What is a technologist? What does it mean to be one? Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary “its an expert in a particular field of technology”, but I think we can explain it better than that.
If we want to take a deeper look into the concepts and definition of what a “Technologist” is, its best to start with its origins. If we start by looking back at innovators like Herman Hollerith who could arguably be considered as one of the “founding fathers” of the computing industry. We will begin to see trends, behaviours and characteristics that give way to some of the answers we are looking for.
Herman was the first to start experimenting with punch cards, which led to his invention of the punched card tabulating machine. He was a major influencer on the 3rd and 4th ages of technology laying the foundations within the data processing industry. His work has transformed the way we collect, store and distribute digital data today. Herman eventually merged with Charles Ranlett Flint, the creator of the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) the precursor to IBM. Charles went on to build IBM into a leader of innovation and technology.
What drove them to succeed? In everything, there is a level of aptitude required for success. However, success as a technologist is also measured by your ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods and interpretations. I’m convinced that these historical figures and others like them carried these qualities.
This is not just about creating code and fixing bugs or bolting on another ‘out of the box’ software system. I’m talking about a blank canvas. The conceptualising of something not yet conceived and then building it. This is a true technologist.
Now, to those that are wondering: “Am I doing enough as a Technologist?” You may find the answer by referring back to your own intrinsic nature. Similar to Herman Hollerith or Charles Flint, you may have a deep desire for innovation, creativity and a passion to break-through the perceived boundaries within our industry. By drawing from these historical figures, we can identify characteristics that form a blueprint for what a Technologist should look like.
I also see an essential relationship between technology and imagination. Today technology is moving so fast that we need to have a deeply embedded desire to innovate and imagine better ways to make things work. Whether your a technology business owner or your working for one, you need to have the ability to conceptualise an idea and then convert it into the most effective and practical way to be applied. In order to maintain relevance, this needs to be an inherent trait for you and your business.
I’ll end on this, what we need to be looking for in ourselves and the companies we build is that passion and creativity that brings a collaborative partnership approach. Not because it sounds nice or we think it’s what everyone wants to hear, but because it’s the only way forward with any longevity. You can’t build an “IBM” without the entire recipe. So be sure that you’re working with people who are truly living there purpose and it shows through their passion for the art of technology.
If your interested in understanding more about who Experience Digital is and what we are doing to disrupt the way technology business operates, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘I’m convinced that the measurement of success as a technologist is in the conceiving of a new invention, or visualizing the potential of the discovery which requires the use of ‘creative faculties.’ This is the quintessential piece to the puzzle.’
Dillon da Costa”