Having posted off my final written exam paper for my
German language course, and feeling pretty confident about the
quality, I drove to work this morning feeling fairly relaxed.
As I drove, I realised that there is a huge gap between the quality
of my driving skills and my German language skills.   My driving
skills are "over learned skills".   It is "second nature".
I can do it in my sleep.   (Not really, but you get the picture.)
My German language skills, however, are taxing to exercise.
I have to think through each sentence, translating as I go,
worrying my way through genders, conjugation, and word order.
They are light years away from becoming over learned skills.
At work, I recently encountered a situation where I was struggling to
remember a simple keystroke sequence in
The sequence was
one I had over learned to the point of no longer actually knowing what
the sequence was...   My fingers just did it.   Unfortunately,
I was on a different (German) style keyboard where the finger movement
required was different.   I was at a loss...
and I sometimes get caught out by over learned skills when we swap cars.
Our running joke is to "roll down" the window to check for rain
after the wipers are noisily scraped across the dry windscreen when
really it was the turn indicator that was needed.
Over learned skills in the use of desktop software are a joy for helping
maintain efficient work levels.   So, there is a risk that application
changes can cause a slowdown.   The challenge for application designers
is to maximise the usefulness of the application while minimising the time
it takes to get the users back to where they can do their job in their sleep....
...You know what I mean.