You receive a ticket as you walk away from your desk and you notice it is the same person asking for the same thing as always. How do you handle this? Professionally you would just receive this ticket and do the work that is needed of you, but this time you decide to teach the user how to fix this recurring problem. To some this could be a way to shrug off a constant job or in other cases a teachable moment. For someone who thinks logically into the future you just want to solve this one problem at hand. People at the workplace can think of work and the future a lot differently, especially people who are visionaries, or the people who think logically. If you had to ask yourself what kind of person would you be? Would you be a visionary who plans the whole future out without thinking of the path needed to get there, or do you forego the aesthetic and get to the meat of the problem?
In 2010 Mac Slocum of Forbes magazine interviewed Michael Lopp (the author of “Being Geek”). Lopp says “Nerds are system thinkers. We have this clever illusion that the world is a knowable place. With think with enough work and enough time and enough effort, we can find a set of rules about everything. That is totally not true. Our favorite tool is the computer. And the computer is a system that does a predictable thing. Since that tool is omnipresent in our lives, it gives us the impression that everything’s like that.” My personal opinion on this is that he is right. Having an interaction with something day in and day out would definitely rub off in some way. But how in relation does the non geek crowd get along with these kinds of people?
To talk to a geek from a non-geek perspective seems quite challenging since you would be way out of your comfort zone. These kinds of people really know their stuff, can be broad, or even quite cynical in the way they think. “So, if you want to have a really happy, healthy and valuable IT group, I recommend one thing: Take an interest.
IT pros work their butts off for people they respect, so you need to give them every reason to afford you some.” Elo says. Respect and managing that respect seems to be a gateway to having a good relationship with your team of geeks (in the case that you are managing them.) I would classify myself kind of in this middle ground because I love to think what things need to be done to get to a certain goal, but also seeing a grand vision can be exciting! When I wrote my first program in basic java using processing I thought it was so fascinating that just a few lines of code could make something so cool, and since then I have enjoyed seeing what I could come up with in this new geeky field I discovered.
Evaluate yourself, take the time to think whether you are a geek or just a normal person with a vision. Do you get that high after you’ve built something or do you see this grand vision and it fills you with elation. Whatever path seems closest to you, you should take the time to understand the other side. Because with understanding comes a closeness that otherwise would not have been possible.