Your Most Valuable Asset

Your most valuable asset, as an engineer, is not your particular set of skills, however specialized. It is the combination of your skills and experience that put you at a unique position to be able to deliver innovative concepts.

An engineer who knows Ruby, Python, and Javascript is an entirely different developer than an engineer who knows C#, Java, and Javascript, even when coding in the same language. Both have relevant experience; both may be the best in their fields. A team, however, is made up of both; conflicting and harmonizing experiences which can merge together to forge something that can take the best of all. Likewise, the engineer who has a degree in Chemistry and who does 3D art on the side, and the engineer who has an MBA and is just learning to develop can join the team and offer further, unique perspectives on software development. The young mind is as important to the team as the veteran. Without different personalities, different points of view, the team simply marches on without anyone to challenge assumptions. It's easy to fall into a trap of comfort and assumptions, and that trap is the hardest to get out of.

This doesn't just apply to engineers, although engineers are what I have the most experience with. I see the same thing in all facets of a company. A company without innovation is a company that is waiting to be destroyed, which cannot adapt to new situations, and must maintain the status quo and hope for the best. It won't be long until that status quo is disrupted by someone who can innovate, by someone who knows innovation means they can take the undeserved, underserved customers and build something new.

A homogonized culture is the death of a company.

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