Technology has power!
Regardless of how you use technology, rarely or often, the rapid growth has our heads spinning. I believe you must be ready and prepared for what’s next in the technological world. You must tap into the world of a Change Agent.
That brings me to my experience in a class called Emerging Technologies. My original thought was “this class is going to be about Facebook, twitter, blah, blah.” Although we did cover a few social media platforms, the biggest topic we covered was content management systems. I was constantly looking for new technologies for integration or personal pleasure, but I knew nothing of CMSs. The class covered the basis of some content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, Get Simple and more. I was enlightened by the complexity, and how incredible the technology was. I had only one question, who is in control of this technology? I’ve seen so many brands of content management systems, and tried to figure out the benefit of use. I begin to tap into change agent mode. Like I said I did not know anything about content management systems but I had to learn.
So why be prepared for what?
For clients, I was use to the standard HTML, CSS, and PHP for static websites, dropping them into a FTP, get hosted and be done. Not realizing there are other options for letting clients have control over content without knowledge of programming languages. I had to be prepared to use content management systems with clients.
But, what does a change agent have to do with this?
Well for one, I have characteristics of a change agent. Here are a few reasons why:
1. I communicated. Recently, I’ve been working with a client building a website for her non-profit organization. We discussed my position after the website was completed and how the content will be updated frequently. The first thought that popped into my head was WordPress. I knew WordPress was one the most popular content management systems, and with the little knowledge I had of using the technology I felt comfortable explaining the benefits. As a change agent, I had to explain to my client what? Why? And how? WordPress will be important for her organization. Well that being said, another important reason comes to mind.
2. I am patient. Everyone is aware technology is moving rapidly. And at times it’s not moving fast enough for me. Going back to my client, patience was key. I had to explain to my client the importance of using this technology without her having any knowledge of what it is. As a change agent, I had to help my client move ahead, and also be aware of the technological advances.
3. Last, but not least (because there are plenty of more reasons). Although I was not an expert of content management systems, I had to become one. Explaining to a client why they must use a technology they have no knowledge of can be tough. I had to step up to a person who had authority over me. My job was to take care of all the technical needs of the organization, but I wanted everyone to have knowledge of the technology. I did not want to put her in a position of not trusting me as a web developer. That being said, a change must have strong knowledge and a strong relationship built on trust. I had to know enough about the CMS to communicate with the client and her employees (who would handle content); also I had to become a teacher so that my client had enough understanding on how to use the technology.
My resources for Change
All in all, attending the emerging technologies class help open my mind. I was introduced to content management systems and I became in control of the technology as a change agent. I had to speak up about the many technologies that are beneficial to everyone. I had to keep myself updated with the latest and greatest technologies, and be willing to learn. The structure of the class provided enough resources for me to understand my position a web designer and developer. I learned how to become a change agent.