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I have to write a essay discussing the topic "
Does the development and use of technology pose an employment risk to designers and technicians in the future?" I've created a survey with 7 questions it takes 2 minutes to complete and it would really help collect more data if you fill it in thankyou

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What a completely pointless survey. Nice to know the future is safe in their hands. So many things to say (as usual) but probably easier to copy and paste the hundreds of previous responses.

 

Maybe we need to introduce a quality threshold for surveys and research. If they are poor they get zapped? We do sometimes get good ones - but some like this, are just terrible. You can almost hear their teacher asking the question, and this is their attempt at answering it.

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TBF it's not actually a stupid question, & might even make a good PhD subject, but throwing it at students who will then expect a forum to provide all the answers IS stupid. On the other hand if the OP has already done lots of independent research but is too modest to mention it then I wish her well.
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To the OP - How technology impacts the jobs of technicians in theatre is completely different to how technology impacts the jobs of designers; why have these two disparate careers been lumped together in to one catagory and why are you asking for one answer to what is two fundamentally different questions?
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The thing with the creatives is that they rarely even know how many people it takes to do things anyway. For instance you can have a show that clearly more stage LX people simply because the design requires people to be hot plugging up scores of kits, or moving it around, and technology has impacts totally unexpected or not considered. The wonderful design that requires a level of technology understanding for when the designer isn't there is a good example. The designers, with perhaps an assistant put in complex and clever systems to do the things the design requires, but when they go wrong, the people left to fix it may well be the wrong people, with the wrong skills - this happens too much now. Because we can have dozens of DMX universes, we do, and the assumption is made that people are savvy with IP networks and nodes. Does this put older technical guys at risk from their younger counterparts? Is a video heavy show putting real pressure on the lighting folk, or the sound folk - depending on who put their head above the rail when it rolled into the venue. Do we pick different people because the designers get cleverer?
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......... if the OP has already done lots of independent research but is too modest to mention it then I wish her well.

I'm afraid you may have got a bit of backlash caused by the horde of students who hope that a post on the BR will save them from the need to think for themselves. I think the short answer to your subject is that, like Brexit, none of us knows. Like any change in technology it will undoubtedly render some jobs redundant, while creating others. As to whether there will be a net loss or gain your guess is probably as good as anyone else's.

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From a rock and roll perspective - prep was about putting tape on cable, and using a sharpy to mark that tape. No computer involved. Nowadays it’s printing labels, setting up nodes and networking, and on the build having a test signal from a laptop at dimmers. I get rather frustrated with some youngsters who seem to just be interested in the computer screen, you don’t rig a show via a mouse click. I’m not too much of a dinosaur to not be able to do labels / set up networks and nodes etc. but for all the advances in tech, it’s still a light, on a truss, attached to a structure via a chain motor, that needs power and control cable, and someone has to rig it together, and that hasn’t changed in my lifetime, and I can’t see it changing any time soon
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This is a 2000 word assignment marked by a training teacher. I have done independent research just thought I could add to my essay with some primary research sorry that you all seem personally offended by my survey.

It's not that we're offended, but this is not primary research. To be high quality/high status research you need to know who the respondents are, what their experience is and be in a position to assess the quality and quantity of the data you collect. How do you know the information has been presented to you by the right people? As background it's valuable to be able to see a number of perceptions, but is my contribution contextualised? Indeed, just using blue room membership we go from tired done it all retirees at one end to keen kids at school, maybe 14? It strikes me that the opinions above are more useful as a research contribution than the survey? That's all we're setting out for consideration. Was this set by a teacher in training, or a teacher who really knows the subject, because frankly, it's the sort of question that doesn't really need time spending on. 2000 words is a surface scratch, and can't remotely answer the question other than superficially.

 

Reading what everyone said - maybe you could just present the case that technology is simply a new set of tools to do a very old job. We throw technology at the job of throwing light on people. We can now throw far more than before, but the vital question is ..... is the result better.

 

Over Christmas we had a failure in a node, and no spare and nobody who was actually present when the thing was programmed. We lost all the movers, we lost waving rows of LEDs on the stage edge, we lost wireless DMX links to clever flying special effects. We did an entire show in old fashioned profiles and a few Fresnels - essentially everything in the rig that were using house dimmers. We lit the special effect with some old fashioned torches inside it. To the eye it looked like a panto from the 1980s. Nobody even asked, no adverse comments from the audience at all. It was pretty even and pretty flat. No changing colours, moving beams, striding and chase things. No moving textures in the floor, no twinkly cloths, no backlights in changing colours - but a functional show, with no dark spots (perhaps by luck, who knows?). Delving into menus on the desk, re-entering IP numbers and universe numbers restored the lights for the evening show. We use technology because we can, not maybe because we need it. The people who use it need to move with the times, and constant up-skilling is needed to cope.

 

Maybe you could just take this topic and submit this for the teacher's consideration. More than enough words and lots of viewpoints? Tell him or her to think of a better question next time!

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...sorry that you all seem personally offended by my survey.

 

Don't be. It looks like some people have started the new year in a thoroughly grumpy mood.

 

Indeed.

 

I completed the survey and found it easy enough to give the answers, which is one notch up on some we've had on here before. I can understand people saying that any data you're getting out of it will be somewhat lightweight, but if you're filling in the blanks with other research from elsewhere then I don't have a problem with that. Perhaps you should add a question at the end that asks "do you have any examples you can give or is there an opinion you would like to express?" so someone like Paul can give his Panto anecdote as part of the survey rather than having to leave it here. Otherwise, it's absolutely fine if used alongside other sources of data and information. Keep on keeping on!

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