Kill the Infographic

Kill the infographic and let's start actually learning something.

Kill the infographic and let’s start actually learning something.

Do you ever think that we’ve begun to approach education like we do fast food? Decades ago, we turned to MacDonald’s and Burger King because it was too much work to cook for ourselves. And now it seems we turn to infographics and YouTube videos for technical education because it’s too much work to actually learn something for real. While fast food makes us fat and unhealthy, I predict our new educational habits will make us increasingly illiterate about technical topics.

If you don’t believe me, consider this: The people developing software today have had roughly 30 years to learn from the experience of others, to study the ways in which people work, and to perfect the craft of writing bug-free code that assembles into software that’s so well designed that it requires no documentation or technical support of any kind. Does the software you use today seem all that much better than the software you used 5, 10, 20 or 30 years ago? Sure, we have new features. But wouldn’t you have thought by now that all software would be easy to use, free of bugs, and—you know—helpful?

We change much more often than we improve. This suggests that we recognize we should be doing better, but that we have no idea how to do better. And that’s probably because we’ve already consumed to many infographic calories.

Please leave a comment and let us know how you learned everything you know about your field. Perhaps it was one of the following:

  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Downloading PowerPoint presentations
  • Retweeting links to infographics
  • Other

I wrote more about this recently on CMSWire. Please read “The De-Evolution of Tech Learning” and let me know what you think.

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One comment

  1. You wrote: Does the software you use today seem all that much better than the software you used 5, 10, 20 or 30 years ago?

    My answer: Yes, yes, and yet again, yes. In fact, the answer to the rhetorical question you pose about whether anyone has learned anything is “Yes!”

    I LOVE the software I use today, as opposed to the bug-ridden, complicated and difficult to use software I grappled with in the past. Arguably, many of today’s programs, like Photoshop, are masterpieces of collaborative effort, matured over time.

    Frankly, I wish I were a LOT younger, so that I would not have to waste as much time as I did when I was a LOT younger.

    Nonetheless, I appreciate your thoughtful post.

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