An excerpt from the speech given by Sally Kornbluth, MIT’s 18th president:
“Curiosity is the passion to understand how things work and why, and how they can work better. Curiosity is also the one and only path to understanding one another—to empathy and appreciation and mutual respect. In effect, curiosity is the indispensable first step in both collaboration and community.”
When hiring developers in the past I made the mistake of searching explicitly for folks who confessed to working every waking hour on open source projects. In hindsight I realize how shallow that view of a “good” developer was. On reflection what I was actually looking for was a signal that demonstrated simple and pure curiosity. Today I would go further I would happily trade the gifted and clever mind for a curious one.