If you traveled to a foreign country where you don’t speak the local language, you would find yourself in a situation where there are questions you would want to ask people and things you’ll need to know, and nearly everyone you run into would be able to help you – but because you can’t articulate in a manner that the locals understand, they can’t assist you and provide you with what you need.
Most people would be rightfully frustrated in this kind of scenario – knowing that nearly everyone you run into can help you with the answers or the information you need, but you just can’t express yourself in a way anyone can understand.
Some people respond to this by speaking more slowly or more loudly (or both!) – but of course this does not help one bit. In fact, it may simply annoy the locals and make them less likely to want to try and help you.
Others might try and get a phrase or translation book to try and communicate. Have you ever had to try and communicate with someone who does this? It’s painful, but it’s a step better than gesticulating wildly and speaking in a different language slowly and loudly.
If you were fluent in the local language – none of this would be an issue. You’d be able to communicate quickly and effectively with nearly anyone you come into contact with and get the answers you seek or the information you need.
Working with computerized systems is no different.
Every day, most people interface with information systems of some kind – computers (tablets, laptops, smart phones, etc.), the Internet (search engines, web sites/apps, social media), and databases.
Yet most people don’t speak the “native language” of computerized systems. If you don’t speak the local language, why would you assume that the locals automatically “know” what you’re looking for and that you should be able to get you precisely the information you need?
So – what’s the “local language” of computerized systems?