I had a compsci professor who said that we, as computer scientists, are professional problem solvers. True, quite true, but that isn't the most concise way to define the profession. What we really are is professional junk-takers. That's right, folks. I know, I know all professions get this to some degree. No matter what you do, you're going to have to put up with some of it--just more so in an IT related field. The reason is simple: the vast majority of people who use a computer do not understand it. That would be fine, except for they do not think of it as what it is: a tool they do not understand. Most people don't know, really know, how a microwave works, either, but they do understand that it is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sadly, it is not so in the world of computers. The average user thinks of the computer not as a tool, but as a magical mystical artifact and those who harness their power, not as craftsman, but as wizards. Yes, behind our monitors surrounded by a sea of blinking lights we ply
our own flavor of black magic. We could muster the world, if we would, and lay it at their feet--but we don't. In their eyes, we simply hide in our dark lairs (whether we do or not), and come up with reasons why we can't do what they wish. We delay, we moan and we dodge. Why don't we just do what they want? Surely it can't be THAT hard? And that's the problem. It IS that hard, but, despite the fact that they do not understand the issue at hand, we just can't make them understand what goes into even the most trivial application they use or the most ubiquitous.

I wish I could say that education were the answer. I really do, but it seems to me that every generation gets more technically aware than its predecessor and it doesn't really help because every generation adds its own technical wonder to the world and layers over the wood that already was with marble. The more there is, the less they understand--and the more they assume that we are wizards uttering incantations over a caldron.