Friday, August 03, 2012

Technology, Art and Leadership

Technology is like art, you don't need to be an artist to understand it or appreciate it. You need to be an artist to create it.

This was my answer today to some good feedback I got about the way I explained a technical problem. It is usually the case where we, Engineers, ignore the audience. I believe that Parenthood helps, how would you explain your kid a physical phenomenon without having to talk about Gravity which of course he still (5 years old) does not get?

The level of understanding is different and Abstraction plays a unique role towards the goal of teaching. When observing a Painting you probably start with colors and textures, to move soon into style recognition, then Art History, then (why not?) you probably attempt to paint as well. The appreciation will be different but the level of enjoyment will probably be the same as ultimately each brain will be satisfied by different amount of understanding which is always correlated to the current amount of knowledge.

Technology goes beyond Programming Paradigms and Languages. Dividing and conquer will never fail as the preferred strategy to resolve complex problems. With Separation of Concerns in place there will always be a place for everyone but it is up to the team leader to make sure the work is correctly divided and distributed. The Chief must be then like an artist because creativity is her(his) responsibility but in addition he(she) must think as an outsider as well.

Correctly articulating to different audiences the same problem is important to be able to lead teams no matter the size they are.

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