Maybe the Q here is whether you need to bother with a programming language at all - e.g., if (say) you could do most of it with an Access database and/or with Excel spreadsheets? So have I - hence why I've got nervous twitches right now
I've seen that happen before...
Yes, "nervous twitches" would be about right. Well, I've come across all sorts of daft opinions - some of them mine, unfortunately - on this sort of issue, and I've sometimes had the opportunity to see how those that got a chance to go ahead (none of mine, fortunately) worked out in practice/implementation. A couple of times I've seen these result in screw-ups of such a high order of magnitude that they literally broke the companies involved and caused them to fail financially. In each of these cases I could literally see it coming and watched in awe as events unfolded to their predictable collapse. In two cases I stuck with the failing companies (as an employee) as I could see the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and was quite happy with the outcome (financial reward), though the wait could be quite stressful at times.
So, to avoid getting involved in a repeat of those past hard lessons of history, I usually apply a straightforward risk management approach that involves figuring out what has tended to work best in the past from a combination of business needs coupled together with my growing and vicarious experience of dealing with similar business and technical issues.Rant/
That approach can potentially save a lot of time, cost, anguish and jobs, and ultimately keep the customers happy with a businesslike and cost-effective outcome.
I am still learning, but I detect an awful sameness or deja vu
in some of the daft opinions that I come across. Stupidity, in the form of wilful blindness to the potential and often predictable consequential risks arising from our (often ego-centric) actions, seems to be the sole prerogative of us humans, and it seems to be dreadfully prevalent or over-represented in ICT-related fields or where ICT is more heavily involved, and where you might reasonably expect the average IQ of those involved to be relatively high.
As a classic example, I include in my vicarious experience:Methodology wars:
The conflicted debate between people of two firmly opposed schools of intellectual thought regarding the best/purest theoretical methodology to be adopted and used for information engineering, amongst designers in a very
large and mission-critical banking systems redevelopment project that was 6 months underway. The debate seemed devoid of pragmatism and seemed to become a form of intellectual masturbation and an excuse for people to avoid engaging in doing any actual productive work and instead holding lots of unproductive meetings to variously "discuss the methodology issues" and "review/revise requirements" and "re-plan the project" in the light of the proposed changes in the methodology direction. They also made persuasive presentations of their sometimes off-the planet ideas to management in the client accounts and the "home" organisation.
This merry-go-round of meetings and presentations tended to mask the reality that the designers and project management were incompetent. They were listened to because, as a group, they were well-regarded (several held PhD's) and had been chosen for the job, and it was thought they knew what they were on about.
After having created unscheduled project delays amounting to about 18 months, this nonsense eventually and predictably expedited termination. The Board forcefully retired the CEO and replaced him with a hardened businessman who was directed to dismantle and sell off the company. He then closed down the project with prejudice - including senior (VP) corporate executive level firings for those held responsible or who tried to get in his way, and mass layoffs of most/all project personnel. The residual core business, consisting of profitable and operational components was sold off as a single block in a bidding process, going to the successful bidder - one of 3 large ICT services corporations that were in the bidding./Rant Off.