FileMaker Development and Vocabulary Skills

An important part of being a FileMaker developer is effective communication skills–without them your job is almost impossible to do well.  Seth Godin offers an interesting point of view of the importance of vocabulary:

The typical native speaker knows 20,000 words, and there’s your opportunity:

If you know 40,000 words, if you learn five words a day for a decade, the world changes. Your ability to see, to explain and to influence flies off the charts.

It’s not about knowing needlessly fancy words (but it’s often hard to know if the fancy word is needless until after you learn it). Your vocabulary reflects the way you think (and vice versa). It’s tempting to read and write at the eighth-grade level, but there’s a lot more leverage when you are able to use the right word in the right moment.

A fork in the road for most careers is what we choose to do when we confront a vocabulary (from finance, technology, psychology, literature…) that we don’t understand. We can either demand that people dumb down their discourse (and fall behind) or we can learn the words.

Have you ever seen a talented developer talk over the head of the client?  Or be unable to process what the client was trying to express?  It’s not pretty.

Remember, your clients (internal or external) don’t ‘speak’ database and don’t think in database terms.  It’s incumbent upon you to speak to their level, to ask questions in such a way as to make it easy for them to communicate their needs effectively.  You also need to explain complex concepts in such a way that they grasp the central ideas.

Doing so makes you a better developer, and allows you to design and build a better solution.  So learn new words and new concepts.  Expand your understanding of other fields, other industries, other institutions.  You will benefit in ways you will never expect.

And for those looking for some help, download Seth’s free version  ebook, Million Dollar Words, at the link below.

Source: Seth’s Blog: Does vocabulary matter?

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