Misnomer Revelations | Working "in tech"
Vol #1: Renee Brooks, Finance & Ops
Several years ago, if you had asked me what working in tech looked like, my mind
would have jumped to programmers, developers or software engineers. I may have
even broadened my definition to include those with backgrounds in computer science
and other STEM professions. People like my sister—a geoscientist with a penchant for
But now, we need to reevaluate our concepts of those working in tech professions
because, guess what people, its 2018!
The preconception that to work in tech you have to, “work in tech,” is blown apart by the
fact that technology is in everything we touch. It could mean the conscious work on
traditional tech platforms like development or IT infrastructure, but it more than likely
means something completely different.
This does not just include those that work in the tech industry or at tech companies.
Gone are the days when working in tech meant you worked for a sexy software
company or a start up in Silicon Valley. Whether we recognize it or not, there are many
unexpected roles in technology.
I am an accounting and finance professional. Do I work in tech? Chances are many people think I don’t. I am just a money counter, a pencil pusher, the person that gets onto you for doing your budget wrong.
Some of you won’t associate me as a key person that helped put the software solution your company uses together. I’m not the person that integrates your time and expense module with the companies accounting system. I didn’t write SQL statements that drive databases to pull metrics for financial reporting packages. So, this means I don’t work in tech, right?
I was unaccepting of my role “in technology” for many years, thinking that I was not in the know or cool enough for the title. However, every part of my day to day job relies on technology platforms. From digging through tables to identify fields for my queries, or new explorations in the functionality of my true love, excel. I may not fit the standard mold of a technology professional, but without it, I am out of a job and so are countless others out there.
There are many other professionals who don’t fit the profile. There are the HR departments that manage state of the art HRIS software, which allows for the improvement of candidate experience by tracking prospective employees through the recruiting and new hire process. There are marketing personnel ensuring source codes are properly installed into databases so ROI from marketing efforts can be communicated back to the business.
Tech is the new literacy.
Think about the technologies you use at work. One could argue the most commonly used programming language is Excel, but few people using it realize they are programming. So how technical do you need to be to think of yourself as working in tech? Know enough to be dangerous in whatever capacity speaks to you, and learn the rest as you go. Join our network of like-minded, passionate members who are interested in sharing their knowledge, building bridges to connect people of diverse backgrounds and continuing to break down barriers!
-Renee Brooks, WTC Director of Finance