"There's no such thing as a professional photographer."

July 22, 2012

Those were the words I heard the other day, from Seattle Times photojournalist Bettina Hansen. With today’s technology, everyone is a pro at taking photos. Shell out $600 for a decent DSLR and watch a 15 minute YouTube tutorial video, and you’ll impress your friends with the results.

Of course, there’s much more to photography than buying good equipment and learning a few tricks. Our photographers produce fantastic photojournalism – Bettina included.

But her statement got me thinking: Can the same be said for programmers?

We’re moving to a state where nearly everyone in the newsroom can perform basic functions on a computer. Some are even more literate than my fellow computer science majors. But almost none have the formal technology education. With sources like CodeAcademy and GitHub, it’s easier than ever to become fluent in programming concepts.

I hope that one day, in the same sense, there will be no such thing as a professional programmer.