What it takes to be the best.
We place extraordinary emphasis on learning at Imagine Everything. When it comes to recruiting the best possible people to support our school districts the attribute that stands alone in priority is their ability to learn quickly. Ensuring we’re always using the best software tools available requires our team to be nimble as Jack! Developers are just like everyone else -- we all like to be comfortable. Change is rarely comfortable so we build habits that avoid forcing us into situations where adaptation is required. Sometimes this means choosing a development language we’re more comfortable with… even though there’s a faster, more secure, more scalable option. Sometimes it means choosing a database or infrastructure we’re more comfortable with… but at a precious cost in performance to the end user. The ability to learn things quickly requires three things: aptitude, desire, and good habits. When considering aptitude you’re likely to arrive at the age old “nature versus nurture” argument. Are they exceptionally gifted at designing complex software algorithms because their father played chess with them at an early age or because their brain is biologically superior in that way when compared to other people? The truth is probably a mixture of both, but we can tell you it’s something we look for when hiring. It’s our philosophy that you cannot motivate people, you can only provide an exceptional environment for motivated people to do great things. The best developers share the same quality as the best teachers, doctors, or electricians: they can’t imagine doing anything else. They love building. They love watching the thing they’ve created come to life. And, they like to witness the impact they’ve had on people’s lives. In consideration of aptitude, you can’t change the brain you were born with. But, you can maximize what you do with the one you’ve got. This is where building good habits comes in. Spend less time on Netflix. Stop watching the news (unless you’re trying to experiment with clinical depression as one of those new things). Walk more. Read non-fiction. Be eager in attitude for the next sunrise. The best developers are usually involved in side projects on Github (a place for working on code together) and can be found attending community hackathons. Great developers attend team retrospectives but they’re also retrospective of themselves. They identify bad habits and eliminate them, and they try to build better habits that improve their own capability. Are you a strong learner?