For good reason, many aspects of the operation of a computer system are crucial yet unseen, unsung, and unrecognised. After all, the average person really should not care, or need to know, about the intricate details of what makes a computer behave in its correct manner. Until the computer behaves in a faulty manner, such knowledge is not immediately useful or critical.
We can easily compare this thinking to other ordinary aspects of our daily lives. Until we have no water, the operations of WASCO may not occupy our thoughts. Likewise if you have light and power, then LUCELEC’s operations may not bother you. As soon as the printer malfunctions, or the WiFi connection fails, we take notice. The point is some things should not occupy our thoughts, because we should be already busy doing other more interesting work, like: solving crime, keeping the roads clear, or doing some number crunching.
Although the roadworks which took place this week along the Millennium Highway and La Toc Roads were necessary, one must question whether they were timely. As motorists, we appreciate the maintenance of the road network, but do we really want to see the work taking place during busy periods of the day, and be slowed down as a result? The few minutes spent waiting to pass the roadworks may not have felt like an eternity, but the negative impact persists. If road maintenance can still take place when there are cruise ships in the harbour, at a time when road traffic is under increased strain, then a certain thoughtfulness, or care and compassion, would appear missing from our government operations.
As you encounter such traffic conditions and consider the unseen reasons for such as oversight, it makes you wonder what else we might be experiencing that we should not, which brings us back to unseen workers who have a significant impact on our lives. You may have heard the old saying that ‘children should be seen and not heard’. As with well-functioning computer systems, it is time that we experience the benefits of processes, without necessarily having to see the painfully slow processes at work.
On that note, please spare some thought for the carnival organisers, clean-up crews, and the host of other well-planned activities that do not have a jarring impact on your other activities.
Editor’s note: Dr. Lyndell St Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design, and capacity building.