The Work

Who’s technologically savvy?

It depends on who you talk to.

I think it’s a pretty useless description. Technology is a tool, and there are many types of technology for many purposes – just like hammers and screwdrivers and jigsaws have different purposes. You’re only technologically inept if you can’t use the tools to do the things you need to get done.

According to Bernardo, I’m a technologically savvy person. Meanwhile, my brother designs chips for Oracle and has rigged his house up with a server (for media), and God only knows what else; his wife is an engineer of transportation systems. My sister is an editor for Breastcancer.org, where she works with CMS systems; her partner is a graphic designer who can make movies out of potato chips and a green screen. We all use technology in different ways, for different things, and take a certain amount of joy in using tools to get our work done and make our lives better. I’m never going to code anything more complicated than basic HTML; I work with developers who handle Drupal like throwing stars.

It’s not enough to assume a certain level of technological competence by merely asking the question, “How comfortable are you with technology?” There are so many degrees, so many tools, to which technology gets applied. It won’t be long before we start taking certain technologies for granted – just as we do hammers, or sewing machines, or light bulbs – while continuing to be awed by others (like genome sequencing).

4 thoughts on “Who’s technologically savvy?

  1. I asked that “How comfortable” question of a potential hire a few years ago … and have regretted not going into much more detail ever since. The days when knowing a little about a lot are long gone. Excellent post.

      1. Exactly! The answer I got was that the person had managed various (large) websites and I was dumb enough in the moment to assume that meant a decent level of understanding of html. My mistake in that moment: I assumed that because I always hand-code, everyone else does too. Done a lot of head-desking ever since, but it was a good reminder of the need to assume nothing.

      2. Yup – I can write some badass sql queries, and I have enough of an understanding of HTML to grok semantic tagging, but it really depends on one’s own experience vs the other person’s. I can’t build a web app from scratch.

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