In my view, to be a programmer is to be sufficiently well versed in some non-computer-related field that you can see how the computer can aid practioners of that field accomplish their goals. Many programmers never progress beyond the point of aiding their own use of the computer and never do anything “real” – the number of software packages that help people read mail and news and waste enormous amount of time in front of the computer are legion, but they tend to make people spend /more/ time on these tasks than they would or should have done compared to actually productive tasks.

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