Increasingly, though, I am uncomfortable with the distinction we casually make between “pro” users and “regular” users. I don’t think these sorts of utilities are useful just for computer nerds. (There’s another category we should leave behind us.) I think they’re useful for everybody. Put another way: we’re all “pro” users.
I want to be clear that I believe computers should be made in a way that makes them simple and accessible enough for everybody. The trick is creating a learning curve that allows people to get better at using them. At some point, everybody hits a moment when they think, “Ugh, why does my computer make doing this one thing so annoying?” Giving people the ability to solve that kind of problem is important. It’s empowering, just as much as the current push to teach people to learn to code.
Just like there isn’t the perfect car or computer bag, there isn’t the perfect computer. But, unlike the aforementioned car or bag, computers are configurable. If it doesn’t work the way you like, then you can change its behavior.
Unfortunately, I see too many people that only scratch the surface of what their device can do, and they don’t look at various solutions that are available to make the tech better.
This is where coding comes in. It helps you think about solutions, and how you can be better and more productive. When I’m involved in technology PD, one phrase I use a lot is, “If you are doing the same thing more than once, there is probably a better way of doing it.” Simplest example, trying to add multiple spaces to line text up instead of using tabs.