What type of computer/software user are you?

Nearly all computer users can be divided into three broad categories based on the way they think about and use their computers.



The vast majority of computer users, this might include yourself, are application-oriented. These types of users have training and experience exclusively with the commercial software they use on a day-to-day basis. They understand general concepts associated with computers such as files, folders, saving, and deleting. They live in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) world; although they may be aware that what they see on the screen is not an entirely accurate representation of what the computer is doing, they are not interested in understanding hidden implementations. These types of users have learned how to base their thinking around the capabilities of the applications they use regularly, and they accept whatever limitations that thinking may impose. They are practical, learning as much or as little as they need to get their work done, and are usually not interested in advanced features or becoming an advanced or expert user of the software they use.  If a new problem arises, they’ll usually look to a new piece of software to deal with that problem. Spreadsheet “programmers” fall into this category, as may some programmers who work primarily with application scripting tools such as Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications. Nearly all commercial software is targeted at this group of users, and these users are usually considered to be “computer-literate.


The second largest group of computer users consists of goal-oriented users. These users focus exclusively on the goals they want to accomplish and neither understand nor care about the software they use to accomplish those goals. This could be called the “I just want to … type a letter” group. They only see the final product. They do not care about, for example, the difference between a word processor document and a PDF image of that same document, so they do not understand why they can make textual edits to one (Word .doc) and not the other (PDF image). They could be described as “computer-illiterate,” even if they work with computers on a regular basis. Many very intelligent people, scientists and scholars, fall into this category. They are frustrated by the limitations of the software they use because they do not understand the reasons for those limitations. Though they may use common computer terms such as “files”, they typically associate those concepts within their real-world metaphorical analogues, resulting in confusion. They’ll often say things like: “Why can’t I keep this picture in my ’email file’?”


The third and smallest group of computer users, is comprised of what I’ll call “hackers”. Hackers are computer-oriented computer users. They have learned how to think like a computer, to understand the internal processes the computer goes through. They favor small tools (e.g. the command line, shell scripts) over large software (WYSIWYG) applications because they want to be in precise control of what the computer is doing at all times. They comfortably work with data in “raw” data formats such as XML,  JSON and other text based files. This does not necessarily mean they are tied down with the minor details of implementation; computer-oriented users often can work at much higher levels of abstraction than other users. Hackers tend to seek out the abstract patterns inherent in whatever end result they are working towards, then implement those patterns in the computer. A new problem rarely requires new tools or software, merely a new application of existing tools. They will create whatever new tools, scripts or batch files, that are needed to bring the computer up to the level of the problem, rather than trying to adapt the problem to fit the computer. On the other hand, their solutions tend to be brittle, with a lot of exposed complexity that makes them unsuitable for non-hacker users.

Nearly all commercial software, GoldMine CRM included, is designed for application-oriented computer users, while most open-source software is designed for hacker-oriented computer users. Very little software, in my opinion, is designed for goal-oriented computer users.

  • What category of computer user do you think you fall into?
  • How does your use of GoldMine CRM fit in with your overall use of computers?
  • Do you often find yourself wanting to be able to accomplish something within your GoldMine CRM and not able to?
  • What level of computer training and/or GoldMine CRM training have you invested in?

When it comes to GoldMine CRM training  and basic computer skills training there are LOTS of options and here are just a few:

GoldMine Training Options:

  1. GoldMine Instructor based Training
  2. GoldMine Informational/Training Webinars
  3. GoldMine Basic Training Videos
  4. GoldMine Advanced Training Videos
  5. GoldMine User and Admin Guides

Computer Training Options:

  1. Microsoft Windows Training Videos/Courses
  2. Windows 10 Basic Training Videos
  3. Learn how to use Excel training options

The internet is full of valuable information and there is no shortage of resources for learning and improving your knowledge in just about any topic, not just GoldMine CRM or computers.  I encourage you to explore your options for advancing your skills and capabilities, whether it be reading free training materials, watching free training videos or paying an experienced/expert to train you and guide you, all are options that you should consider.

As always, if you have questions about the training services that First Direct Corp. provides please give us a call at (845) 221-3800 or contact us online. You can also view a list of our services here http://www.1stdirect.com/services/