The Bilingual Dilemma

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We are, all of us, products of our environment. But as we develop, leave our familiar surroundings and go out into the world, we have an opportunity to learn new languages. And I don’t just mean the language of speech – I mean vernacular. There are many languages, even more dialects, but there are also cultural and meme-based languages as well. Take, for instance, “Tech Speak.”

There was a recent interview with some of the longtime residents of Venice Beach, CA about their reaction to Snap (the company that makes SnapChat) deciding to park their young millennial selves and company on the beach in Venice. The biggest complaint was that the kids, with security badges around their necks and fancy-looking spectacles coming in and out of the Snap building and sometimes stopping at the food stands and bars in the neighborhood has little time to talk to anyone who didn’t want to talk about technology.
Kids can be forgiven these kinds of self-centered attitudes, but what about grown adults involved in complicated technology projects? Based on what I’ve seen, the problem is the same. Both sides have a point. On the business side, they believe that it’s hardly worth their time to dive into database theory, and the tech folks building that database feel a little bit busy to be reading up on EBITA, thank you very much.

I get it. I will say, however, that no matter what you do for a living, your life will be only enriched by broadening the things you understand and can talk about. Also, projects go much, much smoother when everyone can speak a little bit of the other language in the room. This is not a rant on my part, by the way — far from it, since after all, I have made an excellent living for the past twenty years and probably will for another twenty merely by choosing a couple of languages that I didn’t come across in middle school.
If you are having the kind of project meltdown that happens when business can’t talk to tech and visa-versa, let me know. I can probably help. Better .. if you are contemplating a technology project, and you want it to go well – contact me – I’m quite sure I can help get your project on the right track.