Translating Tech: Don’t get cocky

We’ve all been there. Sitting in a meeting, carefully explaining what it is that, “you do.” Defining acronyms, using kludged paraphrasing, and ham-fisted allegories. Sometimes, it feels like you’re speaking a different language. Well, on a certain level, that’s exactly what is happening.

The real trick, is don’t let it go to your head.

It’s easy to do. The fact that tech is hard makes it even easier to fall into this trap. However, this is quite possibly one of the biggest mistakes you can make as the office tech person.

By getting into a mindset that you know what’s the current state of tech, or have the best grasp on the pros and cons, you devalue your co-workers insights, and you cut yourself off from one of your strongest tools: A second opinion.

Tech enthusiasm is no longer the sole purview of technologists, IT professionals, coders, et al. The basic technical understanding of people increases every year. Sure, it’s not of the same depth as tech workers, but it comes with the benefit of emotional detachment. We are committed to tech and it colours our perceptions.

Tech people are often impeded at testing their own work; we miss things because of established patterns. And most techies will be fairly willing to admit we aren’t the best at UX or front-end design. However, our co-workers, dealing with what we build, can often quickly and concisely tell us what’s wrong and what will work. We just need to figure out how to make it happen.

The other thing is that we make mistakes. We miss things, use jargon, or simply forget something. Our co-workers can help jog our memory or simply tell us the right answer.

Remember, if we’re doing out jobs well, our co-workers will get better at tech and can help us ensure the best service possible.

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