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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…

1 reply on “Not the smartest guy”

Hello. I discovered your blog while surfing Technorati for UMR references, and wanted to let you know about UMR’s first venture into the blogosphere. It’s called Visions, and it’s about UMR research, student design projects, etc. Hope you’ll take a look and tell us your thoughts.

Andrew Careaga
UMR

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