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Don't Learn to Code, Learn to Program - But Come Back in 10 Years

Don’t Learn to Code, Learn to Program - But Come Back in 10 Years

I have feeling that lot of problems with IT comes from prematurely placing human in front of interface. Instead of making more machine to machine interactions - which are simpler. We are cutting flow of information, give human controller a lot of features, make elaborate user interface - which is hard to use. And because of that, whole system is being used inefficiently. Isn’t it easier to let machine do what machine is best at, and leave human with less control(which is really not necessary), but more power, to let human do human things.

This is not about Programming complexity, but putting human in wrong place. But they are interconnected. You develop small feature, which is nice, but introduces a lot of complexity, that needs to be maintained forever. Chances are nobody really will use it since people sticks to defaults, and each new thing demands more focus, and concentration from them, while they are trying to do their job.

[I wonder, how it is possible that NSA can say a lot about human, only by tracking thin layer of its presence, while I have to align to machine to fill time sheet in SAP. While, at the same time, company has signals from Active Directory activity to access control.]

On the one end is SAP - expensive, full of features, piece of software, that needs expensive consultants to customize it, and a training to use it. On the other end are: Dropbox, Basecamp - that just works.

  1. Start With No
  2. Product Strategy Means Saying No

There is another dimension to complexity: devices.
PCs never landed on each human desk. Post-PC devices were supposed to change that because of simpler interface. This didn’t happened.

Our Love Affair With the Tablet Is Over

It turns out tablets replaced more or less netbooks. Smartphones were never to replace PCs, they have different function. Now it is hard to buy non-smartphone phone, but are they used as smartphones? I questioned Android success:

Now, Tim Cook says the same thing, too:

"Cook: I look at the mobile phone market as having three kinds of phones: feature phones, smartphones that function as or are used as feature phones, and real smartphones. I care about the market share of the last one. I don’t care how many feature phones are sold. The more that are sold I look at as good because those are all potential future customers for real smartphones. The same thing goes for the second category. I’d like to convert as many of those as possible to real smartphones."[source]

It looks like, because of complexity, amount of real smartphone users should be equal to PC users. Is there some kind of invisible wall between users and devices? Is voice assistant going to solve this? Context aware, vision augmentations using smartglasses? Maybe people do not want to bend to machine’s will, maybe we need interfaceless interfaces.

(12 February, 2014)

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