Talking Tech With Non-Tech People

Explaining complex software to customers who may not have a technical background certainly has its challenges. Frustration for both parties is just one misinterpreted comment away. That’s why it’s really important to get it right every time.

I’m a success engineer at Intercom. That’s very different from a happiness engineer because I’m not excessively smiling most of the day. I keep more of a neutral face.

We have developers at our company and we have customers, and I sit right in between them. An analogy I sometimes use is that I’m like an API between our developers and our customers.

But for a lot of people out there it’s necessary to explain what an API is. I have a very technical background, but how do I go about explaining what an API is to someone who might not? How are you supposed to talk tech with non tech people?

There’s a big difference between knowing something and being able to explain it to someone else. Since I’ve been doing the explaining part every day for the last year, I’ve come up with four tips that are important when talking technical with someone who may not have the same technical background and skill set.

Being able to explain what we do to someone who isn’t too technically inclined has been a big focus here at Data McFly, and these tips from the Intercom guys are handy to keep in mind.