Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Someone once described me as a tinkerer, i.e. someone who likes taking stuff apart or putting them together or otherwise experimenting to figure out how they work. This is not entirely inaccurate, though I prefer not to tinker with real world stuff because of my poor dexterity. My tinkering is usually limited to software and tech devices. I’m always willing to try different things to figure out how to get software to work. I guess this contributes to my aptitude for software development.

I was thinking about this because there’s some contrast when I’m working with non-technical people who easily get frustrated with why things don’t work. They often won’t even try simple things like restarting something or pushing buttons to see what happens. I guess there is some level of fear or intimidation involved, they are worried that if they try things they don’t understand they might break something. While that’s a concern, modern tech is a lot more resilient and uh, well, shall we say “idiot proof” than back in the old days, but I guess that’s difficult to communicate to someone who doesn’t have a technical background.

Really though, with the modern internet giving video tutorials for most anything, there is little reason to not be a tinkerer these days, but I guess if you didn’t grow up with that mentality it’s difficult to adjust especially when you’re older. For younger people who grew up on the internet just trying to push whatever buttons until you figure out what you want seems to come naturally with the usage of tablets and smartphones and such. My nieces certainly handle modern technology a lot better than their grandparents do.

The world needs more tinkerers and technical people anyway, and maybe a tad less of people like salesmen, marketers and propagandists.

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