If "can't live with them but can't live without them" or "they speak another language" or "I just don't understand them" is something you face every day with some of your project team then you might want to spend a few mins reading this blog post about how to manage geeks nerds and techies ...
The article is more specifically
I like to because it underlines why we need to give these often brilliant but misunderstood or totally incomprehensible "inscrutable and eccentric bunch" what they need.
The fact is that if you find the right people as in the Jim Collins Good to Great approach “The right people (even techies), are self motivated and will not need to be fired up, and because of their inner drive will produce enduring great results,”
What this means if you don't have to closely manage these people - you have to hear them, really listen to what they are saying (even if you don't understand it all - ask intelligent questions to get the information into terms you can understand - you never know how much you'll learn by listening and developing your pseudo-tech talk. Give them the time of day and your respect for what they do.
Above all give them space to do what they need to do. It might look like nothing to you — thinking usually isn't accompanied by steam pouring out of their ears ;-)
Yes, there will be slackers but they are not the right people, and you'll see that in their (lack of) productivity, their (not) belonging, and their inability to baffle you with technical enthusiasm for what they are working on. You'll know.
"Consider this assertion: Technology professionals are one of the most valuable populations of human talent in any organization – public, private, for profit, not for profit. If you agree with that, then we as leaders must make a study of how best to motivate, influence and inspire our technologists. The burden is on us. Many believe that technology professionals are extraordinarily valuable as I do, and yet very different from other people and therefore require us to meet them where they live as a matter of necessity."
Sometimes diamonds take a lot of polishing.