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I volunteer at a local community radio station and was able to arrange an interview with Bill Pfleging and Minda Zetlin, authors of the Geek Gap: Why Business and Technology Professionals Don’t Understand Each Other and Why They Need Each Other to Survive. 

There are some fundamental differences in the interests, beliefs, and skills of technical people, referred to as Geeks, and non-technical business folks, referred to as Suits. This creates a gap between these two groups that can prevent useful and needed collaboration. Both need the special skills and abilities of the other, but find it frustrating or even painful to interact. Understanding the differences can help better establish the trust and respect necessary to work together.

 

Bill Pfleging and Minda Zetlin believe that it is important for each of us to understand the differences and the goals of Geeks and Suits. They contend that the objective is to understand what the other half needs, meet those needs and wind up with a better, more effective working relationship. When there are so many IT projects that are seriously late, substantially over budget, or both, there is a high price to pay when Geeks and Suits don’t work together.

 

Bill has a background in technology and a confirmed Geek. Minda is a Suit, being a longtime business writer and author. Together, they work to bridge the gap between Geeks and Suits. You can read their ongoing exploration of the Geek Gap on their blog.

 

This interview originally aired on KFJC  ,on the program ThoughtLine, on Monday, August 6, 2007. KFJC broadcasts in the San Francisco Bay Area at 89.7 FM and is part of Foothill Community College.

 

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