I beg to differ
. I've been a professional computer programmer for over ten years now, and hacking
out programs in my spare time for ten years before that, and it still amazes me that people are prepared to pay me huge amounts of money
for what is basically a very simple job. Coding
at its simplest level, whereby someone else has done the analysis
and derived the required algorithm
s is little more than a logic exercise
(so I need to loop fifty times, performing this operation if a certain condition is met, and another if not
-- now translate this statement into the programming language
of your choice).
What on earth does knowing which OS or which language she'll be using have to do with making a decision to change jobs? For the vast majority of people that question doesn't even make sense. Let her find out if she enjoys programming or has a natural talent for it. If she's happy to do point 'n' click stuff with Visual Basic then fine, good, she's doing something worthwhile. (Actually I do VB programmers a disservice here as versions 5 and 6 of the language are extremely powerful tools). And let's face it, with the rise of Asian sweatshops churning out Nike and Adidas sports clothing, tailoring as a western world profession is probably in terminal decline.
The other myth I have to shatter is that all programmers are geeks. Whilst the converse is almost always true, there are many programmers who work regular 9-5 hours, don't subsist on a diet of pizza and Coke, may never have even heard of Neal Stephenson and will quite happily go home to their wife and kids after putting in a day's work. There is a very important distinction to be made between programming/programmers & hacking/hackers. I say good luck to your aunt and I hope she finds herself in a fulfilling new vocation.