Broadening Experience & Skill

I've been a technologist for as long as I can remember. I'll let you guess my age before I give it away talking about what model of Apple and IBM got me started.

I used to believe every problem could be solved by application of the right technology solution, and I'm not so sure that isn't still true. However, the statement dramatically oversimplifies how you get to understand the problem you *think* exists and you *think* someone wants to solve.

One of the amazing things about being a sysadmin, a hardware specialist, a linux engineer, is that you get to build the platforms that others build their visions on. As I started to move through my career I began to want to understand in more detail what a company was trying to build. Even as a platform person, it became apparently that I couldn't just make recommendations and build solutions based on speeds and feeds.

This is one of the reasons I sought out Cloud which eventuated in a position as Customer Engineer with Google. I now had access to the the technology stakeholders - the C I/T/D/AI/P Os - who were directly responsible for their division, new product or startup. More importantly, it highlighted just how ill prepared i was to understand their needs.

A particularly brilliant coworker of mine in Melbourne suggested a diploma course run by Emeritus which was a combination of product innovation and design methodologies from MIT, Sloan, IDEO and others. I never would have suspected the value this gave to me as a technologist.

I now had a vocabulary and understanding of how my technology can be used in service of my customer's goals. Not only that, but it gave me the ability to ensure we weren't collectively missing any steps in their product or service design journey. Can what I bring to the table as a product and solutions company help improve feasibility - or even more?

Truly understanding the user need should be taught as an essential first step, no matter if you're a data scientists, sysadmin, or network security engineer. I encourage you to invest 3-9 months in either a product design or product management course.

I promise it will make you a better technologist.


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