Darkened Software

Tag: Sparks of Genius

Book Review: Sparks of Genius

by on Feb.26, 2012, under Development, Industry

This book hits on a topic a friend of mine and I have been arguing about for years, do people need to be multidisciplinary or should they specialize in one skill set and focus their time learning to do it perfectly.

I took the theory that our worlds of knowledge are growing way to fast for one to have time to become skillful enough in the other fields that it would help your main career that much.  My friend took the theory that it was still possible to learn multiple different skill sets and that they will make your main discipline much strong.  A few years back I realized that after learning new types of poker my Hold’em game became significantly stronger.  Then I started collecting new programming languages and my C++ code became much cleaner.  Thus I started to believe my theory was on shaky ground and I might soon be sending someone a bottle of scotch soon.  After reading this book though I realized just how wrong I was, but at least the book was nice enough to fully explain why and what I could do about it.

Their theory is to take your mind and problem solving abilities to the highest level you need the following 13 skills:

  • Observing
  • Imaging
  • Abstracting
  • Recognizing Patterns
  • Forming Patterns
  • Analogizing
  • Body Thinking
  • Empathizing
  • Dimensional Thinking
  • Modeling
  • Playing
  • Transforming
  • Synthesizing

Looking at this any my own game programming career thus far it actively trains maybe about 5 of those skills really hard and another 3 of them moderately.  Thus my career is not providing very much practice time in about 1/2 the skills needed to really excel in this field.  Unintuitive as it seems I need to spend less doing software development and more time in another field that is mainly about these other skills.  Looking at this list it is clear I have to either pick up music, drama or  painting to complete the tool set.

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