Day two of the Scrum Gathering South Africa 2016 conference is about to begin. My role at work is “Software Engineer”, which at the basic level can be seen as someone who solves problems and translates them to code in some programming language to build software.
This conference is about processes, methodologies and managing teams. Which raises the question, what does that have to do with my role as a software engineer? I believe to be great at anything you do you must grow in more than just your core skill. I’m ready to learn more and continue in my constant pursuit for learning.
My bio on most of my social media platforms says “Computer Scientist by qualification but my ambition is to be a Polymath.” I’ve also had that as my WhatsApp status for a long time now.
My aunt having seen this once asked me what a “Polymath” is and what I mean by that statement. I responded with the Wikipedia definition “A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.” I then explained to her that even though I studied computer science and I work as a software engineer, by aiming to be a polymath I would like to learn and grow in multiple fields.
When I was younger I was always fascinated by successful people: great sports people, inspiring business people, brilliant leaders, the list is extensive.
I thought what they did was magic, that they were born with these amazing talents. They were my inspiration.
As I grew up I also wanted to be successful so I became curious. My curiosity led me to study how people become successful. I studied them through reading books, listening to podcasts, watching video interviews, observing successful people in my immediate environment, etc. I wanted to answer the question: What makes these people so successful?
I have learnt a lot about what makes people successful. I’m still learning to this day. However there is one trait I have identified that is common in all the successful people I have studied. They all possess a hunger to learn. Despite being great at what they do, they want to learn more. They learn from a wide range of fields. They are not stuck in their old ways or current state of mind.
These people believe there is always room to grow and they can become even better at what they do. I have taken this to heart. If it is one of the ingredients to success then I would like to have it too.
We are all learning beings. When we are born we know nothing, our learning journey begins. We learn how to walk. We learn how to talk. We learn how to read. The hunger and capacity to learn in babies is amazing. Somewhere along this journey we grow up and become adults, then our hunger to learn fades, we slow down. Don’t let this happen.
The secret sauce for success is the constant pursuit to learn. What are you going to learn today?