Top 5 Qualities Of Seekers
Over the last decade, I have worked alongside dozens of developers. Most of them opted out to follow a typical IT career under the influence of family & friends. They had no clue what they wanted to achieve beyond fat salary package and stability. I refer to these developers as trend followers. However, there were also few curious souls who saw things differently and were not afraid to question the status quo. I refer to these developers as seekers as they always seemed to be seeking something. If you want to build a cutting-edge innovative solution, you need to have these seekers in your team.
In this blog, I would like to list a few important behavioral traits exhibited by these round pegs in square holes.
- Curiosity: Seeker’s curiosity knows no bound. When the weirdest bug gets reported in the solution, the first reaction from the trend follower is frustration. On the other hand, you may see a spark on the seeker’s face as this new bug is nothing but a new puzzle. Curiosity acts as fuel helping the seeker to connect the dots which trend followers won’t even see.
- Questioning: If curiosity is fuel, asking questions is where they use it most. You will find them constantly asking questions to fellow teammates, leads, clients, and even themselves. With each answer, they gain more clarity. They will not hesitate to question authority be it a client or a project lead if they see a new feature does not add value to the solution.
- Tech Agnostic: Seekers are not married to a particular technology or tool like trend followers. They will always be objective while selecting tools and make sure that the solution is not compromised by a restriction of a particular tool. Neither do they see the solution in a fragmented way (front-end or back-end). To them fully integrated solution matters.
- Why vs What: One of the main reason seekers are agnostic towards tools is because they are driven by ‘Why’ and ‘How’. Their primary focus is to understand why behind the problem. Understanding why enables them to understand the various constraints in the play. Armed with the knowledge of these constraints then they focus on how to achieve the best possible solution within these constraints. On the other hand, trend followers’ first focus is on what can be achieved and what cannot be, based on their knowledge.
- Comfort Zone: Trend-followers eventually get locked within their comfort zone which stagnates their further growth. On the other hand, to a true seeker, there is no such thing as a comfort zone. Their boundless curiosity often leads them to chart unknown territories.
I believe no one intentionally decides to become a trend follower. As a child, we all have abundant curiosity. This curiosity diminishes eventually as asking questions is rarely encouraged in our society or schools. Also, our education system is more focused on meeting mass blue-collar jobs requirement instead of research and innovation. However, with awareness and deliberate practice above mentioned key traits can be cultivated by anyone to attain the mindset of a seeker.
So, are you a seeker?
Today we witness a severe scarcity of developers with the seeker mindset in the market. One of the main reasons behind Sankey’s inception is to meet this demand. Through the philosophy of solution mindset, Sankey is trying to transform trend followers into a seeker.
Before I conclude, I would like to share that when I graduated from college, I was a geeky kid fascinated by the myriad of tools out there. I had a compulsive need to attain mastery in all of them. As time passed, I understood that only the knowledge of tools won’t be enough to be a good problem solver. The key is to understand the problem at hand and then, if required, learn new things to meet the solution requirement. That’s one of the biggest lessons I have learned so far.
BLOG BY: VINAYAK MINDE