I’ve been thinking a lot about supporting technology. In my career, my tendency to experiment and to follow my curiousity has been rewarded. Experimenting has enabled me to understand where there are real limits and risks, and has helped me to understand steps I can take to protect myself and steps I can take to recover. Going through these kinds of exercises repeatedly has removed fear and uncertainty and increased confidence.
Even though we all click on things and type, experimentation with technology is not a part of most professions. Some only deal with technology in a strict, procedure-driven sense. Failure to follow procedure leads to negative consequences.
Until recently, it didn’t occur to me that one reason that people will not reach out for assistance with technology is the fear of being perceived either as ignorant or incompetent to perform their jobs. These are people who otherwise have great amounts of experience, expertise, and wisdom in their vocation, but who feel thwarted by tools that seem impenetrable or incomprehensible, yet are presented as critical.
As technologists, we are just not trained to understand there are very human and emotional reasons that technology might not work. Emotions and culture affect all of our interactions, from simple break-fix support to the largest enterprise projects.
I’m interested in changing what I do, and how I do it, to increase the benefit. I’m interested in starting with that awareness, instead of compensating with re-work later, or wondering why a project failed if the technology was seemingly rational or the right thing to implement.