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Ben Halpern for CodeNewbie

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Mastering Interviews: How Do You Explain Complex Tech Concepts to Non-Techies?

Okay, let's do a little interview prep today. It's important that you be able to demonstrate an ability to bridge the gap between tech and non-tech worlds. So, how would you answer this question if it came up in a job interview?

When it comes to non-technical team members or stakeholders, how do you effectively communicate complex technical concepts?

Newbies and experienced devs, alike: please share your proven strategies and techniques for breaking down the intricacies of coding and technology into digestible information.

Follow the CodeNewbie Org and #codenewbie for more discussions and online camaraderie!

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Top comments (6)

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel ( • Edited

What I recommend

The mindset is to believe that there no bad students, only bad teachers.
If someone didn't understand what you tried to say, try to say it more clearly.

The rule is to forbid yourself to use jargon
Jargons are the words that you use between developers to go faster, because everyone understand them, but make only things worse who people who don't understand those words.
If you cannot explain what your company does without using the words "blockchain", "AI" or "SAAS" then you can't explain what your company does.

Practice is how you become good at it

If you need inspiration, have a look at my explain me like I'm five collection


adward345 profile image

Use simple language: Avoid using technical jargon or complex terminology that might confuse your audience. Instead, use plain language that is easy to understand. Break down complex terms or acronyms and provide clear explanations.

Tell a story: Present the tech concept in the form of a story or narrative. This can help engage your audience and make the concept more ilegal relatable. Use real-world scenarios or examples to illustrate how the technology works and its potential impact.

Visual aids and demonstrations: Utilize visual aids such as diagrams, charts, or infographics to simplify complex ideas. Visual representations can often convey information more effectively than words alone. Additionally, if possible, provide demonstrations or hands-on experiences to help solidify understanding.

marissab profile image
Marissa B

I've had success figuring out what the other person already knows and understands, then using that as a springboard. I'm into cars, so if I can use a car metaphor to explain how something works (or doesn't work) I'll absolutely do it. If they know a little bit about the tech I'm using for something, I'll ask about it then build on that if it's something more advanced or a topic they haven't gotten into yet.

My mother still thinks everything I do is magic though. I can't explain that properly...

spiderpig86 profile image
Stanley Lim

Don't go too much in depth. Throw out all acronyms, technical details, and things that someone would have to look up on their own. Explain in terms using everyday things, events, etc. This will allow them to either 1) be satisfied with the information you gave or 2) ask more questions. Then you can go in depth.

bias profile image
Tobias Nickel

it is a tough job to make people buyin. and often people arejust to ignorant for the technology. so we also have to change and answer in vague terms. the most important thing is just to show confidense.

How does this work? it works very good.

how are you going to do it? I will select modern technologies, follow best practicesof software development and build a stable foundation.

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