Mar 1, 2011

Control the Geek and use Wisely

You know a technology geek when you see one because when they see a new cool technology, their eyes light up.  They think new technology is sexy and they want to find a way to incorporate it into their lives.  This is what makes them so knowledgeable about technology...they love to tinker with it.

Technology geeks find ways to use new technology where they can.  They are the first to learn to Tweet, use the cloud, and remote access their home computer from their smartphone.  Studying and putting new technologies into action is a great way to learn it; however, just because a technology is new and cool, does not mean it should be the solution to your business need.

Show Restraint

We geeks have to show restraint.  We can't jump on the first release of Flash 10 or ActionScript 3 to take advantage of the new features and leave or users behind who require minimum support for Flash 8.  Just because Articulate is easy to use and creates cool eLearning projects, doesn't mean we should use it to do a true to life software simulation.  Twitter is an awesome way to communicate but simply want work any many corporate cultures.

When Ready...Apply

As technology geeks, we need to use our love of learning new technologies in a different way.  We need to first diagnosis the business need, then pull from our experience with new technologies to suggest the best solution.  Going to iPad?  You'll want a tool that can produce HTML5 code.  Creating a software simulation?  You'll want a tool that does a great job of doing screen captures.  If we always make a diagnosis before having a tool in mind, we are more likely to please our customers and co-workers.

Paradigm Shift

Of course, sometimes the business request itself is biased towards a particular technology.  Often a business need is tied to old technology or an old way of doing things.  In these cases we technology geeks can pump up our brain muscles and make a case for trying something new.  Review with the client the business need and resultant action needed by employees.  In many cases one of the new cool technologies is exactly what they need and you can help push the company to bigger and better things.

Go get your geek on but keep it in the toolbox until you understand the business need!


Richard said...

When talking about business needs, the more you know technology, the more you are reluctant to upgrade the technology in your organisation if the upgrade doesn't solve a profound problem, because introducing a big change equals to introducing a series of new problems . But in fact, many technology geeks are forced to make the move.

Jonathan Shoaf said...

You're right Richard...experienced technologists understand big change is never as easy as it appears. Being an early adopter of technology has its risks!