1.22.2009

The Slippery Slope at Work

It's not like I mentioned JavaScript...

It's funny, I never in a million years would have thought that I, Kaylee Walters, would find myself at age 22 embracing the tech world, much less becoming a web developer and designer. So, even though it kind of embarrasses me, you can say I understand pretty well some people's frustration with technology. It can feel quite intimidating.

I think the lack of knowledge in the technology realm makes people naive and unaware of what they are getting when they work with a company, unknowing as to if they are getting screwed or not. After watching people in meetings, I realized I can actually pinpoint the moment in their mind that they decide everything that is being spoken of is completely over their head. It's usually when someone accidentally lets some technical jargon slip. Words like 'web development process,' 'SEO' and anything that ends with 'byte' will cause complete system meltdown to this type of person. After one of these terms are dropped, it's like staring at a blue PC screen, a Sad Mac (think Sex and the City when Aiden has to buy Carrie a new computer), or any other screen of death.

The worst part of it all is the inability to turn back from that point. You can only quietly scorn the person responsible for the technical word vomit, and wait for the complete system meltdown to finalize. This person will now be unable to think with an open mind. Simple directions will seem like mazes to them and their frustration will begin to build. Instead of seeing calm web developers chatting around them, this client will see night-spawned gremlins running around in a circle chanting terms like 'server,' 'bandwidth,' and the ever dreaded 'Cascading Style Sheets.'

Although this person is lost in their own minds misery, their own stubbornness is what landed them there. Soon enough, most people on this earth will be able to handle this sort of jargon without enduring complete system meltdown. Soon only a mildly distressed functioning will occur, and this effect will become more and more benign as time goes by. Eventually Bill Gates will become less and less of a thought in our head, and Internet Explorer will be just a fragment of a memory of time passed. And everyone will all join together in a field with flowers and fresh grass chanting terms like 'server', 'bandwidth', and 'Cascading Style Sheets'...

But until that day, system meltdowns will endure. I always try to encourage clients to make changes to their computer/technological routines to avoid this fear of the unknown. Utilizing different browsers, like Mozilla Firefox or Safari, is often a moderate change that can be a real step in the right direction. Buying software programs like Quicken or downloading trial applications to toy with are often other ways to break through to the tech un-savvy. Making their own PDF's or printing pictures can also do the trick. It's important to remember that you will encounter resistance. However, if you can break one person in twelve's negligible technological habits, we are all the more closer to our field chanting existence that we techies dream of at night.

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