Why I Love Tech

Recently I was talking about stuff on WikiGodPod, a podcast out of the Greater Toronto Area (I live close to GTA in Kitchener) centred around our stories and how that shapes how we understand God.

I’m not somebody who speaks well without preparation, so the potential questions were sent in advance and I spent a few hours the night before and morning of planning. I figure since I already spent those hours writing notes, I may as well clean them up a bit and publish them here.

So without further ado, the first question:

You’re a tech guy? What do you love about it?

Good Code

XKCD explains how to write good code. Source: http://xkcd.com/844/

I think like is probably true for most people who work with technology, it is a love-hate relationship. I would say my reasons are twofold.

Utilitarian

For one, I tend to think in very utilitarian ways. I love technology because of what it can do to make our lives better. I also hate technology for when it fails to deliver what it is supposed to do, or when it is actively used to make our lives worse.

Programming is the ultimate example of that. When you complete a program that helps you do something easier, that’s a great feeling. Before you hit that point, there is a lot of frustration because of things that should be working but aren’t. It’s a huge roller coaster of emotions where it is going pretty well for a while with steadily increasing happiness, then you hit a snag that takes you 100 hours to find a missing semicolon, so you hate everything about technology while you look, then you find it and it feels like a giant accomplishment, then you repeat a few times until it’s done and you’ve got something useful!

Mark also asked me before the recording about my appreciation for BlackBerry products. We didn’t get into anything about why, but it does tie in here as well. I love BlackBerry above any other platform because it is far more useful for what I need to do. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but 99% of what I want in a phone has to do with reading or writing in some capacity.  Emails, social media, BBM and other instant messengers, document viewing and editing, and updating websites are all part of the average day for me. I love my BlackBerry and technology in general because it enables me to do all of those things quickly and easily.

Sidenote: I have a pile of quality games and media apps on my BlackBerry, too, but I never use them. I have an Xbox and (occasionally) a tablet for that. I could reframe it as that I appreciate those technologies for the similar reasons of making my entertainment easier. When I say that I appreciate the utility of technology, it isn’t strictly business sense. That just happens to be my priority in a phone.

Creativity

It’s not purely utilitarian, though. I also just have an appreciation for how people have used their God-given creativity. I’ve never been any good at visual arts and generally have a harder time appreciating it. I can really appreciate drama, but was never any good at that either. I was passable at music back in high school, but it would be a stretch to say I was exercising any kind of creativity with it and my appreciation for it is pretty average.

Technology, though, I can work with and I can more easily appreciate. It’s not just technology that is useful to myself I can appreciate either. I have not owned any Apple products in a few years. They just don’t do what I need them do well enough. Yet I still am happy that they exist, not only for their usefulness to other people with different needs but also simply because of the quality of engineering. They, along with many other people involved in technology, have used their God-given creativity well.

I think when it comes down to it, those two elements are why I’m a tech guy.

Ryan Robinson

It is easiest to identify Ryan as both theologian and tech guy. By day, Ryan is a Technical Consultant work with PeaceWorks Technology Solutions. There, he works on websites, CRMs, and SharePoint implementations. Along with blogging here, Ryan is a founding member of the MennoNerds blogging network and a contributor to the book A Living Alternative.