Technology Wave

  • cackalackian

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 153

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Technology Wave

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    I was fortunate enough to have family (on both sides) who were excited about the possibilities of this brave new world. Including a "mad scientist" styled uncle who was far from having mental health issues but would get excited showing uses of one of his oscillators.

    So as a child I enjoyed programming in the early 80s and it is no surprise with hindsight, albeit not the plan, that I was studying programming in college in the late 80s and at university in the early 90s.

    In many respects I owe my career to the brave early adopters in the generation before mine. Now I am assisting some of those early adopters later in their lives and others in their generation who were a little bit more apprehensive. It seems only right that I do so.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • quackhandle1975

    SSChampion

    Points: 10963

    Nice article, brought back memories of going to Uni in the mid 90's to study Computing yet knowing nothing of DOS and Windows (I was expected to learn this myself!) and getting excited about the Pentium chip! :laugh:

    I thought about this the other day when on client site they had young work experience girl come in for a week. It got me thinking that normally it is them that are doing all the learning, however that has come a full 180 now as after a few days she had fixed the IT director's faulty Blackberry. I'm sure she could easily gave a technical lecture to the rest of the "IT" team on 'How To Use Social Media & Installing Apps On Your SmartPhone'. 😀

    qh

    [font="Tahoma"]Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung.[/font]
  • chrisn-585491

    SSCoach

    Points: 15866

    Many people can use a smart phone or an "smart" appliance, there still is a lack of effort to understand more than just the surface. Ideally more folks would at least understand the basics of data or simple programming, but apparently that smacks of work.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    chrisn-585491 (8/4/2014)


    Many people can use a smart phone or an "smart" appliance, there still is a lack of effort to understand more than just the surface. Ideally more folks would at least understand the basics of data or simple programming, but apparently that smacks of work.

    I think that is because IT is more and more thought of as a utility. People want to use technology like they consume media or use their household appliances. Plug in devices and use a simple interface with immediate feedback.

    Sure, there are many job functions that require a more in depth knowledge but there are also many that don't. Whilst I think that sometimes people who interface with the business IT function show too little understanding I also believe, conversely, that sometimes we demand too much understanding.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • BenWard

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5903

    Gary Varga (8/4/2014)


    sometimes we demand too much understanding.

    Agree 100%. I have a customer for whom I produce statistical reports and I've given him a few administrative screens that he can use to manage various parts of the report suite.

    The most common feedback I have from him is "In excel all I have to do is...."

    This can be quite annoying for an IT guy who spends hundreds hours writing complex queries in T-SQL only to have the end result compared to an excel spreadsheet but at the end of the day IT is a service, one our customers want to use. If they want the system to operate in a certain way, don't argue that our way is better, or try to explain how much more complicated it really is, just get on with it and give them what they want. At the end of the day, if you tell them it will take 14 days of development time and they approve it, do it.

    When a customer stops saying "can I have that in excel" and starts saying "can you work some of your sql magic" that's great.

    As IT people who have our heads in code all day long it can be very easy to forget how to be a user and even easier to think our customers shouldn't want to be one either.

    I'm 26 and struggle to work my smartphone because I'm too caught up in how I would make the device work rather than how the manufacturer chose to make it work. My customers, the same ones that compare my work to excel, can work their smartphones with ease and make me look like a dinosaur. So for me the biggest challenge with the wonderful world of IT, is not the volume of technology out there, it's volume of different implementations of that technology - I want to understand it all.

    I come to the conclusion that I'm a terrible user of technology because I demand too much understanding myself. If I didn't care how something worked and just used it, I'd do better.

    What I learn from this is that in order to be a good IT guy (in the eyes of my customers) I should not try to change their attitudes towards IT, because at the end of the day, if they shared my attitude, nothing I ever produced would be good enough in their eyes.

    Ben

    ^ Thats me!

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  • Andrew..Peterson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6657

    Ah, the good old days. Guess I've been around, as I knew someone who had wired memory cores. For me, I learned with Hollerith cards (aka punch cards) and IBM mainframe assembler. Blinking cursor - hah! - I had an assembler program that accidentally shutdown the mainframe. Needless to say, the university was not happy about that. Everything on campus ran on the 370. And starting an IBM 370 with tapes was not easy.

    The part I do not like about the iphone is that Apple has worked to hide all the tech behind the covers - perhaps so that those afraid of the blinking cursor will love it. It is easy.

    The more you are prepared, the less you need it.

  • IT NCST

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 82

    The "ONE" key? Did you mean the "ANY" key" 🙂

  • Scott D. Jacobson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6013

    Preface: I am 35 years old. My first computer was a Commodore 128. I know, all you "geezers" had a 64. The kid around the corner who was about 2 years older than me had a 64. The backwards compatibility meant we could share games a programs. NO internal stoage, everything ran off 5.25" floppy disks but doubling the RAM made a huge difference. My 2nd machine was a Mac LC III which had, I think, a whopping 40MB hard drive and 4 or 8MB RAM (I think I upgraded it at some point). The Mac cost about $3000 and that included my mother's discount as teacher.

    I still marvel at reminding my own parents that the phones we all carry in our pockets are multiple orders of magnitude more powerful than any of my early computers. Sure they were afraid of "making the machine do something it shouldn't do" but I was always pushing the limits. The knowledge I gained about TCP/IP and how the Internet and telecommunications networks operate comes from those lowly machines. As powerful as my smartphone and the network it's connected to are, I will always have a great and deep respect for those lowly machines that gave me my start.

    That kid today building a Hadoop cluster is no different. It's just that the hardware is abstracted away from her. She's not "close to the metal" as they've said on Halt and Catch Fire. I still believe she's in great awe of the power at her fingertips.

  • cackalackian

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 153

    Thanks!

    Sorry for the delayed response, I was on vacation with (very) limited access last week.

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