Monday, February 3, 2014

It's no longer okay to not understand the web

It's no longer okay to not understand the web. Our daily lives are filled with multiple computer interactions that we rely on. Some of these interactions are not even in the forefront of our thoughts like driving our cars, riding the bus, flying in an airplane, or getting on the subway. But other interactions are much more front and center like our phones, our email, our calendars, our social media (Facebook, Instagram, vine, etc).

I'll start off by stating what I am not trying to say. I'm not trying to say that you need to understand technology in order to understand how to use these technologies. I really believe the opposite of that. I believe that if you have to understand these technologies in order for them to be relevant to you that we've done something wrong.

What I am trying to say is that in order for us to move past where we are and move to where we want to be with technology we all have to be involved. If we want to fix the broken interactions or the overbearing burdens that some parts of technology require of us (logins, usernames and password, and federation I'm looking at you) we have to have some basic understanding of how our technology works. Once we better understand the technologies we can start to identify what's really broken and start to demand that we move in the right direction. So where do you start?

Learn HTML; it's a critical piece of your everyday life so why not understand it. You use HTML every time you surf the web, read a blog, or go to Facebook. If you don't understand the technology they you've got no control.

Learn how HTTP works. HTTP is the backbone of the internet. If you don't understand it you've got no control.

Learn how a server works. The reason your email, your payroll, your calendar, your SMS work is because of servers. If you don't understand them you've got no control.

Take a free class at the Khan Acadamy, Udacity, or Coursera. There are sooooooooo many high quality and FREE classes available online. If you don't understand math, science, and the humanities you've got no control.

So take control and go learn!

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