The innovative soul of an engineer
By Sam Ng, Senior Director of Engineering at GoDaddy
Engineers are creators. Innovators. Artists.
People who have a grand idea to express, and long for a tangible means of expression. At the soul of every engineer is a desire to exhale that supernatural breath that is uniquely inside each and every one of us.
And yet so many of us get caught up in the corporate rat race, and allow that inner spark to slowly fade. We let the need to plan, make roadmaps, fix bugs, and make trade offs eventually numb our inner creative spark.
I’ll posit that the reason behind this is that somewhere along the way, we let our jobs be a poor substitute for the natural desire to produce, to create, and to be industrious. We’ve lost sight of the concept of a vocation, which comes from the latin vocare, or simply, to call.
I heard a quote the other day which resonated with me:
“Don’t ever become so preoccupied with who you want to be that you forget to be who you are” — Myles Munroe
Somewhere along the way,
our desire to reach that goal, that spot, that coveted job or company has caused us to lose sight of the beauty and the art of innovating, of creating, of pouring our soul into our industry.
The goal then, is to (re)discover our calling, to dig deep and to meld that desire to create and to innovate with our day to day. A few quick thoughts on how to get there.
1. Surround yourself with people who are like minded. The reality is that we grow together with those around us, and the time we spend together leaves a lasting impression on us. So surround yourself with people who are like minded, who love to create, who are dedicated to their craft.
2. Be intentional about the team culture you’re in. It falls on you to ensure that you’re in the place where you can do your best work, where your ingenuity and creativity are valued and rewarded. Be ruthless in your evaluation of your environment. When you look for new roles, make sure you interview your potential team to see if theirs is a culture of innovation and creativity.
3. Block off time to dream. If you let them, they will take all your time, so don’t let them — make sure you’re jealous and intentional about the time that you have. By setting aside time each week to dream, to innovate, to create, you exercise that muscle and reinforce to yourself the importance of that activity. And hey, you just might become a more useful and productive engineer while you’re at it.
is that we all will have jobs to do. The difference is whether or not you take the time, effort, and thoughtful intention to match your job with your call, and to find a place that nurtures your creative expression.
So dream. Create. Innovate. Invent.
But don’t skip taking the time to set yourself up for success. Because at the end of the day, it’s your soul that wants to be expressed, and it’s your career and calling on the line.