Random Ramblings about stuff I see going on in biotech, internet and the stuff I read.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Cross-Field Languages

So I speak Biology, Computer, IT, Marketing, and a bit of Finance.

These are all different languages with different conventions and different background assumed stuff. Words have different assumed meanings.

Example: Library
Biologist - has to have a modifier on it (cDNA, genomic or other) but it is a collection of those things that you can screen
Programmer - collection of calls you can make that is already written so you don't have to do some bits.
Marketing - the place where the marketing reports are (electronic these days...)

If you don't know what the word means, you can lead people astray. When I went to finance class recently, the most important thing I came back with was that I learned a bit more about how to talk to finance people. When I deal with the finance people at work, I am starting to learn what there words mean, and what the "obvious" problems with some solutions are. When they explain the problems to me, I understand what they are saying and can picture it.

The funny part about speaking different languages is when you have to serve as a translator. Several of the marketing people can't speak "finance" and we will be in a meeting and they will all be saying the same thing but neither side will realize it. This is where knowing both simplifies things. I can just point that out and we move on. 30 minutes of the meeting saved!

So - I think that is the major benifit of conintuing education. Don't stop going to work, but you have to keep picking up new "languages" as the more people you are able to talk to (and undersand/be understood) then the more useful you are and the more intersting the assignements/jobs you will be given/able to take/grab or for that matter even be able to see. Many will not even be able to see the problem, thus you have an advantage.

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