“Hidden Figures” Was Great…Now What?

I knew that once this film was made available to the masses that I would start receiving calls and texts from my nontechie network about not only how great it is BUT more importantly…now what?

For the past two-years, my friends and family have heard little else from me outside of the need for them to begin to embrace technology as tools rather than toys and the need for computer programming to be this generations required 2nd language. No longer can we afford to sit back and let technology pass us by.

Technology can no longer be treated as the fun, fad thing to consider only when replacing your cellphone or during the holidays. Technology will increasingly drive our economy in general and our personal lives specifically and it is the individuals with the ability to understand and solve technical problems that will dominate the landscape moving forward.

So now what?

I have 3 pieces of advice for those of you who have been inspired to action and desire to know how you can move into the technology space:

  1. Understand that technologies are always changing, so learn to embrace life-long learning. Be prepared to further develop current or learn a completely new skill often. It is this acceptance of the need for continuous innovation that is both unique and frustrating about technology but is the foundation for which the “next big thing” will come.
  2. Start small. TECHNOLOGY is a big word that means different things to different people. Take your time and figure out where you fit. Some areas of interest are: hardware/product creation, software development, security, data, project management, entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, education, etc. Technology now touches every industry and finding your place could be a simple matter of discovering the technology touch points in your current field.
  3. Get Connected! Sign up for Meetup.com and search for local technology groups. Meetup is a great website for finding groups of any interest in your local community. Once you’ve found 2–3 groups that interest you, join them and attend a Meetup. Everything about finding your place in technology is about networking. Next, join Twitter. Twitter is the place to discover people, ideas, and most importantly opportunities in technology. Start by searching for and following a few people in technology, then retweet those things you find interesting, and when you become comfortable, start commenting on others tweets and tweeting your own thoughts/ideas.

This blog post, like the movie Hidden Figures, was created to educate and inspire you. I often describe the technology space as the Wild West because there are very few rules and new discoveries are happening everyday. This is truly uncharted territory, where opportunity is available to everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, ideology/beliefs, etc. if they are willing to do some exploring and the work. Will there be challenges…of course! But it’s been my experience, in my short time in the technology space, that the payoffs are more than worth it.

Good luck and use the power of technology to blaze your own course!