Sunday 3 March 2019

I'm Changing My Profile - I'm NOT Not technical

I'm changing my profile.

'I'm not technical but.............' that's how many of my presentations start.

Occasionally someone would say I was, and I'd just laugh it off.

I'm changing my profile. Let me tell you Why:

A few weeks ago someone I really admire, asked me to if I wanted to be considered for a Women in IT celebration panel. I was really honoured to be asked.

However the response I got when I said yes, was a surprise," but you can't say you're not technical".

She also shared with me a blog post 'If You Can Use A Fork You're Technical' by April Wensel.

Photo from April Wensel Blog

I thought about the post, and I agreed with it. 

April says "Therefore, when we say someone is “technical” or “not technical” or “not very technical,” we’re communicating virtually nothing. Everyone is “technical” by some definition in some domain and is capable of learning other technical skills in other domains. Being more precise in our language will improve our communication."

I used to be technical, I started my IT career as a Cobol programmer (I'm too old to be a developer).

I've shared how I got into IT before, it wasn't exactly planned. And I think that was the start of it, I always had a little bit of feeling a fraud. I've spoken at STEM events and that made it worse, I left school at 16, no IT degree for me.

I was good at programming and then analysis, but it wasn't what I wanted to do, I wanted to work more at the strategic part of the process, helping the customers understand what they needed and how IT could help. 

And even though I didn't think of myself as overly technical I very much agree with the Women in IT initiatives, as long as they are to encourage women, not simply to moan.

I have been blessed I've worked for people who allowed me to find my role and whilst sometimes difficult to articulate, I have always added value and been encouraged.

I have been told, my role doesn't constitute being technical and I guess I just accepted that, but actually, more people have disagreed and believe I am, and laugh (or sigh) when I say I'm not.

I'm changing my profile - I'm a Technical Linguist 

My skill is in understanding the technology, not just What it Does, but How but it does it, and then being able to articulate that to any audience, technical or business user and any level, beginner to C Level.

Alex Gorbahov was the first person to articulate this in Australia 10 years ago. Then I have also been recognised by Oracle not only as an ACE Director but with an award in 2011

I also believe that to be successful in IT you need to be able to work both deep in the technology and the business. In 2014 Thanks to OTN and Bob Rhubart I had the chance to make a two minute tech tip video, and since I don't do technical, I took the opportunity to talk about the importance of IT & Business speaking, something that came up in my AppAdvantage session. (You need to watch it to understand why I am wearing socks on my hands).

I spend a fair amount of my time understanding new technology, what sits under Fusion Applications and the PaaS to extend it. Then I make that real for organisations using Fusion Applications. I guess you could call me a Technical Interpreter but that is a word I struggle to say quickly (I also can't say bureau properly either). 

So I'm going with Technical Linguist.

The journey to changing my profile, started with being sent the blog post, but that week I was at a Storytelling in Business Course and I chose this as my topic. As we went through the course I had to tell it 4 times and my colleagues were all so supportive, not only for the story but for the outcome.

I'm changing my profile - I'm a Technical Linguist 

And I love it!

No comments: