It seems like you can’t use anything these days without spending a good amount of time trying to keep up with changes to the product you’re using. My partner frequently complains about apps on her phone being updated, only to find that entire sections of the UI have changed with seemingly no warning. It is a frustration, to be sure, and following mailing lists, forums, and Slack (grr) groups to keep up with everything is an exhausting experience, but it is also something that is becoming more and more necessary as we enter the age of the rolling release. One such change I’ve become aware of having set up my first WordPress site in a few years is the switch to Gutenberg in the upcoming WordPress 5. Never one to be left behind on such advances, I installed the plugin and started playing around with the “future of WordPress”.
My team recently moved away from a (frankly old and creaking) ManageEngine ServiceDesk solution to JIRA for our Helpdesk. This has been met mostly with dismay by the majority of my team, so much so that I am one of the only people in the office still excited about the upgrade. As always, there were teething issues during the initial upgrade, but a few months on everything is more or less stable and we have lots of ideas for how to evolve the product. So why do the rest of the team still bemoan the product so much?
I’m a systems administrator by trade (or as I often find myself writing, a “systemd administrator” since that cancerous piece of bloatware consumes most of my troubleshooting life). It is, therefore, perhaps unsurprising that I like having control over the devices in my home. I refuse to use Apple devices apart from the one I have to use for work, I allow only GNU/Linux devices to be used on our home WiFi, and while my rooted Android phone is still somewhat lacking in end-user control, I plan to replace it with the Librem 5 when it launches.
It would be terribly naïve of me to presume that other people were so preoccupied with device control as myself. My partner, for example, is the sort of person who simply wants her computer to get out of her way when she’s using it. The slightest hint of maintenance or troubleshooting is enough to make her throw the machine down in anger and find any excuse not to continue with what she was doing. I believe that a lot of people are like this, and it is what has given rise to this wave of “easy tech”, or technology with which the user has little interaction and no ability to troubleshoot. This is a terrible thing.