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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Automation and Skill

New technologies often present an interesting choice.

  • The old way of doing something presents us with a low level of difficulty all the time;

  • A more sophisticated/automated way of doing it spares us the difficulty most of the time, only to present us with occasional bursts of extreme difficulty.
The latter may deliver much higher productivity when you have gotten up the learning curve, but it's a much steeper learning curve. You can't progress from simple tasks to hard tasks, if the technology has already captured all the simple tasks. New technologies call for a concentration of skills, but interfere with our ability to learn these skills effectively.



Software example: code generation tools.



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