My name is Zoe and I am a typical technologist. I played with coding on a ZX Spectrum as a small child, I read about Schrodingers cat as a teenager and I pursued mathematics, chosen by a whisper above the more practical engineering, as my degree subject. I joined Softwire, a bespoke software development agency, straight from university and worked as a programmer. I also LOVE Star Trek.
Technology jobs are ideal for people like me, but that is not the subject of this post. The subject of this post is that technology jobs are also ideal for people who are not at all like me.
Technology is a relatively new sector. Companies that we consider “tech companies” are at most half a decade old. This has a massive impact on the culture of these organisations. The stereotype of a sandal wearing, pizza eating geek may not be accurate, but the concept underlying that stereotype – that technology workplaces are modern, non-conformist and diverse – is absolutely spot on.
Technology is also expanding as a sector. Not only are new tech start-ups mushrooming into existence at a rate of over one a day, all organisations in all sectors are finding that tech must play a part in their strategy if they are to survive. Finance is almost completely digitised, fashion is being led by technology and education, medicine and retail are being transformed. Technology jobs pay well now, and are going to pay even better in the future.
Nor are the only jobs for arithmophilic, geeky, four-eyes like me. (Although, to be clear, you guys know you have a job here already, right?) As internet connectivity expands to cover fridges, garages, tables and glasses, so functionality becomes more complex and comprehensive. Paradoxically, as more can be delivered, we demand slicker, simpler and easier to use interfaces. Many key roles in technology – designer, product owner, user-interface expert, user-engagement expert, start-up founder and advocate – do not require you to be able to understand code and do require heavy doses of people skills.
In today’s world, smart people no longer work just for a pay-check. Those who are most successful talk constantly of passion, engagement and fulfilment. Technology companies, particularly fast-growing ones, have a plethora of roles available that will allow you to discover your place in the world. And that place will be around brilliant people, challenging work and maybe, just occasionally, a little bit of chat about Star Trek.
This post first appeared on the Talented Heads website.
26/8/2013 11:05:58 pm
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Managing Director of Softwire, technology and backgammon presenter. Plus a little bit of new music radio.