“How to be worth your weight in Gold!”
As a technical professional, do you want to be worth your weight in GOLD to your employer? Do you want to be so valuable that your boss thinks he or she can’t let you go?
If your answer is “YES” then there is only one answer regarding your behavior. Your behavior as a technical professional has to be as a “bridge between the technical and the non-technical worlds”.
This is so fundamentally important that those who can perform this task for the general public actually become famous. They become the “rock stars” of the technical world.
Remember Carl Sagan? He was the first of this generation to make technology understandable to the public. And now you may know Neil deGrasse Tyson of the American Museum of Natural History.
He is following in the footsteps of Carl Sagan. And why is this so important, you might ask?
This is so important because technology is become more and more important and intertwined in our everyday lives. What you do, as a technologist, is more and more influential in the world and the public either understands it and the implications or they make it up. And when the public makes up the impact of technology they can many times be wrong.
It is therefore, important for technologists to be able to explain what they do, why they do it, and what it all means.
Granted, most of you will not become Carl Sagans or Neil deGrasse Tysons. Most of you will not become the “rock stars” of the technological world.
However, inside your companies you have the capability to do just that. inside your companies you have the capability to become the spokesperson for technology, to be the bridge between the technical world and the non-technical world. And we all know it’s necessary. Your non-technical colleagues often don’t understand what you are talking about, not because they are incapable of understanding but because you are not helping them to understand. If you want people to understand you and your world, it’s incumbent upon you, yes it’s your responsibility to help them understand. Don’t blame it on them. Don’t think that they should be capable of understanding your technical explanations. If you want others to understand your world, explain it to them so they can understand.
Just listen to the tapes of Carl Sagan or listen to the CDs of Neil deGrasse Tyson. You’ll hear technical explanations presented in a way that most non-technical people will understand.
If you want to break out of the technical mold, if you want to break out of the technical egg shell, if you want to be as valuable as Gold to your company, then be that bridge between the technical world and the non-technical world. Make your technical world accessible to everyone and watch your contribution expand exponentially.