Article development led by
Great engineers are able
to maximize their mental power.
BY KATE MATSUDAIRA
For this article, I wanted to share with
you some of my favorite engineering
and leadership lessons from one of the
smartest people I know: Erik Meijer.
Whether you are a leader, a programmer, or just someone aspiring to be better, I am sure there are some smart takeaways from our conversation that will
help you grow in your role. Oh, and if you
read to the end, you can find out what his
favorite job interview question is—and
see if you would be able to pass his test.
What qualities make someone into an
There is a paper called “The Humble
3 and even though it was
written in 1972, after all these years it
is still super-relevant. In the early days
of computing, programming was perceived as puzzle solving and optimizing the computational process—it is
astonishing how those archaic ideas
are still there when it comes to interviewing developers. Our world today
is very complicated—we are dealing
with distributed systems, all kinds of
models, neural nets, frameworks, new
languages. We don’t have the mental
power to keep on top of every new in-
THERE ARE SMART people in the world. And then
there are really smart people. You know the ones I am
talking about—those who are so impressive that it
doesn’t matter what they do (academia, programming,
engineering, or management); you know if they are
doing it, then they are doing it well.