Patrick Logan points to this screed by Warren Harrison. IMHO, Harrison is the "clueless dabbler". In his IEEE article, he decries end user programming, calling such stuff "dabbling". maybe he should talk to Alan Kay. Here's the part I really liked:
The next wave of end-user programmers were writers of spreadsheet macros. They were notorious for making mistakes, such as the Florida contractor who used the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program to prepare a bid in the 1980s. Mistakes in the macro resulted in a bid that was too low to recover costs. After winning the contract, the contractor tried to sue Lotus because of the programming error. While a trained professional developer would have tested the macro to make sure it worked correctly before staking a major bidding decision on the results, the end user omitted this important step.
What planet does this guy live on? Apparently, he never read about the Ariane V disaster. Or the huge percentage of professional projects that fail. Here's a cluestick Warren - the "professionals" absolutely suck at this work too - the track record indicates that the so called "dabblers" are not the problem. What's worse is that he can't sort out risks:
Can it be true that software manipulating my credit history could have been written by an accountant with no concept of software testing or development processes? How many e-businesses have failed because of lost orders or payments placed through a Web site written by a self-taught Perl or HTML "programmer" who is really a marketing assistant and has never heard of file locking?
Hmm - let's see - which do I fear more - software written by an accountant who understands accounting, but isn't a software professional, or software written by a software professional who doesn't understand accounting?. I've seen both in my career, and I'd much, much rather take the former. Warren can trust his money to the latter - be my guest. Either one of these can be a problem - but the domain is the far, far more complex of the two. It's sheer arrogance to think that learning about file locking is somehow harder than mastering GAAP rules.
If we want secure and safe software, we have to make it possible for the domain experts to create that software. Banishing them from the field sounds like 1960's glass house thinking to me. I only hope that this guy's mindset isn't very widespread...