Mythic Monday – The Camel Seen For The First Time
Another Aesop fable is The Camel Seen For the First Time. You can read it here, here or here… but since it’s short, I’ll paraphrase it here. (While the actual text is public domain, the translations are, for the most part, not.)
When humans first say the camel, they found it frightening. It was huge, scary and humpy, so everyone fled. However, as time went by, people discovered that the camel was gentle. As they grew more familiar with it, they began to hold it in contempt and eventually allowed their children to lead it.
The intent of the fable is to basically show that familiarity breeds contempt. It is both a message that one should not fear things unnecessarily, and that one should not become so familiar with something that fear goes away entirely.
I think that this applies to technology as well. We often hear about new technology and how it can be paradigm-changing. However, when we first attempt to deploy such technology we are often baffled and confused. New technology can be incredibly complex and difficult to understand. It can take days of trial and error to figure it out, much less determine how to best fit the technology into your existing infrastructure.
Of course, once you’ve managed to get the technology working, it seems old hat and it is often baffling when new employees don’t pick it up right away. As time goes by, though, they learn the technology and eventually take over.
The lesson here, of course, is to learn from other camel trainers. If you just believe those that have gone before you, you can avoid the whole fear response and jump ahead to figuring out how to train the camel. Then you can get the technology quickly deployed and get on to learning about future species.