Learning About Computers

I don’t think that there are people nowadays that need convincing regarding the usefulness of computers, because everywhere has at least one: if not at home, at least at work. You don’t have to look far or hard to find a computer, because everywhere you turn you will find at least one.

People having completely different professions, from artists to doctors, everybody uses at least one computer function. Only think about the immense storage capacity a computer has and the great volume of information we receive every day. As the world grows smaller the information travels faster and we are practically “bombed” with a lot of data our brains cannot store. Besides that, a computer can also manipulate data faster than we can, make complicated calculations or guide equipment in performing operations that require precision, like surgeries. Lately they started to be used also in arts, electronic music being very popular among teenagers.

Yet, using a computer is not an easy task. Computers function with the help of some programs, which can be compared with a live TV show script. In this case the producer is the computer programmer, the host is the computer itself and the guest is the user. In a TV show the producer will try to make a script which must be respected by the host, but he can never be sure of the guest’s reactions, so he will have to consider alternative scenarios and the trust the host to use whatever scenario fits best. Also during the show changes can occur, that will need the host to combine elements from the different scenarios mentioned before. During the show both the producer and the host will have to take in consideration the reactions of the guest and react accordingly.

Now if we talk about a programmer, things are quite similar since he has to write some algorithms indicating the computer how to perform according to the indications of the user. Unlike the TV producer, the programmer “scenario” is for a long-term “TV show”. The programmer has to take in consideration the reactions of different possible “guests”, namely users, with different backgrounds and education. And now we have used the keyword “education”. Unlike the TV show guests, the computer users can be taught how to “deal” with a computer. It doesn’t matter if you are a “difficult guest” or a “sociable one”, this “host” can usually accommodate all tastes.

Like in any other case of study, learning how to use a computer supposes finding a good teacher or at least good learning materials. A good suggestion might be ITIL foundation, which is a collection of books for professionals that need or want to learn about computers. ITIL is the acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library and it is a trademark of the UK’s Office of Government Commerce. ITIL has, depending on the used version, either 3 levels: Foundation, Practitioner and Manager, or 4 levels: Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master. The books cover subjects referring to IT Service Management and they try to give a unitary perspective of IT management, applications and services.