We often read articles about the skills and competencies that each professionals should have. It doesn’t matter in which field you are working on; nowadays, it is clearly important to have good analytical skills, being able to communicate well and navigate the politics of your organization.
We should consider the programming skills, not only for software development roles. Steve Jobs was used to say that everyone should be able to program. Why? Not because we need to be developers; we need to be able to program and writing software because it “will teach us how to think”. He was used to say the same thing about studying Law as different approach to reasoning. In other words, you should train yourself to think with a different mind-set. To be honest, it reminded me what my high school teacher was used to say about Latin language. However, I’d really like to invite all to watch Steve Jobs’ interview with Robert Cringely in 1995 … impressive accuracy in presenting scenarios that will happen 20 years later.
That interview recently made me think about one subject that is very dear to me: curiosity. You will discover why very soon. Our curiosity is the engine of many of our actions and it is the energy that boosts our knowledge. And no, I do not mean the usual and trivial questions to ask to a recruiter at the end of an interview to show curiosity. You do not need only to show curiosity, you need to apply it.
Why is curiosity so important? As said, it is the engine which drives us to improve. We discover something new thanks to our curiosity. If we are not curious, we’d never discover our areas of development. Doing research, the stress (or pleasure) of learning new things, reading, researching… These are the results of our curiosity. Acquiring knowledge is the result of curiosity. However, curiosity is not only this.
Curiosity is asking ourselves why something went wrong. Beware that you need to be curious also when everything is going well; you do not need to stop this process of discovery. Trying to memorize and replicate some steps or mental processes is fundamental for your learning. Curiosity is the mechanism that pushes you into difficult situations and it is also what pushes us to travel and discover new places.
Finally, the curiosity is desire to know other people. Understand them, do not understand them and try to understand why we are not understanding them.
Being curious comes for free… let me think about a MBA….