Not the smartest guy

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I was pretty frustrated on my programming these two days. I know I am not the smartest guy among software engineers in my company, or for that matter, not the smartest guy in my school years either. I still remember when I was in elementary school my teacher once told my parents that I have the potential to go to technical college中专, but I need to work harder if I want to go to university. Note in these days (early 1980s) being admitted to university is still very difficult, especially for people like me from a rural village.

I think I was lucky to beat the odds. I did not do as well as I expected in the college admission exam in 1989, but I was lucky to be admitted to HUST. The rest is history. From Wuhan to Shanghai, I went to Rolla in 1997, with the support from my friends and family. In 2000 I was also lucky to have the oppertunity to join my current company, a leader in PLM software industry.

Recently I spent some time thinking about my past. I think besides IQ and luck, there are other contributing factors to reach one’s potential. One important factor is attitude, or passion. When I first attended the middle school, I worked hard because I felt I was representing my hometown. Same thing in the University of Missouri at Rolla. Ditto when I first started in my current company because I was the only Chinese guy in the team. I just don’t want to give up easily. I was thinking if I do bad, I would disappoint people for whom I am representing. That would be terrible.

In software development, a lot of times the problem itself is not extremely difficult. It’s more like “you need to jump a little to get it”. So I jumped many times. Now if only I could solve that stupid problem I have worked on for 2 days…

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