Kill the translator!!


Sorry for being grumpy but the guy behind me on the plane has showered me with about twenty sneezes and I’m fired up, trying to get posts out before I catch swine flu.

I won’t take you through the gory details of what’s gotten me on this tirade, but I’m getting really sick of people describing their job as “you know, I’m the translator between business and technology”. I just think it is so 90’s and you’d think anyone who had seen the movie Office Space would be reminded of the pathetic guy who validated his existence for doing the same thing.

Some of you out there are saying, “but technology people and business people NEED that translator!” Maybe so, but I say it is a dying profession, rooted in traditional processes and organizational structures. This assumption validates and perpetuates the box we draw around technology organizations and the people within them. It holds back organizations from quickly responding to business needs and opportunities with technology innovation.

Good technologists must speak the same language as the business, especially those who are in any kind of leadership role within projects or organizations. Business people have to embrace technology if they are going to be successful. And since we are in technology for business, not in business for technology, so I’d say this lingual challenge is directed more at the technologists.