There is no “technology industry”
Anil Dash

Remember those smart kids when you were in school? They’re all congregating in “Tech-something-or-other.”

Those pretty faces who got passable grades but weren’t really in to anything? They refer to “Technology” as a short-hand for “we need creative people here.”

It may be impolite to point this out, but most things people do in daily life don’t require a whole lot of unusual education and intelligence. Driving a truck, stocking a grocery store, framing a house, preparing food, keeping books for a business, or even nursing in the Emergency Room do not require extraordinary creativity or thought. It is usually the same skill set over and over. But the so-called “high-tech” industries are constantly learning new things. The stuff I knew 10 years ago is obsolete. The stuff I knew 20 years ago is largely forgotten. And the stuff I build today continues to morph.

The so-called “Technology-Industry” are those businesses that are developing so rapidly that the practitioners need to spend significant amounts of their time developing and keeping up with the state of the art. Those people are from the same mind-set from generation to generation. They were the steam engine mechanics of yesteryear, the early electricians, aviation designers, engine designers, and software and automation designers of today.

What has changed here is language. Managers in particular love to speak in abstractions so that they can appear to be erudite and complex. The more obtuse they are, the less likely that someone will question their motives or direction. So they make up abstractions like this to confound the masses. If we can’t parse what they’re saying, then we won’t question it until they act.

Confused people such as Mr. Dash write essays to attempt to parse deliberately obscured nonsense like this. He doesn’t have to. It is nonsense. It always was nonsense. Leaders think that they’re exhibiting “leadership” when they use big words like this in ways that confuse people. And the more people attempt to parse the unparsable, the more those “leaders” think they’re exhibiting post-modern “leadership.”

Please stop. It’s not helping.