call myself an experienced .Net programmer, but even the most experienced .Net programmers in the world still don’t have more than 3 years of experience with .Net unless they actually worked on the product itself.  I’ve had this opinion for some time, but when I came across this article from Peter Norvig, I was surprised.  He spells out my points exactly.  You really should have a read.