Sensor network application experts such as biologists, geologists, and environmental engineers generally have little experience with, and little patience for, general-purpose and often low-level sensor network programming languages. We believe sensor network languages should be designed for application experts, who may not be expert programmers. To further that goal, we propose the concepts of sensor network application archetypes, archetype-specific languages, and archetype templates. Our work makes the following contributions. (1) We have examined a wide range of wireless sensor networks to develop a taxonomy of seven archetypes. This taxonomy permits the design of compact languages that are appropriate for novice programmers. (2) We developed a language (named WASP) and its associated compiler for a commonly encountered archetype. (3) We conducted user studies to evaluate the suitability of WASP and several alternatives for novice programmers. To the best of our knowledge, this 56-hour 28-user study is the first to evaluate a broad range of sensor network languages (TinyScript, Tiny-SQL, SwissQM, and TinyTemplate). On average, users of other languages successfully implemented their assigned applications 30.6% of the time. Among the successful completions, the average development time was 21.7 minutes. Users of WASP had an average success rate of 80.6%, and an average development time of 12.1 minutes (an improvement of 44.4%).