Having worked with programmers with an extreme variance in skills, I sometimes get the feeling that there is an big lack of good programmers but when I thought about it a little more I realized that it's not very clear cut, some of the programmers have strong areas and if you confine the tasks into their strong areas then they tend to deliver well. So I started thinking about all the lines on which we can evaluate a programmer, here's what I have so far...
Programmer Competency Matrix (the table is too big to fit on this blog post and needs a whole page of it's own)
After having spent a whole afternoon on this I realize that even this is not comprehensive, this matrix is more biased towards non-visual programmers, so a big majority of web devs will not be able to relate well to this matrix, but I am tired and will come back to this at a later time.
I recently came across an old article that I had written for my company newsletter, it's always fun to discover old stuff that you've written and see how much your perception has changed since then. Copied verbatim below, this was a print article which is why the links are not hyperlinked.