There was once a time I regretted not attending a school with a more rigorous engineering program. I would tell myself, I should have gone to an institution like Stanford which has a strong CS program and ties to the bay area tech scene. I’d be further ahead in my career hobnobbing with VCs showering me with champagne and hundred dollar bills.
To use the technical term, I was a fool.
When I look back at 2017, I’m particularly grateful for the strong liberal arts education I received at Occidental College, affectionately known as Oxy. Hey, if it was good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for me (Ok, Obama did transfer out, but work with me here.).
2017 shows us the impact of companies run by engineers who perhaps don’t have a strong basis in the lessons of history, sociology, and psychology - whether it be the utter Travisty of Uber’s year, Facebook’s tone deafness, or Twitter’s continued love affair with white supremacy.
This education doesn’t mean I’m somehow immune to these failing. It just provides me a lens to use when I question my own actions.
What gives me hope is the growing interest in these topics. More people realize that to build successful teams and companies, you can’t just focus on business strategy and engineering.
In 2017, I hosted a track at QCon London with the title “Softskills - Essential skills for developers”. I’m quick to note that these are actually...