Geeks Are Making A Comeback

I’ve always been a little undecided whereas to think of myself as belonging to the geeks or to the really really awkward cool people. Also, what is the difference between a nerd and a geek? Some time ago I heard someone saying that geeks are just regular people but a bit more on the savvy side of things, while nerds, well, they are really in completely in them.

Whichever it is, I think these days are the best to be … savvy. Especially tech.

Why do I think that? Well, it all started with this article I saw on LinkedIn.
The space nerd Emma Lehnhard is the Program Planning and Control Office Manager for Gateway.
Gateway is NASA’s outpost near the Moon that will basically support and assist missions in the region. To be honest, I always thought that’s going to be me, but you go, Emma!

This made the news because NASA is massively promoting women, but that is not the reason why it grabbed my attention. The fact that we are at that point when we openly say ‘I am a nerd and I am not ashamed to admit it in front of the whole world’ is.

To be perfectly honest, Emma is a little behind me on this one.

Ever since I was trying to make sense of supersonic combustion engines in the Ph.D. Graduierten program in Germany, I started calling myself and my colleagues ‘geeks’. I kind of caught on, in the sense that although at the beginning I got a few raised eyebrows, my colleagues eventually got comfy with that name.

In addition to this piece of news, there is my friend.

I am not going to tell you her story to illustrate her geekiness, but I will give you an example. Talking on the phone one day, I told her about some software I am using for project management, the fact that it’s quite new and haven’t had the chance to wrap my head around it. Then, because she couldn’t possibly have an input on my complaint, I moved on to where I am planning to go on holiday with my family, this volcanic island south of South Korea, very cool, the Hawaii of Asia they say.

At that point, I hear: “Wow, wow, wow! Slow down. I have this tab open with Jira (the software I hadn’t had the chance to learn yet), it says here ‘The #1 software development tool used by agile teams’, and I am thinking, ‘Do I have an agile team?’, and now … how was that island called?, something with J as well, right? Hold on woman, I can’t keep up!”

What happened was, she was googling in real-time stuff from our conversation. Now THAT is something geeks do. And also people with ADHD, but that is another story. This person, my friend, she rules the world in her own strange way and she is going places, she just doesn’t know it yet.

And last, there’s Yobota.

I started this job recently with a fintech company called Yobota. They are quite determined to change the future of financial services. But that is not the point. The point is they are a bunch of geeks, extremely smart and motivated. There is this strange kind of energy in the office that makes you believe you can do anything. And they do. They challenge everything and find another way of doing conventional stuff. And I don’t mean just financial services but everyday meetings, approaches to solving problems, etc.

Another thing that is fascinating for me is the way knowledge is disseminated in the company. People speak about everything and mean what they say. There is no going around the bush, there is no being embarrassed you don’t know something or superiority when you do. I am telling you, these are the people who I’d feel comfortable taking over the world.

In the end, a word of advice: next time when you see us geeks in all our weirdness, don’t avoid us, ask us about our day because honey, we mate for life.

Photo credit: NASA website, I think.