Is the celebrity cult harming IT?

Not sure this is the right topic, I just want to see if others share my concern:

I’ve recently found out about Tim Pope, a contributor to git, who is somewhat of a small celebrity on Twitter. There he has many followers and gives general advice about IT/programming.

It is not my intention to seem mean towards him, but for lack of a better word (and my appologies if offending anyone), I do not believe he is particularly good at coding, nor that his advice is brilliant. It seems to me like his posts and ideas about IT are taken from stereotypes and a very dated vision of the industry.

Despite that, many young people look at him as a model and get a distorted view about the average IT person. He is harming especially young women by presenting an innacurate and stereotypical image about our industry.

A lot of effort is done to attract young people to join computer science universities, especially girls. And, as programmers, it is our best interest to get more young people to share our passion for technology. I have some fears that part of this effort and these good intentions are somewhat being sabotaged by these semi “celebrity status programmers” and the myths they inevitably perpetrate.

By seeing an inacurrate and stereotypical image of what IT is, and this fake similarity with Hollywood celebrities, many teenagers who want to be programmers, are being set up to fail. What do you think ?

Skimming his Twitter timeline, I don’t see much related to programming. What are his ideas about IT that you consider dated?

I fail to see how.

I agree that it is our responsibility to educate the next generation of programmers. This includes pointing them to the works of veterans. If asked for names, I would probably mention Uncle Bob and the authors of GOPL. I consider it extremely important to tell young people that they are part of a tradition, that many ideas have bee discussed and tried before, and that there is no such thing as a “rock star” or “full stack programmer”.

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