IT Expert Myths...
I know this is going to sound bizarre from someone who almost lives at their computer, but, in the last few weeks the whole Computer/IT 'thing' has really peeved me! I know I have discussed 'asking questions' previously, but never focused on the arrogance of the IT Industry in general. Whenever one of my daughters friends mothers makes a comment like "Oh I don't want little so & so going on the net it might be dangerous", or "Computers confuse me, I just avoid them totally", I am normally quite saddened, as you can't put your head in the sand as this is one of the few areas of our lives that is increasing in importance every day, so it is not going to go away. It is only recently though that I have come to the realisation that many of these adverse comments come in fact from fear and ignorance that in many cases has been caused by the IT Industry itself.
The whole Computer/IT 'thing'is a massive industry, though like many specialists they all tend to consider their own areas the 'most important' and love to bamboozle with 'bull___t', to show their superiority, (not all, but many), the habit of using so much 'lingo' confuses the issue even further. You also get the 'Experts' that know 'Everything' about computers... In real life we all know exactly how much the 'know-it-all' really does know and are not intimidated.
The best analogy I can think of is that Computers/IT is like the Building Industry, there are soooo many facets, from architects, to builders, to painters & the hundreds of skills needed in between, and I doubt very much there is one person who could do every single one of these jobs required expertly? The Computer/IT game is just as diverse, from Programmers to Web Specialists to Hardware specialists, again the list goes on & on, there is no way in the world that any one person can do all of it! So why should a 'user' to the computer feel that they should be up to speed on all of that too?
Most of us can drive a car, but apart from basic maintenance to run it, do we have the same expectation that we should also have the same skills as the mechanic, panel beater etc to fix it? Hell No! So why should a new user feel swamped by the expectation to understand fully the workings of a computer they 'use', all the software available etc.? Yet, for some reason that expectation is there, and personally I feel that this is the biggest stumbling block for many new users, people coming back into the workforce, or even just the self esteem for the average user that has had the smart-alec tech bloke ask if they have the 'computer turned on' when they phone for help? Yes, that one has happened to me... My plea here is, A. All you IT Experts out there, please speak English, it won't kill you! and B. All you 'users' out there, DO NOT be intimidated, ask questions, if you don't understand, say so, and never feel inadequate.
My husband is a programmer and very good at what he does, though will sometimes also fall into that IT tech talk, lucky for him, we are all around to ummm put him back in his place, as really, if there were not us 'normal' people out there able to understand & use his software, well he is pretty obsolete then isn't he? Next time you feel stressed in a Computer/IT situation, just imagine your IT expert trying to perform some skill of yours that you excel at? That will put it all in perspective and make you feel better, but please, never be intimidated, even the best Computer user started at the beginning :)
Best Wishes, Noely, Community Site Co-ordinator