Are we too nerdy?

Last Update: 19.10.2018. By Jens in Newsletter

I’ve been thinking about some business stuff for the last days and it hit me that some part in me is still thinking too much about tools. That’s neither bad nor good. It depends on your goals. Yours and mine might differ. I share my thoughts anyway.

A tool in this context is just a thingie we can use to generate an outcome.That could be a hammer or a more sophisticated one like Spring Boot. Without the urge to generate an output with that tool, the tool is worthless. There’s no sense in focussing on the tool if you don’t use it for something. Whatever that something is. It can be the joy of having a hammer collection or it can be the joy of making your business more profitable. I’ll focus on the latter as it has more influence on our working life than a hammer collection.

If we focus too much on the tool itself for the sake of the tool, we totally miss the outcome we or in case of work our client or employers want. Being obsessed with a tool like Spring Boot is like being obsessed with a particular car engine. There are folks who love cars. They are also obsessed with tools like engines, spoilers, wheels or whatever. Same for us with coding stuff.

Both groups have their own language, discussions about what is the best, etc. For the geeks inside such a focus makes total sense. It’s the thing that generates an outcome for them. Be that love, looking like a cool guy with a cool car and so on. However, for many, it is a hobby and for the rest, their own group is often also their customers or employers.

From the outside though, they look all the same. Geeks, nerds, whatever you want to call them. Alien to the others. Biz guys fear working with devs as much as we do with auto mechanics. I hate it when my car breaks and I have to deal with them. It always feels like I am bamboozled…

So, if our employers or customers are not part of our peer group, shifting away from the geekdom towards their business outcome helps. We don’t look that scary now and we can adjust our geekdom so it helps to reach their outcome and not our desire to play with the tools.

Standing in front of my customer and telling them what I can do with my hammer and how great a hammer it is, better than all the hammers out there, will not help if I don’t even know, neither understand or care what my customer actually wants to archive. What their goal is. After all, they pay me for that, not for hammering.

Think about it.

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