The Fundamental Futurist

The World Belongs to an Emerging Generation of “Futurists”

How you think is way more important than how you code

Technologists are our craftsmen of the future. They have a huge responsibility in shaping our future, as they are the enablers, the creators and the problem-solvers. Look at any company today. Every business is powered, driven and strengthened by technology. What is a Paypal, or a Visa, or Uber for that matter? Yes, these are companies providing services such as Payments or Transport. But at the core of the business, and the competitiveness that it commands, it is their technology which gives them the edge to create fantastic customer experiences, disrupt the game in their respective industries and thrive in the whole process. It is a bunch of algorithms that help millions of commuters, all over the world, get on to a shared, eco-friendly mode of transportation. Uber doesn’t sell a vehicle or a seat; it sells a technology platform!

I am reminded of a powerful quote – With great power comes great responsibility! There is immense power in technology, which implies a greater purpose for technologists to prepare themselves in the right direction. But is skilling enough? There are millions of qualified engineers all over the world. And yet, companies are struggling to hire the right talent.

The problem is not with change, but the magnitude and speed of change that we are experiencing. We have seen the world change more in the last twenty years, than in a few hundred before that. Today, AI, Machine Learning, Data Sciences, Block Chain, are all the rage. Tomorrow there will be more. Technical skill development is imperative, no doubts about that. But there is more.

As a technologist, how can you create a meaningful place for yourself and drive purpose into your life?

You need to move from being a ‘Hire-able Candidate’ to ‘Desired Talent’

The trick is in your temperament. You have to evolve as “Futurists” – a persona where you start looking at everything from the combined lens of art, engineering and empathy.

You think of the solution more than the problem. You think of the end-user more than the challenges. You design more and code less.  Engineering degrees are important, but an Arts & Engineering degree combo is wicked smart.

So how do you start thinking like a Futurist?

Begin with shifting your mindset in three key areas:

  1. Shift your perspective towards what you do.
  2. Shift your attitude towards growing and applying your skills.
  3. And shift the culture where you experiment and explore.

What do these mean?

  1. Wear the business hat first

Knowing how to code was good enough to get us here. But now you have to move beyond the screen and understand the business problem and the business impact of the solution. At a high level, you must get a grasp of the ecosystem in which the business operates, and the roles of all actors involved – partners, customers, competitors, and other influencers. When you are able to build this as a premise, your approach to understanding the needs will change, you will begin to consider deeper aspects, and build more effective solutions.

  1. Be full-stack in your thinking

The first line of the digital way of doing things is to break legacy and adopt a lean and agile approach towards solution building. Who is a full-stack developer? You will find several opinions on that. But the essence of this concept is not restricted to the tech stack that you master; its the way to approach a solution as an end-to-end design thinker and engineer.

  1. Learn to fail and succeed iteratively

Fail fast, fail frequently. This is crucial for achieving weather-proof success. If you haven’t tested it yet, how do you even know you are on the right path? To do this, you need an environment that is conducive to fail, learn and adapt quickly. The Playground from Altimetrik is proving to be a great platform for engineers to try ideas in different sizes and dimensions, and test them quickly.

As a techie, you have a Futurist ingrained in you. All you need to do is open your mind to change and look for the right kind of environment to make your ideas happen! You should Go Playground.

*Playground – A natural and scientifically developed ecosystem from Altimetrik to help organizations drive their transformation charters with the right talent, approach and technology.

You can also read this article published in TimesJobs.

 

About Author

Raj Sundaresan

Chief Operating Officer, Altimetrik

An active participant of business transformations for over two decades, Raj is at a vantage point to comprehensively envisage the future, with a deep understanding of what businesses really need. At Altimetrik, his vision is to create an ecosystem that assimilates all the necessary aspects for companies to overcome pertinent challenges and achieve their digital transformation goals. His main focus has been building the team (Talent), ensuring we embrace the right Product Engineering rigor (Approach) and Leverage technologies and frameworks for accelerated and seamless execution of our Clients’ Digital agenda.

Raj believes that we would live in a more enriched world, when industry and governments are able to take the right advantage of technology, and the people who work on this are honed to develop a digital mindset.

 

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