Do You Know Your Own Weaknesses?

Last week I joined a panel discussion at Apple regarding computer coding and how to get kids involved and interested.  The panel was made up of representatives from Apple, Tesla, Renown, DRI and the The Abbi Agency.   The truth of the matter is that we have a shortage of people that are well versed in writing code and it’s smart to address the issue now and get kids engaged for the future.

Apple is highlighting their Swift coding language and producing a curriculum around kids that starts with them playing with coding to produce fun results, then cuts them loose to produce much more.  As a way to get kids involved I’m hard pressed to come up with a better plan, and I’m proud to be helping promote their efforts.

During the panel discussion, attended by educators, techies, the Governor’s office and parents, we touched on the necessity of coding, what we look for when hiring coders and what we see as the future of the industry.  A demonstration of the Swift language followed, showing the attraction of simple coding used as a building block and where the Apple teaching method eventually takes the students.

But is being a good coder enough?

One question that came up during our panel talk was the usage of personality metrics in the hiring process, do we encourage it and what does it tell us.  It’s a topic I’ve touched on before and I find well worth revisiting whenever I’m asked.

Not surprising, most of fellow panelists echoed that the usage of personality metrics like the Myers Briggs, Team Dimensions Profile and Workplace Personality Inventory are playing a role in their hiring systems or management.  This part of the discussion kicked off with most of the panelists blurting out their Myers Briggs personality types (ENFP for me) to the laughter of many in the room.

I would recommend that if you’re looking for a job, or a job change, you should also bone up on your own personality profile.  Why?  It’s a great way to start understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, backed up by metrics, as well as helping you focus your job search toward careers that suit you.

Over several years of hiring people for a variety of jobs, some of the better interviews I’ve taken part in occurred when the interviewee could accurately talk about their weaknesses and give examples.  If you’re not sure where to start when asked that question, I recommend (as did others on the panel) you start here.  It’s a great system as well as it’s job centric in its breakdown of information.

If its coding you crave, do it and pick up as many languages as you can.  No matter what your pursuing in either a career or for personal success understand where your strengths are and play to them.  Always walk in prepared in both your technical and personal skills and be ready to demonstrate both when asked.

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