The upside of laziness, impatience and hubris

How important is attitude in your hiring decisions? Bill Gates said, ” I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” Great leaders hire for attitude, knowing technical skills can be learned and behaviors are much more work to coach. Larry Wall, the inventor of the Perl programming language, illustrates.

wall lazy_impatient_hubris

Larry Wall described the virtues of a great programmer as (paraphrase):

Laziness: Too lazy for routine, repetition and automates

Impatience: Impatient with time-wasting waiting periods and optimizes system peformance

Hubris: Takes pride in solving problems and creates functionality that others can use in their work

Larry also cautioned about false virtues.

False laziness: Remains busy with routine work that should be automated

False impatience: Cuts corners to get to the solution too soon and leaves performance to chance

False hubris: Pride prevents taking feedback from other developers by sharing work


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