Every generation has cultural artifacts it thinks are awesome. Think about movies and television. Forty(-ish) years ago, everyone raved about movies like Star Wars, The Godfather and Grease, or shows like M*A*S*H, Happy Days and All in the Family. We still have Star Wars in 2016, as well as other artifacts that have either undergone a phoenix-like rebirth (can you believe we're in season six of the new Hawaii Five-O?), or simply never left the stage (the next new Star Trek series begins in January). There are also new and different towering cultural phenomena, however, like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books and films, or the zombie-tastic The Walking Dead on AMC.
The truly iconic touchstones get so big that it becomes commonplace to assume everyone knows all about them. Who hasn't watched at least one episode of The Walking Dead, right? We tend to think that if a popular thing is familiar to, and beloved by one person, then it must therefore be familiar to, and beloved by every other person. At a certain point it almost becomes either a badge of honor or a token of shame to know nothing about, say, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, or the foggy backwater of Forks on Washington state's Olympic Peninsula.
It's not just when it comes to pop culture, of course, that we fall into these patterns of thinking. Here at TestOut Continuing Education, we work with TestOut's signature LabSim tool every day, and speak and interact with customers who are equally familiar with it, and equally devoted to its educational advantages and general usefulness. We get accustomed to sliding LabSim into that collective, communal consciousness where everyone knows the things it can do, as well as how well it does them. Who hasn't used LabSim to build a new PC, or connect a fleet of workstations to the company network, right?
The truth is that there are plenty of people who use other products, or don't have anything to do with IT certification in the first place. (Yet.) And while for the most part LabSim sells itself to people who use it, there's got to be a first contact that comes from somewhere. Just like you have to convince a friend to watch that first episode or two of Designated Survivor, or Supergirl, before they start to understand why everyone is talking about it. There are probably plenty of people out there who could benefit from a career in information technology, but who don't even have a frame of reference for whether that's possible.
The point is that if you've taken one of our courses and used LabSim, then you know how special it is. But there are plenty of other people out there who could benefit from TestOut's courseware, but may not even know what it is. So tell your friends. Tell a stranger. There's no benefit to anyone from assuming that everyone will already know what you're talking about, because why wouldn't they know that? Sometimes, no matter how obvious it seems to us that Jaws is a cinema classic that everyone should see, there are plenty of people out there who don't even know it's a movie.
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