When I first heard this term, “accidental techie,” I thought to myself, this is no accident. How can you accidentally know technology? I am technologically savvy, I know my way around email and the Internet. When the satellite TV goes out I know how to troubleshoot so I can continue watching my show. I didn’t know there could be such a thing so I turned to my friend Google and typed “accidental techie” in the search bar.
Wow! There is such thing.
“In the field of nonprofit technology, an accidental techie is an individual who has gravitated toward responsibility for an organization’s information technology infrastructure, even though his or her professional training or job description did not include tasks of this kind.” – Webster’s Online Dictionary
I didn’t know this was me until my Aunt Janedra pointed it out. She called me an accidental techie in an email late January as she expressed to me that my role in Arboreta Group was growing.
But why me out of all the other partners? How did I get chosen as the accidental techie of the group?
As Arboreta Group began to sprout up from the ground we knew we needed a website to help get our name out there and showcase to the world who we are and what we do. At the time, AG was in desperate need of a website and I was tasked with the job. Making a website seemed difficult and tedious; I had no formal training or experience in this area. I was nervous and excited as I accepted what I considered a challenge in doing something I hadn’t ever done before. Being tasked with this job began my role as the accidental techie.
My Aunt Janedra said to me, “You think like your father.”
This statement had me stumped. I wasn’t sure what she meant by this because, although I am my father’s child, meaning we have very many similarities, I think of myself as the more fun, cooler, and of course younger version of my dad. So I thought to myself, how can I think like him?
Then my Aunt continued and said, “You are a logical and orderly thinker that is calm under pressure.”
Ahhhh, a sigh of relief. Yes, I said to myself, that is me.
I am a very logical person who does her research to achieve the most desirable results. I like to experiment and learn as I go. I am someone who is technologically savvy and though I might not have all the answers off the top of my head, I will search until I find them. I am able to explain complicated things in easy, step-by-step instructions so that someone who does not have the slightest knowledge of technology can understand. I enjoy solving problems and resolving issues.
When selecting the accidental techie within your organization, you should look for the logical, calm and orderly thinkers. Then give him/her resources and time to grow and before you know it, he/she is able to solve any issues that come his/her way.
Being an accidental techie is an honor. When my partners have a tech issue I come to the rescue and solve the problem. Some are new to me so I have to figure out the best way to resolve it and provide clear and simple step-by-step instructions. Since we don’t work in a shared office solving tech issues from a distance can be a challenge but I do the best I can. And I use a lot of screen shots!
It feels great to know that I can help my partner solve her issue and she’s able to get back to working in a seamless manner, undisturbed by technological mishaps. At least until the next issue arises and I come to the rescue!