To develop is to be in the physical world, with all its rich social connections (and all its frustrating constraints) and yet to be able to tap into the invisible virtual world, to craft new things out of thin air.
This touches on the whole "should X be coders" debate. I'm inclined to agree with Rushcoff's Program or Be Programmed - we have to not just use the tools, we have to understand at least some of the underpinnings and be empowered to hack away to change things.
In the UK there's quite a bit of discussion about moving the computer curriculum from teaching how to use Microsoft Office (I shudder to think this is actually considered "computer training") to covering more foundational concepts and teaching how to code.
A story arrived in my Twitter stream that illustrates just how fundamental this set of skills can be - with painful honesty Shawn Graham tells a tale of failure and lessons learned - a community that succeeded on the front end, but fell apart (no documentation, taken over by spammers, no backups) on the back end: How I Lost the Crowd: A Tale of Sorrow and Hope.
We need to get to a place where people can have great ideas and know how to implement them, either themselves or by knowing the right resources to draw upon. To some extent the new outsiders are the people who don't know how to code. In professions that once seemed perhaps distant from technology such as journalism and the humanities, coding is becoming a core competency. Fortunately there are great initiatives like Girl Develop It, Young Rewired State and Mozilla Webmaker (the source of the video I embedded above). No matter where you are it's almost certain there's a meetup or three for beginning coders. Let's get coding.
July 24, 2007 software development, staffing and new library technology
December 7, 2005 librarians 2.0 don't need to be coders 2.0