Like most programmers, I'm far from a cryptography expert. That's why I'm so excited about the cryptographic services provided by both the .NET Framework (System.Security.Cryptography) and the Java platform (Java Cryptography Extension). Right out of the box, both give you easy and accessible libraries for doing symmetric and asymmetric encryption, one-way hashing, and digital signatures.
Thanks to these libraries, you don't need to have a very deep understanding of cryptography to begin using it to help secure your applications. You don't need to understand how or why one-way hashing or asymmetric encryption work; you just need to understand where and why you would want to use each one.
If you're a Java or .NET programmer and you're unfamiliar with (or intimidated by) cryptography, take a look at this intro at MSDN. Practically every serious developer should have an understanding of these concepts, especially since the tools are already sitting there in your classpath or GAC, just waiting to be used!