Creative, maths wiz, stylist, code junkie or nerd? How do you define the digital ‘gal’ or ‘guy’?

Can you define the digital ‘gal’ or ‘guy’? Take law, accounting, audit, building, or health care. People that work in these areas have typically been formally trained and have learnt how to do what they do. It’s not just a case of giving it a shot. There are of course differences in style, skill and talent in these fields however the processes that govern these areas provide a degree of regulation and control. This in turn defines quality and standards – all good things.

The IT industry was heading this way for a while with the likes of COBIT, ITIL, CMM and PRINCE2, all designed to provide governance standards in a controlled environment. But these don’t seem in vogue anymore (at least not in the digital space). The start-up scene and agile has shaken this up. With digital, the most desired skill is your ability to anticipate demand, to understand what will differentiate and how to optimise this with your most valuable asset, data.

When we talk about digital let’s assume we are referring to the process of creating technology based assets. By definition, it’s a creative process and the skills needed seem pretty hard to define.

So if you are a digital guy or gal, what defines what you do? 

Technology is moving at a jaw-dropping pace and so the idea even that we have a set of standard technologies to work with has vanished. Through the digital creation process we are on the constant lookout for new things, trends and from time-to-time movements. The cost of missing what’s new and sticking with the old is not just your product market-fit but perhaps more importantly scale, risk and the biggest of all, time.

One of my quests in 2016 year is to nail down the attributes of a digital gal (or guy of course). Many adopt ‘digital’ in their title, I have it in mine, but what really defines them and what makes someone great?

I posed this question earlier in the year on social media. This is one great reply from Stuart McGregor, business transformation architect – a digital guy indeed.

“Every one of the established professions has its foundation in a personal feeling. Law invokes Security, Accounting invokes Fairness (in allocation of resources), Audit invokes Assurance, Buildings provide a sense of continuity and Healthcare has the answer in its name. None of these professions reference the tools they use, rather they focus on their purpose in society. Viewed through this lens, Digital serves two purposes, it helps people (including companies and other forms of organisation) look good and feel good. There is no other medium that allows people to curate the way they’re seen (look good) or how they consume (feel good) as effectively as ‘Digital’ has been able to. It’s like giving everyone a magic mirror and a 3D printer in one.”

But its people that make the difference.

I love this space, the uncertainty, the risk, the endless amount of stuff to learn and most of all the pace.

So what makes a digital gal or guy? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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