Web Design & Programming

Technical Competence

Author: Marv Conn

The internet is now a part of our lives.  Every person over the age of 15 and under the retirement age should have a basic competence in using the internet if they are employed.  I'm truly disturbed that I meet people who are unaware of the name of the browser that they use or that do not have the ability to go to a website and download/install a program.

The internet is here to stay, it's on our desktop, our TVs, refrigerators and our phones.  There are real issues with privacy and security that need to be addressed, but people who do not know the name of their browser or how to operate the basic controls on their computer are very ill equipped to join in on the conversation. 

Every employee and boss needs to take the time to learn how to use the most basic functions of their internet. It is as simple as that.  When they call technical support and they ask "What operating system are you using and what browser?"  EVERYONE should able to answer those questions because there are other questions that these people cannot possibly understand, such as "Is your system secure?", "Is someone recording you?", "Can hackers access your bank account?"

To that end, employers need to start looking at a potential employee's ability to use a computer safely and securely.   While there are many factors that go into hiring an employee, no employer should be interested in hiring an employee who "Never really understood computers." or who "Just don't know what attachments are safe to open and which ones aren't."  The reason behind this is simple.  If your "know nothing" employee lets a hacker into your system and that hack steals customer information, accounts or personal information, then it is the company that is going to be in trouble and have a customer service nightmare.  Sure, the boss can fire that employee after the fact, but by then the damage is done, fines will need to be paid and people will likely lose their jobs. 

How about we stop hiring people who just can't be bothered to learn the basics.  Seriously, how good of an employee is someone going to be if they have been working with computers and email for years and have no idea what they are doing?   Would you hire/keep an employee who kept coming to work without pants on because they "Didn't bother to understand the whole pants thing."


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