In Curiosity Is Critical to Academic Performance, curiosity was measured as a strong factor like conscientiousness and intelligence for academic success. Capacity and speed acquiring information, staying on task, and motivation to work with information are all good things. At the end of article, I found this interesting.
Employers may also want to take note: a curious person who likes to read books, travel the world, and go to museums may also enjoy and engage in learning new tasks on the job. “It’s easy to hire someone who has the done the job before and hence, knows how to work the role,” von Stumm says. “But it’s far more interesting to identify those people who have the greatest potential for development, i.e. the curious ones.”
For the members of my team curiosity is critical. We get the escalations of problems several layers of tiers below. Every problem we get should be something others found too challenging to solve or requiring information not available to them. Plus every problem requires informed decisions, meaning gathering data and determining that results are accurate. Expectations of the near impossible become the new normal every time we succeed. Plus delivering the near impossible usually means learning something new. These same academic performance factors help solving challenging problems.
Our interviews were designed to get a sense that candidates have enough relevant knowledge to be a foundation we can build upon and maybe some expertise the fill in our own gaps. Also, we ask questions about how someone worked on problems to get a sense that the candidate learned from past experiences and can find the information necessary to solve issues.
The technology landscape is constantly changing. Software upgrades mean things break or work in a new way. Leadership makes decisions which pull the rugs out from under us. Adapt or die. Curiosity is the only way to stay sane in such a world where what I know today may be irrelevant in a week.
Hack Education has a good post on the frustration of learning to code even with education startup Code Academy. Pretty sure I never would have learned to code without needing to accomplish something + curiosity. Of course, that is often the description of a geek.