Here's an interesting little article I cam across recently.
Walk into any bookstore, and you'll see how to Teach Yourself Java in 7 Days alongside endless variations offering to teach Visual Basic, Windows, the Internet, and so on in a few days or hours. ... The conclusion is that either people are in a big rush to learn about computers, or that computers are somehow fabulously easier to learn than anything else. There are no books on how to learn Beethoven, or Quantum Physics, or even Dog Grooming in a few days. Felleisen et al. give a nod to this trend in their book How to Design Programs, when they say "Bad programming is easy. Idiots can learn it in 21 days, even if they are dummies.
The article also has a lot of good advice for new programmers.
Edited by Ancient Dragon