An email today triggered a thought I’ve had before, but never bothered to put into writing.
Once you learn to use a piece of software, are you tied to it forever, for better or for worse?
This is an multi-faceted problem, so I’m not even going to pretend like I have an answer. However, it’s worth investigating, especially in the context of fanboiism.
Learning anything requires effort, and presumably, after investing effort, one expects a return. Software is no different, regardless of the task the software performs. Learning software creates an automatic bias because once a level of mastery is achieved, it becomes a marketable skill.
People don’t usually devalue their skills.
Functionally, though how can anyone fairly judge software A against software B? If you’re accustomed to using A, you’ll focus on how B does things differently in a negative way because you have to reinvest to learn the new way.
B’s process could be more efficient, but not until you learn how to do it. So, it’s virtually impossible to know which is better unless you give B a fair shot and invest equally. How often does that happen?
This isn’t always true, but think about your own experience. I’m sure there are levels of attachment that you’ll never break.
The cost of retraining is one very important concern with enterprise software, whether it’s retraining users to use something new or training IT to support something new, change costs money.
The email from earlier today compared Android (and the Android SDK) unfavorably to the iPhone and its SDK. I’ve not used either, but it was a bit surprising to me, considering the black box that is the App store approval process.
I got another dose today as I documented how to use the WebCenter bookmarklet Rich (@rmanalan) built. I didn’t realize it, since I don’t use Windows/IE regularly anymore, but IE makes it much tougher to add a bookmarklet. First, you can’t drag and drop code, and second, you have to confirm that you want to use it.
I understand why. It was just a reminder of how different a browser IE is.
What do you think? Find the comments.