A recent article in the Ottawa Citizen (Canadian UAV Training Questioned But Australian Military Commander Says Heron UAV Capability Like “Crack Cocaine” For the ADF) describes the use of UAVs by the military whom are being trained by members of the public in Australia. In this case, Israeli technology is being employed in Afghanistan by Australian military agencies, which in turn are trained by Canadians.
““My biggest bugbear is civilians with low experience (all on UAVs) teaching very experienced military guys,” said the Wing Commander from the RAAF. Aside from the obvious complaint, this raises an interesting question – is there a training gap between military and non-military users of high technology, specifically 3D related technologies?
In application few people would want to compete with the military when it comes to warfighter knowledge and experience. That said, do you think developers of products and services intended for military use involving 3D are better known by military personnel or developers?
When we talk about applications and technologies moving from university and developer researcher buildings, some organizations do better than others, often having closer links to the end-users such as military personnel. Others do not for a wide variety of reasons.
The question of user experience being translated back into product development is an important aspect for most product development. In fact, I know very few companies that simply build products without a knowledge or contact to end users. In 3D applications such GIS, CAD, remote sensing, surveying and other fields, there are also professional bodies that participate in the development of technologies – but not always.
3D visualization is a prime example of applications being built that incorporate a large number of specialized technologies in an integrated fashion. One might reasonably argue that the ability to ‘effectively’ integrate technology is a key element of excellent education and the attainment of knowledge.
Where does 3D integration come from though?
– some might come from developers
– some might come from users
– some might come from specialized applications (like the Australian Air Force needs)
We often see a wide number of applications from the military that involve 3D technologies, including the UAV example. Clearly the military is funded to a different level, there is long term service and education programs to develop integration and the goals, mission and knowledge are well-known and high.
When we witness the continuing debate in places like Germany, Canada, US and other places all saying “we do not have enough skilled workers” in the face of available jobs, although the unemployment rate is high, then what are we actually observing?
Is it a breakdown between high-end users like the military, and the development of a skilled workforce? Is this only a military question? Or, is it time to cross-pollinate professional organizations with non-members, drop the public into the military, and mix up employees on the production line – all in the hopes improved skill development arises?
I am asking more questions the further I write. But it seems clear to me, that complaining about education and training represents a flaw in the overall system that once removed would ultimately result in better products and services.
How do we get the 3D and visualization workforce there?