The thing about users.

Yesterday I emailed a developer of some code I was using. He responded, which was nice, and gave me some suggestions. He also mentioned that my question was better for a mailing list and that if he answered every email from any user that he would not get any coding done. This got me thinking. It’s blatantly obvious that I should have checked a mailing list. I don’t know why I hadn’t looked for one, or searched it’s archives before I emailed him. I typically have that problem, where I will email something and not really think about it before I email it. This particular developer was quite nice, and offered suggestions, rather than just sending me towards a mailing list, and I thanked him for his time, and for writing the driver to begin with. This brings me to my point / thought today about users.
I don’t consider myself as a user. All day long I deal with “users” of the systems I maintain. I typically think of users in a derogatory manner, they are just users, they don’t have knowledge of how the system works, they don’t care how the system works, they just want the system TO work. So have I become that which I loathe? Of course I don’t think the software that I was working with was a box that I put things into and then magic happens and stuff comes out. In that I mean that I see the curtain and I understand there is stuff behind the curtain, I may not be able to read it, but I know it’s there and how it works, so does that classify me as a user? I would think not.
I think there should be some kind of club or secret handshake between those who do and make technology work. Maybe some kind of rating system, cause I am obviously not a developer, I have never needed to write code to make some piece of hardware work. I don’t know if I would even like that. The people who do this would be higher on the rating system for things of that nature. For things that involve networking, my rank should be higher, and treated as that of an equal between my peers.
Now don’t get me wrong, the developer of the driver was not treating me any different than he would be treating someone who had emailed him asking how to install the cd for their windows installation. And maybe my question was quite “noob”ish. I don’t know.
-Jonathan