Skills that Raise all Ships

Don’t be hesitant to learn new digital tools. Your studies may teach you not only that tool, but help you with software generally.  This can also be true of programming and societal languages.

For example, language researchers have found that being bilingual helps develop early empathy and aids understanding of language as a whole. It’s a meme within language education, also, that speakers of a Romance language can understand each other more easily than, say when you translate between Mandarin Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese. The expressions within the former group have a common root, using a largely common set of characters.

I’ve also found this to be true with software. I’ve used Sugar, Act-On, and HubSpot, and when I encounter other CRM platforms or tools that do some of the same things, they usually don’t look unfamiliar, because a lot of the underlying features and functionalities are the same – they are distinguished by the design of their interface, feature set, and ease of putting bits of data together to try and unearth golden nuggets of actionable insight. This has value for businesses, as it can be easier to discover information and subsequently share it, get feedback, modify your approach, and build consensus in one suite than in another.

Another domain where you see this is with programming languages. Once you learn to think like a computer, i.e. logically, within a rigid set of rules, you start to recognize where efficiencies can be introduced and can translate inputs from one language to another rather than re-learn how to process data the way a computer does.

Processing the world around me and being inspired to create is something that gives me joy. A common trinity for this is Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. The first one I learned as a pre-teen was Photoshop, and it subsequently made the others easier to learn. And it was important to learn the others because they’re better for different tasks.

What kind of software are you curious about? How about languages? I want to encourage you to dive in.


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