An associate dropped me an email asking why I didn’t carry any technical articles about cloud computing and Web 2.0 platforms. As a developer and programmer he obviously has a highly technical bent and I no doubt disappointed him when I replied that I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in the technical aspects of cloud computing and Web 2.0 stuff, but by how it worked in a real life environment.
I am not a programmer; my eyes glaze over and the shutters come down when the topic pops up. Let’s throw in an analogy. I am not a mechanic but I know how to drive my car. To keep it running smoothly I get it serviced by a person that knows about these things. Apart from the very basics I am death to anything mechanical. I bleed if I pick up a screwdriver. No, seriously; once I walked into my garage to pick up a screwdriver and I came out seeping the old red life juice. The local health authority blood bank should pay me not to have anything to do with sharp DIY objects.
Similarly I don’t care if a service is developed in Cobol, C++ or whatever, I just want it to work and enrich my working and personal life. I have always maintained that most people will put up with a pretty appalling program provided it roughly does what they want it to do and GUI is pretty! Take a sniff around SourceForge, the public domain software home, and there are some great and powerful programs being developed but will probably never gain mainstream use because the interface is crap!
It’s About Balance
It’s about balance and weighing up your options. I could go on a car maintenance course and save myself money but there’s a chance I’d haemorrhage to death before seeing any savings. I could also spend hours learning how to run email servers, learning coding languages, develop my own online services and risk divorce by setting up a batch of server racks in the utility room but I don’t have the time or inclination and I am happy to pay for the facilities.
There are some exceptions. For example to run my blog on WordPress using the Thesis theme means I need to have a basic knowledge of CSS, PHP and HTML but I will admit that I cheat and scour user forums looking for coding which I can drop into a text editor and FTP to the server. Once I gain a bit of confidence I will dabble but my main aim is to provide content and I think my time is best spent on that.