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Let's stop saying technologies are easy

I've been programming for about ten years mostly in a desktop environment. About eight months ago I started getting into web development which is mostly me consuming loads of articles and videos to learn all these different technologies (html, css, javascript, react, angular, electron, wasm, bulma, etc).

There's one major thread I've noticed in all the different content I've been consuming to learn everything. At some point in the article I'll read about how easy X technology is. Or in watching a video you'll hear, "I use X because it's easy". Then the proverbial, "Wow! That's amazingly easy!". And of course, "I'll show you the easy way to do...".

Over and over again I hear the word easy. When I'm trying to learn something new and it doesn't come to me easily, simply, or it doesn't "just work", I'm left with two options. Either the technology isn't that "easy", which I have no way as a beginner to evaluate that. Or I'm just dumb for not getting it.

Easy is not objective, it's subjective and sometimes relative.

In rock climbing there's a beautiful philosophy where the amount of effort it takes an amateur to ascend a low difficulty rated climb is the same amount of effort an expert climbing a high difficulty rated climb. Both pursuits are just as exemplary as the other, and the accomplishment is in the individuals personal growth.

Could our resources for providing new information to those that do not yet have that information not be trivialized? Of course there is an understandable comparison between a basic example of something and a complex one. Or providing a generalized summary of a difficult topic to make it more understandable for a beginner or "noob" (which is obviously a pejorative).

Creating a function react component for one person may be just as difficult to someone as managing raw pointers in c++ to another.

Top comments (4)

otumianempire profile image
Michael Otu

I hear people say python is easy. Python is not easy - it is simple to pick up and start writing some code. Easy is different from one dev to another, then considering the noob, easy may mean something different.

ionutarhire profile image
Arhire Ionut

You're totally right. I think there are multiple factors at fault here.

First of all I think is the way that courses are marketed that's a problem. "Learn c++ in 7 days" is just an ad after all.

Another problem is the fact that a lot of programmers are insecure about their knowledge, and so they try to hide that by saying something is easier than they actually think it is.

gwsounddsg profile image

You're totally right. There's also these sense of, well it's easy for me so why isn't it easy for you?

paddy3118 profile image

What's wrong with being a noob at something? When I'm learning, I'm a noob; when I'm not, then I'm not learning which is worse.