Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Intelligent and Knowledgeable

Intelligent and knowledgeable. You might consider those two qualities to be prerequisites in a high-tech field. A challenging subject matter requires certain cognitive abilities. And the constantly evolving nature of the field presumes not just an education, but also a commitment to lifelong learning.

However, technologists can also be notoriously dense. I speak from experience.

Here are some things I keep on my Try-Not-To-Do List: 
  • If you consider yourself intelligent and knowledgeable - share your skills and knowledge. But don't be pedantic. Be sensitive to not lecture people who don't want to be lectured.

    Your cohabitants may not appreciate your critique of their vacuuming technique. And the FedEx delivery person may not really be interested in your theories on applying simulated annealing algorithms to the Travelling Salesman problem for determining optimum delivery routes.
  • If you consider yourself intelligent and knowledgeable - always remember that
    a.) you don't know everything, and
    b.) what you think you know may be wrong.

    Remember: Anyone who claims to know everything demonstrates their ignorance. (Is that a famous saying? It should be. You can quote me on that.) People who must win every argument tend to be single and low on friends.

  • If you consider yourself intelligent and knowledgeable - be prepared to defend your positions. But always keep an open mind.

    Also, be sensitive of the people with whom you discuss your opinions.
    Your technical comrades may revel in some intellectual jousting, dry erase markers flailing at the whiteboard. But civilians can take personal offence at having their positions aggressively challenged. Best to tread lightly with unfamiliar adversaries. And be prepared to politely agree to disagree. Or change the subject.