Software training gives me opportunities of meeting many people of colorful characteristics. In a recent cementing software training session conducted in Dubai, I sat with a senior gentleman (a student) during our lunch break. He told me his stories as a cementing engineer in various locations around the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). “All my experiences are field related. I have never used any cementing software. Should I worry about it?” He was a bit concerned about the CEMPRO software (mud displacement model) that I was going to teach in the next few days.
“You don’t have to worry about it. I am sure you will be fine.” I answered his question. I said so because I have been asked similar questions a few times before. In fact, CEMPRO is simple enough, especially for an experienced engineer like him.
Our training went smoothly. The group exercise format made students feel at ease. It ended up that the senior gentleman was able to run CEMPRO from scratch (input data) and obtain all the results. He answered all the questions correctly.
We all have comfort zones we have developed in our lives just like each tennis player has a specific comfort zone in tennis court. Some of us feel really at home when doing our daily assignments and some are afraid of public speaking. As a recreational tennis player, my comfort zone is the baseline. Whenever I come to the net, I feel nervous and most likely make wrong movements and shots.
We all intend to amplify our weakness as well as our strengths. When we do so to our weakness, we are prone to stay in our comfort zone. This tendency can be gradually changed with some will, procedures or tools.
One of the methods to let people step out of their comfort zone in our software school is to have students form groups and let groups compete with each other to a certain degree. The group dissolves the fears of individuals' and makes the learning more fun.
We also have to admit that users’ fear of software comes from poorly designed software. If software companies spend more time thinking as users, the end products would be dearer to the end users.
It is our goal in PVI to provide drilling engineers with user-friendly drilling software that can be easily learned and used daily. Initially, software might sound like a high-tech territory, a playground for geek, therefore a non-comfort zone for drilling engineers. However, carefully designed software plus a training session can turn the usage of drilling software into one of the comfort zones of drilling engineers.