Thursday, December 8, 2011

I got a cat recently. Yes, this is sysadmin related.

I got a cat at the end of October. He's 6 months old, and is probably the best thing ever. He was very sick and docile when we got him from the shelter, but he's taken a turn for the better lately and is making up for lost time by playing with everything. My fiancee and I went to Petco and got him a lot of toys (too many probably). He has balls with bells in them, a catnip mouse with a bell on the tail, feathers of bungees that hang from his cat house, etc. He's got it all. What toy is his favorite, you might ask? Two straws tied together. Out of all of the expensive and fancy things that we bought, he loves two straws that cost about $0.02.

Sometimes we need to step back and think of end users like my cat. The cat doesn't know anything about the engineering and manufacturing that went into his other toys. He doesn't know the cost sunk into them. He doesn't care how "cool" their product marketing makes them look. He just prefers to flail around at two plastic straws tied together. In much the same way, users couldn't care less about the underlying technology that they're using, regardless of how groundbreaking or otherwise awesome we think it is. They just want an application or system that fits their needs.

It's in our nature to be attracted to "cool" technology. That's part of why we're good at what we do, but in the end our job is to make sure that the end users have a platform that meets their needs and is usable by them, not us.

Now, without further ado, I present: my cat playing with a straw.

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