Digital tech is pervasive, but the people who know how to build it are not. This is causing us enormous difficulties, from the project manager who can’t describe a problem to the developer, to the exec who is struggling with IT support. Without a common language, techys and non-techys talk in metaphors and approximations. Unsurprisingly, when both sides are making assumptions about what the other means, these assumptions don’t always match up. As things get lost in translation, time is wasted and money goes down the drain, and a product can end up so different from what the client needed that it is never used.
There is a lot of talk at the moment about encouraging people to learn to code, and teaching children proper programming skills. This is important, but it isn’t enough. Right now we need a quicker fix. We need a solution that gets someone in every organisation feeling comfortable in the language of the internet, so that they can manage developers with comfort instead of fear. If we can help those on the front line communicate more effectively, we will reduce mistakes and save resources as well as people’s sanity.
We need to get ‘conversational’ in code. Not necessarily able to write our own, just enough to be understood. Skillab can help us do that.