In going back and reading some old posts as part of this curriculum project (I may be launching a separate site for that soon, so stay tuned) I ran across this quote from The Economic Naturalist that sums up the way I feel about the current methods for teaching people code:
Knowing about the pluperfect subjunctive is not a bad thing. But if learning to speak a new language is your goal, the time and effort required to learn the explicit technical details of this tense would be far better spent in other ways. Courses that focus most of their energy on such details are no fun for students, and they’re also astonishingly ineffective.
That is precisely what I want to get around.