My friend Ramon Ray is a consummate technologist. He is creative, enthusiastic, passionate about leveraging technology to help small businesses succeed and a true geek at heart. Ramon sent me quick note explaining that he had been asked to speak to high school juniors about careers in technology – engineering and computers and sharing from his experience as a technologist. Ramon asked me the following question:
If you had to say 3 things to students about this field and how to be successful in it what would you tell them?
Well, here was the response that I sent to Ramon and I thought I would share it here too.
1. Be creative.
Technologists should think of themselves as artists. Find what type of creative outlet lights your fire and nurture it. Conventional advice typically directs budding technologists toward science or math. Mastering these subjects is important, and the best technologists also feed their creative flair, which in turn feeds their technical innovation.
2. Be philosophical.
At university, take philosophy courses in logic and ethics. Philosophical thought training will help develop the sensitivity for identifying the meaning of your work. All technologists should be in touch with the meaning behind their work, and ensure that the meaning is feeding their passion.
3. Become expert at interpersonal communications.
Geeks have a reputation for being poor at interpersonal communication. Since geeks will rule the world :) technologists need to become experts in both written and oral communication, particularly communication methods of resolving conflict and persuasion.