Joe Stump, the lead architect for Digg, makes a comment that really bugs me, while another is positive, in a recent "my life as a programmer post" (that's the Google cached version... ironically Digg has overwhelmed his own server):
More practical advice is that you should learn to know and love design patterns and avoid GUI’s. I have a real problem with people who say they know SQL because they’re well versed with an ORM or a DB’s GUI. Go back and read up on relational algebra and SQL92 before you say you know SQL okay?I’ll probably get flamed for this, but I think people should learn a single environment in and out and stick with it. This might mean you learn Microsoft’s technologies in and out or Cocoa or LAMP. You simply can’t be an expert in an area of computers without picking a single environment and sticking with it.
On one hand, I give him credit for his comment that you should get to know a particular platform inside and out. Extra +1 for not flaming Microsoft's platform.
I do not, on the other hand, agree with the notion that GUI tools are bad. I thought this stigma went away with VB6 (which I suppose is largely responsible for it), but come on man... there are some tight tools out there and they make it a lot more fun and efficient to write code. Using them does not equate to not understanding what's going on under the covers.