Technology My Way

Technology My Way

Technology My Way 150 150 Zac Ruiz

I want what I want. For lunch this week I want homemade blue corn masa tortillas filled with Moroccan tagine style lamb and fresh white bean salad with onions, garlic scapes and oregano from my local CSA farm share. I crave the tender cinnamony lamb alongside the zing of the vinegar in a crisp salad wrapped in a tortilla shell that is about 1000x more interesting than anything I can find at my local grocery store.

With Mexican, Moroccan, and Italian inspirations I am thinking I have never tasted a taco like this before; in fact, perhaps no one in the world has ever experienced this exact dish. I won’t find this in a restaurant to be sure. With leftovers as my lunch all week I expect the tacos to be interesting either warmed or chilled; and maybe, Wednesday served with a splash of sriracha if the week is shaping up to be particularly fun.

I like my technology the same way I like my food. Custom, artisanal, uncompromising and a little out of the box. This wasn’t always the case. Ten years ago I didn’t have the skills to make this meal. If I wanted a taco I had to browse the aisles of the grocery store. If I wanted a database I looked at my budget and then picked Oracle or SQL Server or MySql. Everything always seemed to be about the technology. Conversations were framed by the technology. Oracle can do this. Sorry, it can’t do that. For another 30k we can buy an add-on package to do the other thing. My customers and I were seemingly always constrained by the possible; always compromising and miscommunicating because they understood the business and I understood the technology and there was about a mile of choppy waters in between us.

In this last decade of the technology revolution, everything has changed. Today I have clients with whom I have never even discussed or mentioned a single technical term. The term “OLAP cube” is a joke to throw around at the beginning of the meeting to remind everybody that we won’t be talking tech; sure whatever it is we will just “do it with a cube”. Every conversation is about my customer’s world; about empathy and value where impossible is a street sign pointing which direction to head. Customers can have exactly what they want. They can demand a dish no one has ever tried before. There are hundreds of databases, thousands of languages and libraries that all melt away to be secondary to the important task at hand. To create a unique experience, to enjoy it, and to learn from it.