I have a new favorite word of the day: technologist. I’m not sure it should be my new favorite word so I’m on a mission to find out whether using it is appropriate or not. In most uses of this term, it is meant as someone who has specialized training in the world of technology. In academia and more international forums, this would include engineers and scientists, and it would often require specific accreditation for this label to be bestowed.
However at a recent AAAA digital conference, panelists from agencies and digital shops used this word to refer to a breadth of people working on the technology side of digital marketing, including some creative folks. So developers, programmers, IA, and the system admins were seemingly lumped into being digital technologists, if I heard this correctly.
Does this matter? It does when a panelist refers to the back-end programmers being outsourced to India as “oh those guys” instead of realizing how important it is to acknowledge everyone’s role in the building and creating of the technology we use daily. It does matter when creative designers are given props for skills and talent when the same respect is not accorded to the creativity offered by developers. And I’m sure it matters when pay raises are being sought and awarded.
But I like the word. I like the specialness that it signifies. And so I’m off to ask some of our own technologists on staff just what it means to them.