" /> TechnicaLee Speaking: May 2006 Archives

« April 2006 | Main | June 2006 »

May 4, 2006

Two Examples

I'm sure this has been articulated elsewhere in the past, but just wanted to scribble it down while it was in my head:

All expositions of new or complex technologies should be accompanied by at least two examples from disjoint domains.

Technologies are not ends in and of themselves; they are tools which we use to solve domain-specific problems. But when an explanation of a previously-unfamiliar technology focuses on a single example, it's way too likely that the reader will forever associate the technology with the domain of the example. This hinders a full grasp of the extent and benefits of the technology, and can prevent new adopters from seeing creative and innovative uses of the technology outside of the domain.

We often learn best by example, but it's important not to let a single example typecast a technology within a particular domain. Two (or more) equally developed examples helps ameliorate this danger and showcases the technology itself rather than the example's domain.