I’ve been a computer engineer and programmer for 30+ years. During the last 15 years, I’ve delighted in being a Solutions Architect, which is a fancy term for someone who works with potential and real customers around how they can utilize your company’s stuff to create solutions to their problems. One of the best parts about being a Solutions Architect is that I get to quickly ascertain the listener’s technology experience level and interest and craft appropriate descriptions on the fly. For example, a tech company CTO, a Sr. Engineer and my retired attorney neighbor all might want to know what my company does (beyond “something technical in computers”). My answer to each of these people will sound different, but each answer is meant to satisfy each person’s curiosity and question in a manner appropriate to that person.
I really enjoy being able to craft an appropriate answer, no matter the audience. I also really enjoy that moment when a listener “gets it”. I can see it in their eyes and their demeanor and I know I’ve managed to communicate with another person.
Once upon a time, a fine fellow engineer told me “David, you need to use complex terms and make your writing more complicated so that people will think you are smart.” I am not interested in appearing smart to people, I am interested in communicating with people. Frankly, I think a person who can clearly explain apparently complicated stuff to millions of people of all backgrounds contributes a lot more to our world than someone who publishes papers that only four people in the world can possibly understand. I started this blog to practice explaining apparently complicated computer stuff to millions of people of all backgrounds. Seems like grand fun to me.
This blog’s tag line “Hidden computer technology described as simply as possible, but not simpler.” is my riff on a quote “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” attributed to the venerable theoretical physicist Albert Einstein.