Normal humans can become programmers if they go to a technical high school, and attend a science program in college. Typically on slashdot we call them "H1B Visa holders." That is literally the entire philosophy behind the "Bachelor of Engineering" college system in India.
As a peer interviewer:
about 5% of the people I interview seem like "Obsessive programmers" - like TFA suggests (I recommend hiring most of the obsessive programmers).
about 10% of people I interview are competent programmers who are probably normal humans who write code because they have to pay the bills somehow..
about 85% of people I interview have 7 years experience as a "programmer" and definitely could not write code if their life depended on it.
I have found no discernible patterns in resumes to predict these outcomes, but in interviews it is fairly easy.
Question 1 - "So, what was the last program you wrote for yourself at home? What did you write it in, and why did you write it?" - If they have literally any example of programming they did "for fun" or to solve a real life problem, (and they aren't otherwise unhireable) they are hired.
Question 2 - "Describe the last class/module/function you wrote for work, why you wrote it that way, and what was hard about it." - If they have any reasonable answer, we will drill down into competencies... otherwise, they are almost certainly in the 85% category of people who somehow make a living pretending to code.
Almost all of the 10%ers who are "competent" but not "obsessive" have computer science degrees and are very serious about work, but not in to the "hobby" these are normal humans writing code, and doing fine at it. Lots and lots of them were educated in India.
The 5% obsessives were born into it. They (and I am including myself here) would be writing code even if it wasn't their job. Frankly. I have seen all kinds of educational backgrounds in the obsessives, usually computer science, but sometimes music or English, or Math or Geology or no college at all.
I guess what I am saying is that India already realized this, and has a population more willing to stick to a difficult degree plan "just for a job"