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What Does It Actually Mean to Be in Tech?

Updated: Oct 13, 2023


Photo Source: Jeanettemay.com


In today's rapidly evolving world, the term "tech" has become ubiquitous. It's thrown around in conversations, plastered across job titles, and used to describe everything from smartphones to self-driving cars. But what does it actually mean to be in tech? To answer this question, we need to delve deeper into the multifaceted nature of the tech industry and explore its diverse roles, innovations, and impact on our lives.


Defining "Tech"


In our year of teaching, we have come to define technology as anything that is made by humans to solve a problem and make life easier. This definition often helps learners young and mature recognize the vast field that falls under the term technology.


At its core, the term "tech" is a broad umbrella that encompasses a wide array of industries, job roles, and innovations. It's not limited to Silicon Valley startups or programmers huddled over laptops. Instead, being in tech can mean anything from developing software and hardware to managing data, designing user interfaces, or even marketing tech products. In essence, the tech industry is a vast ecosystem where creativity, innovation, and problem-solving intersect.



Image of the many technological fields someone can explore when looking to launch a career in technology
Image source: Code First Girls

Tech as an Enabler of Innovation


Given our working definition of technology as anything that is made by humans to solve a problem and make life easier, one defining characteristic of the tech industry is its relentless pursuit of innovation. Tech professionals are often at the forefront of pioneering breakthroughs that reshape our world. From the advent of the internet to the development of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, being in tech means actively participating in the creation of tomorrow's solutions.


Innovation in tech goes beyond inventing new gadgets. It involves identifying and solving complex problems using cutting-edge tools. Whether it's using data analytics to optimize supply chains or employing machine learning to enhance healthcare outcomes, the tech industry thrives on pushing boundaries and making the seemingly impossible a reality.


Diverse Roles in Tech


To truly understand what it means to be in tech, it's essential to recognize the diverse roles within the industry. It includes:


1. Engineers and Developers: These professionals create the software and hardware that power our digital world. They write code, build apps, and design the algorithms that make technology function.


2. Data Scientists and Analysts: Data professionals work with vast amounts of information, extracting valuable insights and driving data-driven decision-making.


3. Designers: User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers ensure that tech products are not only functional but also user-friendly and visually appealing.


4. Managers and Executives:Tech companies need leaders who can steer the ship, making strategic decisions, managing teams, and guiding product development.


5. Marketers and Salespeople: Even the most innovative tech products need effective marketing and sales strategies to reach their target audience.


6. Ethical and Legal Experts: With the rise of tech ethics and privacy concerns, experts in law and ethics play a vital role in ensuring responsible tech development.


Being in tech is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It's a dynamic and evolving field that offers a wide range of career opportunities and the chance to shape the future. Whether you're a software engineer, data scientist, designer, or marketer, being in tech means actively contributing to innovation, solving complex problems, and navigating the ethical and societal implications of technology. In essence, it's about being part of a global movement that's reshaping the world, one line of code or innovative idea at a time.


How to decide on a path in tech


There is no right or wrong way to get started on your way to starting a technical career. To get started, it helps to focus on 2-3 roles of interest and 2-3 sectors of interest at a time.

  • Read, watch, and listen to content. Talk to people. Attend events. Pursue projects and internships.

  • Adapt your target roles/sectors as you learn more. Keep an open mind. You might surprise yourself!

  • Set this Goal: learn as much as possible so that you can confidently pursue your next steps and answer questions like “Why this job” or “Why this industry”

From here you will want to then begin to build your tech portfolio by getting experience working on related projects. The core of your portfolio is your work. Include projects, code samples, or case studies that highlight your technical skills and problem-solving abilities. This could be software projects, mobile apps, websites, or other technical work you've done.


If you have received positive feedback or endorsements from clients, colleagues, or supervisors, display them as testimonials. Social proof can be compelling. Similarly, visual elements like screenshots, images, and diagrams can make your projects more engaging. Use visuals to illustrate your work and the user experience. If you enjoy writing or have insights to share, consider adding a blog section to your portfolio. Write articles or tutorials related to your field to showcase your knowledge. All of these elements of your portfolio will demonstrate your hard and soft skills as a tech professional.


Finally, building a tech portfolio is an ongoing process. As you gain more experience and expertise, your portfolio should evolve to reflect your growth. Keep refining and expanding it to showcase your capabilities and continue progressing in your tech career!


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