Next Steps in IT

by Tom Bridge

By trade, I'm a technologist, meaning, I evaluate technologies for their usefulness, and when they are useful, I recommend them to people who need them, they're just unaware they exist. This makes me, effectively, a consultant, something that many businesses see and run screaming from, or screaming to in certain situations. Technologists often see themselves as arcana, which essentially translates to people who have skills that are not common, or detail-orientation that means their skills and knowledge are opaque to common people. This is both good and bad, but more often than not it leads to misunderstanding and serious miscommunication.

Good technologists are capable of framing the metaphor that users can see, get a handle on, and adapt to without having to work incredibly hard. Finding that metaphor, and doing the legwork to make it palatable to the user, is what they pay you for most of the time. It's in making users smarter and more literate that the job satisfaction of the technologist goes up. Sure, some users will never, ever want to know why their email isn't working, but knowing the ones who are open to knowledge is crucial.

This brings me to my point, and to the link I'm about to share. Good technologists don't just know things, they know how to use them well, and the author of that manifesto is quick to draw the lines that make this division very, very clear. Mac technologists should take this list to heart and begin to understand that making yourself transparent is not useful, nor is making yourself opaque, but become translucent: an intermediary for technology and sociology, with knowledge on both sides and conversationality and understanding between them.