Wading Deeper into Technology
Let’s start with a fact: 46.4 percent of the world’s population use the internet.
In New Zealand the (professional) services sector is our biggest employer. Similar to the rest of world’s developed economies, services far exceed agriculture.
If you work in knowledge intensive services, you’re probably using a lot of tech (whether it’s software, cloud apps, or the internet).
The non-technical people (i.e. those other than developers, programmers, and IT staff) who work in this sector merely dip their toes into the vast ocean of terminology, ideas, and concepts that make up tech and the digital economy.
A large portion of these non-tech professionals are being left behind. Standing on the edge of a huge body of knowledge can be very intimidating. Many of us don’t want to risk wading deeper.
Web-based technology has moved so fast that many have big knowledge gaps about how it is built, how it is optimised, and what it could do. The bottom rung of what it means to be digitally literate is getting higher but we all need to embrace this digital world in order to keep climbing.
Enspiral Dev Academy trains people to be professional and highly communicative web developers. It was started two years ago by Joshua Vial and Rohan Wakefield with the mission to expand our digital economy by growing world-class talent.
At Enspiral Dev Academy we have strong ties with the tech industry and we respond to need within the broader economy. Some of the common questions we hear are:
- How does email actually work?
- Why are tech people always asking for overly specific details when I just want a straight answer?
- If the techs I’ve hired are professionals, why do they avoid giving clear time estimates?
- What is the difference between Angular JS and JQuery?
- Why are some coding languages in vogue, and why are some more suited to a project than others?
Tech for Non Tech is an answer to these recurring questions in the form of a one-day programme that provides the key concepts and language of web development and smart ways to work well with developers.
The Importance of Digital Literacy for Success
Understanding how developers manage complexity by scoping and spec’ing a feature or a task (like when to refactor, or deciding which database to use) is essential for anyone working with technology companies or an internal tech team.
Knowing why scoping is essential, and why complexity estimates are more important than time estimates, is crucial. All of this leads to a happier, more productive team.
A shared language is also a necessity for non-technical startup founders. There have been several famous occasions where a ‘founder’s dilemma’ between tech and non-tech founders has sunken a company before it can take off.
Having a solid grasp of the building blocks of the web and software development is not a ‘nice-to-have’ for any professional serious about their career. It is a crucial ‘you should learn this now.’
Building a business team of knowledgeable, informed and empathetic employees is fundamentally important for any tech service company, digital startup, or business-facing team in government.
Government is Realising the Need
A good many public sector organisations are digitising their systems and platforms to keep up with global trends and public demand. Digitising services offers more accessible, more efficient ways for the public to engage and get what they need.
Huge problems have emerged from government agency interactions with tech service companies where the scoping process was flawed. Unrealistic expectations and a lack of good relationships have sometimes meant that services and products do not meet user needs and blow out on budget. Think Novopay.
Join the Future
Let’s face the facts. Developers and programmers hold the blueprints for the future. They are the key to a new era of work.
Just as James Bond and his fellow field agents at MI6 are now redundant without a tech guru pulling the strings, so are professionals who do not have a good understanding of web development and software.
The James Bond character of ‘Q’ was formerly played by a charmingly old-school John Cleese. In keeping with the times, Cleese has been replaced by a young tech expert who has designed some of the most sophisticated security protocols in existence. Being replaced by a savvy young upstart is not the solution. Upskilling can be easy and hugely interesting.
The Tech for Non Tech programme gives non-technical professionals the language of the digital sphere. The one day course runs on the 19th February and the 11th March. Tickets here.
Enspiral: Solving Problems Big and Small
New Zealand faces a real need to get its economy off the grass and into the future. The work of the highly skilled technical educators at Enspiral Dev Academy is to help foster this transition.
Enspiral is a network of social impact business working at the intersection of digital technology and collaboration.
Tech for Non Tech is an example of the way Enspiral builds solutions to problems big and small. As more and more people come online and our lives become more dependent on digital we’re committed to continuing to help raise literacy along the way.